Part II. Building Clutter

Emmanuele Bassi


Clutter Dependencies


A general-purpose utility library, not specific to graphical user interfaces. GLib provides many useful data types, macros, type conversions, string utilities, file utilities, a main loop abstraction, and so on.


The GLib Object System provides the required implementations of a flexible, extensible and intentionally easy to map (into other languages) object-oriented framework for C.


Pango is a library for laying out and rendering text, with an emphasis on internationalization.

Backend Windowing System Library

GLX, EGL (1.1), SDL, Cocoa (OS X) and WGL (Windows)

Graphics Rendering

Open GL (1.4+) or Open GL ES (1.1 or 2.0)

Platform-specific instructions


If you are using Debian or Ubuntu, you can install pre-compiled binary packages the normal Debian way following the instructions at

To build Clutter clutter from sources, get the latest source archives from Once you have extracted the sources from the archive execute the following commands in the top-level directory:

    $ ./configure
    $ make
    # make install

You can configure the build with number of additional arguments passed to the configure script, the full list of which can be obtained by running ./configure --help. The following arguments are specific to Clutter:


Turns on debugging. Possible values are: yes - all glib asserts, checks and runtime clutter verbose messages; minimum - just glib cast checks and runtime clutter verbose messagaes; no - no glib asserts or checks and no runtime clutter verbose messages; default=yes.


Use strict compiler flags; default=no.


Use gtk-doc to build documentation; default=no.


Build application developers manual; requires jw and xmlto binaries; default=no.


Select the Clutter backend; default=glx.


The recommended way of building Clutter for Windows is using the mingw tool chain. One option is to cross-compile Clutter under Linux -- you can use the script found in the build/mingw/ directory to simplify the process (the script takes care of setting up the necessary dependencies).

If you wish to build Clutter using mingw direcly under Windows, you can do so the normal *nix way (described above) using the mingw POSIX shell. Should you prefer to use Microsoft Visual Studio, a project file for MSVC 2005 is located in the build/msvc_2k5/ directory. In either case, you will need to first install the required dependencies.

There are currently two backends that are supported on Windows. One uses the Win32 and WGL APIs directly and the other is built on top of SDL. You must choose one of the backends when running the configure script using the following argument:


Select the Clutter backend; default=glx.


For developing an application with Clutter, the recommended way of installing it using the MacPorts project, by simply invoking:

            $ sudo port install clutter

on a terminal, after installing and updating MacPorts.

For developing Clutter itself, the recommended way of building it OSX is to use Jhbuild, following the documentation for building the GTK+ stack as shown here.

Jhbuild depends on SVN, which can be installed on OSX by using the MacPorts project.

XCode should also be installed, either from the OSX installation disk or downloading it from the Apple website. It is recommended to also install the X11 development files, even though Clutter does not strictly depend on them.

The Clutter Quartz backend is built by passing the --with-flavour=osx command line argument to the configure script. If not passed, the GLX backend will be built. By default, the Quartz backend depends on CoreGraphics in order to load images into textures, but it can also depend on GDK-Pixbuf or an internal, highly experimental PNG and JPEG loader.

GTK-Doc is not working on OSX, so API reference generation should also be disabled when building Clutter, by using the --disable-docs and --disable-gtk-doc command line argument to the configure script.