Compiling Linux Air Combat from Source Code

The flight simulation community has long needed a powerful, free flight simulator that could be compiled from source code.
Compiler in action
A great many flight simulators are out there. Some are free and some are not, but very few of them come with source code allowing compilation. Among the few that do come with free source code, most have severe problems. Typically the source code is extremely complex, or it was released after a bankruptcy or some other situation of great urgency, and as a result it's in a messy state or requires highly specialized hardware or expensive or outdated software tools. Often the required tools and modules are no longer available. It can take weeks or months of dedicated, detailed work to put together the required development environment, and after all of that you may find that the associated simulator lacks support for combat or is encumbered by an awkward view system.

LINUX AIR COMBAT is different. The source code is unusually well organized, and all of the prerequisites are "mainstream" within the Linux community. Every prerequisite is kept up to date by its own active support organization, and all are readily available free of charge.

After downloading and de-archiving the source code for LINUX AIR COMBAT as described in our main LAC page HERE, you will need to make sure your desktop Linux system is equipped with the necessary c++ compiler and a few other software libraries and components. All of these are free components, and all are very well known throughout the Linux community. Almost every popular version of desktop Linux makes all of these components available through some easy, quick, standardized Internet download. (Refer back to the "Prerequisites" section of the prior page HERE for a more detailed description of each of these items.)

Once your desktop LINUX is equipped with that small set of very popular, free, well-known components, you should be able to compile LINUX AIR COMBAT within 60 seconds and with no need to change any  of the source code at all. Most people report immediate success and find that they can thereafter experiment with the source code to modify the flight simulator according to their personal wishes. Many beginners, who have never compiled anything before, have reported success compiling Linux Air Combat!

Note: We used the free, well-known "Codeblocks" Integrated Development Environment for our deep development work, and we recommend that you do the same if you want to make CHANGES or IMPROVEMENTS upon our source code. Sometimes using Codeblocks may help you with other problems such as linking to obscure libraries. Under normal circumstances, however, you can rely on the well-known, usual and customary "makefile" techniques to compile and link Linux Air Combat according to longstanding norms.

Early on during our development, we made YouTube playlists showing the exact steps we used to compile LINUX AIR COMBAT on various popular distributions of LINUX. Although LINUX and its software libraries have evolved a bit since some of those movies were made, others have been updated recently, and the general principles are unchanged. Just adapt the names of any old function libraries to whatever new names are in use on your own distro as you watch these movie clips:
New as of late Nov 2019: We now provide two distinct versions of a conventional "Makefile" for those that do not want to use "Codeblocks". If you are comfortable with "Makefile" conventions, you can use either of these two sets of Makefile tools according to well-established Linux norms. They are: