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Revision as of 20:48, 9 September 2018 by Jnweiger (talk | contribs) (kill old cruft, refer to the web page!)
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Consider using stable (recommended for production)

This is a short how to build the latest svn version. Please note that SVN version may be buggy and crash often. This is released for people who want to help testing or need the very latest features. If you are not of developer kind, you are suggested to install the stable version from the repositories using Synaptic or from command line:

   sudo apt-get install inkscape

Using prebuilt packages (recommended)

For Ubuntu there are nightly builds available.

Get your appropriate repository lines from launchpad (read about adding repositories):

Run following command to update the repository information and install inkscape:

   sudo apt-get update
   sudo apt-get install inkscape-devel

Compiling unstable developement version

Installing dependencies

If you are sure you can face Inkscape being unstable, then please continue reading. First you should install all the dependencies.

  • On Ubuntu 16.04 this can be done by:
sudo apt-get install build-essential autoconf automake autopoint intltool libtool \
libglib2.0-dev libpng12-dev libgc-dev libfreetype6-dev liblcms2-dev \
libgtkmm-2.4-dev libxslt1-dev libboost-dev libpopt-dev libgsl0-dev libaspell-dev

Now you should have every dependency you need to build Inkscape.

Additional dependencies

If you want to have pdf support you need to install poppler:

   sudo apt-get install libpoppler-dev libpoppler-glib-dev

If you want to have optional features you may need to install some more packages:

   sudo apt-get install libgnome-vfsmm-2.6-dev libssl-dev libmagick++9-dev libwpg-dev libcdr-dev libvisio-dev

Note: On Ubuntu 18.04 libmagick++9-dev is obsoleted by graphicsmagick-libmagick-dev-compat, and libgnome-vfsmm-2.6-dev no longer exists.

Getting source from gitlab

git clone --recursive

or later on a checkout where submodules may be incomplete

git submodule update --init --recursive

Configuring and Compiling

Please refer to

If you have multiple processing cores on your machine, you can run a parallel build using

  make -j4

The number after "-j" can be set to the number of available processing cores. This is considerably faster than running "make" on a single core.


In addition to the instructions above, developers should always run automated tests before committing any changes. This is achieved by using the "make check" command.


If you used some --prefix=/... other than /usr, then you may install using usual 'make install' or 'sudo make install', depending on the location. If the the location prefix was /usr, then "sudo make install" is not recommended, as debian package manager would know nothing about new package. The better alternative is using checkinstall. If checkinstall is not installed, you can install it the usual way "sudo apt-get install checkinstall".

   sudo checkinstall

Happy inkscapeing.

Fix no icons problem

If you run this and you find that you have no tool icons it's because it's looking in the wrong place for them. To fix that you need to make a symbolic link to the correct location. Here is an example:

   sudo ln -s /usr/share/inkscape /usr/local/share/inkscape

Update your version

If you want to update your already built inkscape to the very latest version, you need to run following commands in inkscape source directory.

    bzr up
    make install