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Revision as of 17:10, 30 May 2012 by Jaspervdg (talk | contribs) (→‎Installing dependencies: Added libtool)
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Hardy(8.04), Intrepid(8.10) and Jaunty(9.04)

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. This can be done by:

sudo apt-get install build-essential autoconf automake intltool libtool \
libglib2.0-dev libpng12-dev libgc-dev libfreetype6-dev liblcms1-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

Getting source from Bazaar

Inkscape now uses Bazaar, please refer to the Working with Bazaar page for details on how to get the Inkscape source code.

Configuring and Compiling

Enter the newly created inkscape directory.

  cd inkscape

As you may have already noticed this folder contains some files with all CAPITAL letters like README, INSTALL, HACKING, COPYING and probably others. These contain the latest information about how to build the program. The README file says that if you have no configure script in the current directory you should run autogen script to create it:


Now run configure script which detects your system variables, installed software etc.:


or, if you want to make it install to an alternate location so that you can keep the standard version installed and untouched

  ./configure --prefix=/home/yourname/opt/local

(replacing "yourname" with your actual directory user name, of course) All bug reporting testers may find it useful to install to use --prefix=/home/yourname/opt/inkscape-revision-19900 or --prefix=/opt/inkscape-19900 or something similar, replacing the revision number with correct one (this is shown when svn fetching finishes, also can be found in file .svn/entries). This way you can have several versions of inkscape installed at once.

If the configure script ends with no error messages, you are the lucky one, all system requirements are met. Run make to compile.


This may take some time, probably hours, depending on your machine's speed. On 1,4Ghz P3M with 512Mb clean build took 100 minutes.


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. Please correct the configure line and use the same installation method as on first install.

    bzr update
    ./configure --prefix=/home/''yourname''/opt/local
    make install

Dapper(6.06) and Edgy(6.10)

If you're going to build Inkscape, you'll need to have a full complement of build requirements. This is very easy to do in Ubuntu Dapper and Edgy:

Note: the libgc-6.7 that is available in Edgy removes the need for the following:

   sudo apt-get build-dep inkscape
   sudo apt-get install liblcms-dev build-essential
   echo "deb-src unstable main" >> /etc/apt/sources.list
   sudo apt-get update
   sudo apt-get source libgc-dev
   sudo apt-get install fakeroot debhelper
   cd libgc*
   sudo fakeroot dpkg-buildpackage -uc -us
   sudo dpkg -i ../libgc*.deb

If you want version 0.44 from Debian Unstable, you can compile it in the same way as libgc above:

   apt-get source inkscape
   cd inkscape*
   fakeroot dpkg-buildpackage -uc -us
   sudo dpkg -i ../inkscape*.deb

To build the SVN snapshots:

   # Untar and navigate to the inkscape source folder
   sudo make install

Instead of doing "make install", on Debian-based distributions (such as Ubuntu) it is better to do

   sudo checkinstall

since checkinstall first builds the .deb package and then installs it, thus making the package system aware of the newly installed inkscape. If you get the "command not found" message, do

   sudo apt-get install checkinstall

Notes: build-dep gets all the dependencies for the version of Inkscape that comes with Ubuntu. We're not building the same version, but most of the dependencies are the same.

libcms-dev was required for ./configure to work

This was done on a recently installed Dapper (Ubuntu 6.06) system. I built Inkscape version 0.44.

The following packages are need to compile cvs inkscape under a default Ubuntu Hoary/Breezy/Dapper system:

   apt-get install cvs build-essential intltool libtool libgtkmm-2.4-dev \
libglib2.0-dev libpng12-dev libxslt1-dev libsigc++-2.0-dev libpopt-dev libgc-dev

Inkscape requires libgc-6.7.

Breezy uses 6.4, Dapper uses 6.6, Edgy uses 6.7

Hoary uses version 6.3, which is provided in the Repos. (Is there somewhere to get a .deb for 6.4?)

To overwrite libgc-6.3 with libgc-6.4:

  Download gc6.4
  ./configure --prefix=/usr
  sudo make install

Old libgc 6.5 debs for Breezy(5.10)