How to install FreeOrion on Fedora

FreeOrion is a free, open source, turn-based space empire and galactic conquest (4X) computer game. The game is designed and built by the FreeOrion project, inspired by the tradition of the Master of Orion games. However, it’s not a clone or remake of that series or any other game. The project provides binary installers for Windows and OS X, but Linux users have to compile from source. The following instructions show how to compile and install FreeOrion on Fedora.

FreeOrion Game Play

FreeOrion: Prerequisites

To compile, first install the following prerequisites. (correction – added python-devel thanks to comment)

sudo dnf install python-devel cmake libvorbis-devel boost-devel zlib-static freetype-devel mesa-libGL-devel mesa-libGLU-devel SDL2-devel glew-devel openal-soft-devel
sudo dnf groupinstall "C Development Tools and Libraries"

Now download the source from GitHub.

git clone

FreeOrion: Build and install

Create a directory for the build.

mkdir freeorion_build
cd freeorion_build/

Now build FreeOrion. If you have a multi-core processor, you can add -j# to the make command. Substitute # with the number of cores on your system as below. If you don’t know, it’s safe to leave this option off.

cmake ../freeorion
make -j4
sudo make install

You can now find the game in your applications list. In GNOME Shell, hit the logo button, or move your mouse to the Activities hot corner to find it in the list:

FreeOrion in Application List

The game has a built-in guide (‘Pedia) with valuable instructions on how the game is played. Below you can also find a game play and tutorial video.

There are many more videos posted on YouTube. In addition, there is a quick start guide available on-line. Enjoy the game!



Using Software


  1. Donnie

    You left off python-devel from your dependencies.

    • Thanks for catching that. Corrected the article.

    • Chui

      First Excuse me , my english was learned reading in the WEB.
      Thank you , without your instructions I would not have been able to install Freeorion because I have not idea about linux orders, commands….
      I am beginner about linux’s operative system.
      Another thing….
      You posted “You can now find the game in your applications list. In GNOME Shell, hit the logo button, or move your mouse to the Activities hot corner to find it in the list”
      It has not been installed a shorcout in list,. in GNOME Shell, I need to open a terminal and to acces to directory Freeorion. Then I call Freeorion .

  2. Frederik

    It apperas freeorion won’t compile cleanly on a 64 bit installation. Pretty sad considering that most computers today use 64 bit chips.

    The real problem is that the when building, the build system links against /usr/lib/, instead of the appropriate system specific one (/usr/lib64/ in this case). You can solve this by copying or linking /usr/lib64/ to /usr/lib/

  3. Ph0zzy

    why not rpm-buildment?

  4. DDdW

    I had to install gcc and gcc-c++ on a fresh install to make this work

  5. Excuse me for the silly question, but I am not fond of computer games, but everything about Linux interest me.
    Is it an online game?

  6. roger

    getting error bash: mesa-libGL-devel: command not found

    after running mesa-libGL-devel mesa-libGLU-devel SDL2-devel glew-devel openal-soft-devel

  7. These instructions will check out and build the latest master. Which is ok if you want to play with the most recent development version of FreeOrion, however, if you want to play with the latest stable release (currently 0.4.6) you need to issue the following command (after you’ve downloaded the source from github via the “git clone” command):

    git checkout v0.4.6

    Then proceed as decribed in the article.

    (Of course, once new stable releases are available, you need to replace the “v0.4.6” by the respective version tag.)

  8. Thanks for the blog entry; it inspired me to package Free Orion up as RPMs. The RPMs are packaged for Fedora 23 and 24 here:

    I had to create a patch to make it possible because the build script depends on some content pulled from the git tool. It would do this and automatically generates some of the header files dynamically. I bypassed that with the patch here:

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