Introduction to SDL

The Simple DirectMedia Layer (SDL for short) is a cross-platform library designed to make it easy to write multimedia software, such as games and emulators.

Package Information

SDL Dependencies


ALSA-1.0.9, EsounD-0.2.35, aRts-1.4.1, NAS-1.7, NASM-0.98.39, X (XFree86-4.5.0 or, AAlib-1.4rc5, DirectFB, SVGAlib, GNU Pth, Qtopia and PicoGUI

Installation of SDL

Install SDL by running the following commands:

./configure --prefix=/usr --disable-debug &&

Now, as the root user:

make install &&
install -v -m755 -d /usr/share/doc/SDL-1.2.8/html &&
install -v -m644 docs/html/*.html /usr/share/doc/SDL-1.2.8/html

Command Explanations

--disable-debug: This switch configures SDL to build with aggressive optimizations.

--enable-video-aalib: This switch is required to build SDL with AAlib video support.

Testing SDL

It is advisable to test the installation of SDL using the included test programs. It is not required to install any of the resulting binaries to validate the installation. Issue the following commands to build the test programs:

cd test &&
./configure &&

You'll need to manually run all the test programs.

Configuring SDL

Configuration Information

As with most libraries, there is no configuration to do, save that the library directory i.e., /opt/lib or /usr/local/lib should appear in /etc/ so that ldd can find the shared libraries. After checking that this is the case, /sbin/ldconfig should be run while logged in as root.


Installed Program: sdl-config
Installed Libraries: libSDL*.[so,a]
Installed Directories: /usr/include/SDL and /usr/share/doc/SDL-1.2.8

Short Descriptions


determines the compile and linker flags that should be used to compile and link programs that use libSDL.


libraries provide low level access to audio, keyboard, mouse, joystick, 3D hardware via OpenGL, and 2D frame buffer across multiple platforms.

Last updated on 2005-08-01 13:29:19 -0600