Building Bitfighter

From Bitfighter

This page is dedicated to getting Bitfighter to build on your system of choice. Some useful links:

Also, please see the README.txt included in the source.

Source Code

Bitfighter has migrated to Git to manage the source code, on the GitHub website. Here is some useful Git information:

The Bitfighter code can be found here:

If you have Git installed, you can easily check out a copy of the source code by running this command in a terminal in a folder of your chosing:

git clone bitfighter

After checking out the code, if you don't want to compile the current development version, you can update to a specific released version. To see a list of released versions, type in:

git tag

We recommend to always chose the latest release as the build instructions for older releases will be different that what is shown here on this wiki page. Update to a release that you want:

git checkout bitfighter-019f


We have migrated to [CMake] for Windows builds in version 019 and later (and currently in the most recent development code). Note that we recommend using Visual Studio 2017 (though other versions will work) for the building environment on Windows. To build:

  1. Install CMake from
  2. In a terminal, change to the 'build' directory in the bitfighter source code tree.
  3. Run the following command (A list of CMake 'generators' for different build environments can be found [here]):
    • cmake -G "Visual Studio 17 2022" -A x64 .. # Substitute a different generator if you like
      • To target Windows XP, add the proper toolset to the CMake command: cmake -G "Visual Studio 15 2017" -T "v141_xp" ..
  4. Open the resulting Visual Studio solution file
  5. To run and debug, you may need to right click "Bitfighter" in solution explorer, and choose "Set as StartUp Project" (the active project is shown in bold text)
  6. If the game starts, but you can't find the window, try running the debug build from the cmdline (in the exe folder) like this: bitfighter_debug.exe -window -winwidth 600 -winpos 4 28; then quit the game and it should run fine moving forward. This is a rare issue.


Detailed Instructions

Bitfighter should build on any major flavor of Linux. It has been tested and is known to work on Ubuntu, LinuxMint, Centos, Fedora, Debian, Mandriva and openSUSE. If you can not get it to work, you can try running it in wine: [1]

Bitfighter has several common, open source dependencies, which can be easily installed:

  • sudo apt-get install cmake libphysfs-dev libsdl2-dev libopenal-dev libvorbis-dev libmodplug-dev libspeex-dev

You must install these and their development headers using your distribution's preferred method. The development headers for these libraries have similar names with a suffix, for example:

  • libvorbis-dev or vorbis-devel

You will also need the following to compile:

  • cmake version 3+ (sometimes called cmake3)
  • make
  • gcc / g++

Once your dependencies are installed, you can build bitfighter with these steps:

  1. cd build
  2. cmake .. [or cmake3 ..]
  3. make

If you want to build a dedicated server (with no GUI), replace the 'make' step above with:

  1. make bitfighterd

Next, you'll need to copy the resources to where the executable was built:

  1. cd ../exe
  2. cp -r ../resource/* .

And if you wish to run in standalone mode, create a standalone.txt file in the 'exe' folder to trigger this mode:

  1. touch standalone.txt

Centos Dedicated Server Instructions (Easy!)

Building a dedicated server on a typical clean Centos 5 or 6 virtual server instance

# We recommend that you install and run a dedicated bitfighter server with a special 
# user account used only for this purpose, that does not have root access.

# First, create a bitfighter user; you can skip this step if you want to use an 
# existing account
useradd bitfighter       # Create the account
passwd bitfighter        # Set the password.  Pick a good one!

# Do the following as a user that has sudo privileges

sudo yum update    # system should be up to date

# The following sets up the EPEL repository for extra packages (needed for newer git)
# Choose one based on your server architecture
# 32 bit:
sudo rpm -Uvh
# 64 bit:
sudo rpm -Uvh

sudo yum install git gcc gcc-c++ zip ncurses-devel readline-devel patch cmake3 screen

# Do the following as the bitfighter user
su bitfighter
cd ~

# Get the source code -- this will create a folder called bitfighter in your 
# current location.  This may take a couple of minutes!
git clone bitfighter

# Update to the tag/revision you want
cd bitfighter
git checkout bitfighter-019f

# Build the dedicated server (called bitfighterd)
cd build
cmake3 ..          # Creates a Makefile for the next step; may emit warnings
make bitfighterd

# Copy required files into exe folder (found at the root of the code tree):
cd ../exe
cp -r ../resource/* .
touch standalone.txt   # Tell bitfighterd to run in portable mode (don't skip this!!)


We have migrated to CMake for OS X as well. You must have the following software installed (in addition to the bitfighter source code):

  1. CMake
  2. XCode (includes development libraries and compilers)

To build:

  1. Open a terminal
  2. Set up the compatibility environment by running:
  3. change into the 'build' directory within the Bitfighter source
  4. Run CMake:
    • cmake ..
  5. Build with 'make':
    • make Bitfighter
  6. The .app will be built in the 'exe' sub-folder of the main bitfighter source directory

Building with XCode is supported with CMake, but it is untested with Bitfighter. To do so:

  1. Open a terminal
  2. Set up the compatibility environment by running:
  3. change into the 'build' directory within the Bitfighter source
  4. Run CMake using the Xcode generator:
    • cmake -G Xcode ..
  5. This will create an Xcode project within the 'build' directory that you can open


  1. Bitfighter user settings are found in $HOME/Library/Application Support/Bitfighter