Building LÖVE

O.png This page is still incomplete, you are likely to be eaten by a grue.  

O.png This page has information on compiling the LÖVE source code. This is only necessary if you want to make modifications or additions to the framework itself. If you just want to code a game in Lua, go back to Getting Started.  

Still interested? Okay. Follow these three steps and you'll have your very own LÖVE binary:

  1. Getting the source
  2. Dependencies
  3. Building

1. Getting the source

The official repository of LÖVE is hosted on bitbucket.

You can download the source code either by downloading an archive from one of the tags on the download page or by installing mercurial and cloning the repository. Many linux distributions have a mercurial package in their repositories. Windows and OS X users can get the official binary from selenic.

To create a clone with mercurial open a terminal or command prompt, go to the directory that you want to download the source code folder to and use the following commands:

hg clone

This will create a love folder and download the latest source code into it.

If you want to use the source code of a specific version, go into the love directory and issue one of the following commands:

hg update 0.8.0		# any (released) version from 0.6.0 onwards.
hg update 0.7.2
hg update minor		# the minor branch, where development is done for the next 0.x.0 version when there's still a 0.y.z version to be released.
hg update default	# back to the standard, the next release.
hg update tip		# to the last commit, regardless of branch.

2. Dependencies

LÖVE uses several open source libraries such as Lua, DevIL for images, and libvorbis for audio. Those libraries and their development files are required to successfully build LÖVE. It's possible to build every dependency yourself, but this is out of the scope of this page. The following explains how you can get prebuilt binaries instead.


The dependencies and instructions for LÖVE 0.9.0+ can be found here.

Mac OS X

The required pre-built frameworks are available here. Place the frameworks in /Library/Frameworks/ in order for LÖVE's Xcode project to recognize them.


Download the development packages of the dependencies from the repository of your distribution.

Ubuntu and Debian Jessie onwards

sudo apt-get install build-essential autotools-dev automake libtool pkg-config libdevil-dev libfreetype6-dev libluajit-5.1-dev libphysfs-dev libsdl2-dev libopenal-dev libogg-dev libvorbis-dev libflac-dev libflac++-dev libmodplug-dev libmpg123-dev libmng-dev libturbojpeg

These are taken from the platform/unix/debian/ file in the repository.

For the 0.9.0 branch, older versions of Ubuntu need the latest libsdl2-dev packages, which can be found via this ppa:

If you get an error during the build complaining about libturbojpeg, you must first fix a bug in Ubuntu, then run `configure` again:

ln -s /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/ /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/

Arch Linux

pacman -S devil flac freetype2 glibc libmodplug libvorbis lua51 mesa mpg123 openal physfs sdl # 0.6.x
pacman -S devil freetype2 libmodplug libvorbis lua51 mpg123 openal physfs sdl # 0.7.x
pacman -S luajit physfs freetype2 devil mpg123 openal libvorbis libmodplug sdl2 shared-mime-info hicolor-icon-theme desktop-file-utils # for 0.9.x (taken from package in repository)


yum install freetype-devel glibc-devel libmpg123-devel libmodplug-devel physfs-devel mesa-libGL-devel openal-soft-devel DevIL-devel libvorbis-devel SDL-devel libmng-devel libtiff-devel lua-devel gcc-c++ libtool  luajit luajit-devel libtheora-devel

Please note that libmpg123-devel is in the rpmfusion-free repository.

Debian Wheezy

Install the following packages (using aptitude or apt):

aptitude install build-essential automake libtool libphysfs-dev libsdl-dev libopenal-dev liblua5.1-0-dev libdevil-dev libmodplug-dev libfreetype6-dev libmpg123-dev libvorbis-dev libmng-dev libxpm-dev libxcursor-dev libXxf86vm-dev

Afterwards, just build it like it is mentioned below, but passing the --with-lua=lua option to ./configure

If you want or need to use LuaJIT, you will need to either backport the Debian packaged from Jessie, or build it from the upstream source.

Mageia 2

urpmi make automake autoconf libopenal-devel libtool libtool-base libphysfs-devel libSDL-devel lua liblua-devel libdevil-devel libmodplug-devel libfreetype6-devel libmpg123-devel libvorbis-devel libmng-devel libxpm-devel libxcursor-devel libxxf86vm-devel


emerge -va lua physfs libsdl opengl devil freetype openal libvorbis mpg123 libmodplug

Make sure you have autotools installed (which should normally be the case):

emerge -va automake autoconf libtool

Other distributions

Any other distribution will most likely have the dependencies in their repositories too, possibly with slightly different package names.

3. Building


Follow the instructions at the megasource repository page to build LÖVE 0.9.0+.

Be sure to keep the required DLLs in the same folder as love.exe when running the executable.

Mac OS X

Open the love.xcodeproj file with Xcode and press 'build', or use the xcodebuild command-line utility.


Use the automagic script to generate the configure file and then run configure and make as usual.

Be aware that if you got your source from the LÖVE homepage your configure script has been pre-generated. This means that the ./platform/unix/automagic step should be skipped.


Your LÖVE binary will end up in the src directory.

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