• A built-in CMake option, re-exposed here for visibility. If enabled, it builds shared libraries; otherwise, it builds only static libraries. To dynamically link to the SDK, you must define the USEIMPORTEXPORT symbol.
  • BUILDSHAREDLIBS - build shared library (DLL under Windows) when ON, build static library othervise. This option is OFF by default. BUILDPROGRAMS - build libsndfile's utilities from programs/ directory, ON by default. BUILDEXAMPLES - build examples, ON by default. BUILDTESTING - build tests.
  1. Build_shared_libs On
  2. Build_shared_libs Opencv
  3. Build_shared_libs Default
  • 2Prerequisites
    • 2.1Download And Install CMake
      • 2.1.1Using Binaries
      • 2.1.2Build Your Own CMake
    • 2.5Download ParaView Source Code
      • 2.5.1Download The Release
      • 2.5.2Checkout Development Version from git
    • 2.6Configure ParaView With CMake
      • 2.6.6Finish Configuring ParaView
    • 2.7Build ParaView
    • 2.8Run ParaView from build
  • 3Install ParaView
    • 3.2Installing
    • 3.6Notes
  • 4Frequently Asked Questions

Global flag to cause addlibrary to create shared libraries if on. If present and true, this will cause all libraries to be built shared unless the library was explicitly added as a static library. # I want just static libs, just for this package set(ROSBUILDSTATICLIBS true) set(ROSBUILDSHAREDLIBS false) NOTE: this ordering is a little non-intuitive, in that the setting in the package's CMakeLists.txt is overridden by the settings in the rosconfig.cmake files. BUILDSHAREDLIBS: This boolean option controls whether you build SFML as dynamic (shared) libraries, or as static ones. This option should not be enabled simultaneously with SFMLUSESTATICSTDLIBS, they are mutually exclusive. SFMLBUILDFRAMEWORKS (macOS only).

This page has been replaced by build documentation in the paraview repository. However it still contains more details and options that may be useful in specific cases.

This page has been updated for ParaView 5.3, and is applicable for ParaView 5.0 and above. For ParaView 3.98 to 4.4 please refer to the past version of this document. For ParaView 3.14.1 and earlier versions, refer to the past version of this document.

This page describes how to build and install ParaView. It covers both the released and the development versions, both Unix-type systems (Linux, HP-UX, Solaris, Mac), as well as Windows.

ParaView depends on several open source tools and libraries such as Python, Qt, CGNS, HDF5, etc. Some of these are included in the ParaView source itself (e.g. HDF5), while others are expected to be present on the machine on which ParaView is being built (e.g. Python, Qt, CGNS). Based on whether you want to build ParaView along with all the external tools it needs or you want to build the external tools yourself (or use versions already available on your system), there are two ways to build ParaView from source.

  1. To build ParaView complete with all the dependencies it needs, use the ParaView Super-Build instructions.
  2. To build ParaView source itself by providing existing installations/builds of the external dependencies, typical for plugin developers and users, use the instructions on this page.
  • The ParaView build process requires CMake version 3.3 or higher and a working compiler. On Unix-like operating systems, it also requires Make, while on Windows it requires Visual Studio (2008 prior is supported, though 2013 or 2015 is recommended).
  • Building ParaView's user interface requires Qt, official version is 5.9, minimum version is 5.6. To compile ParaView, either the LGPL or commercial versions of Qt may be used.

ParaView cannot be built with Qt4 anymore.

  • In order to run ParaView in parallel, MPI [1] ([2] for windows) is also required.
  • In order to use scripting, Python is required (version 2.7.13 is known to work, as well as python 3.6. Make sure to install the right version for your compiler) [3].
  • Also note, for Windows builds, unix-like environments such as Cygwin, MinGW are not supported.

Download And Install CMake

CMake is a tool that makes cross-platform building simple. On several systems it will probably be already installed. If it is not, please use the following instructions to install it. If CMake does not exist on the system nor in the package management of your system, and there are no pre-compiled binaries, use the instructions below on how to build it. Use the most recent source or binary version of CMake from the CMake web site.

Using Binaries

There are several precompiled binaries available at the CMake download page.

On Unix-like operating systems

Let's say on Linux, download the appropriate version and follow these instructions:

  • Download:
  • Now you have the directory $HOME/software/cmake-2.8.8-Linux-i386/bin, and inside there are executables cmake and ccmake.
  • You can also install CMake in the /usr/local or /opt by untaring and copying sub-directories. The rest of the instructions will assume the executables are in your $PATH.

On Windows

  • Download the installer:
  • Follow the installation instructions

On Windows, if you are not administrator

  • Download:
  • Uncompress into some directory
  • Optional: create a shortcut on the desktop.

Build Your Own CMake

On Unix-like operating systems

Download the source code:

  • Again, you can install it in /usr/local or /opt by changing the prefix.

On Windows

To build CMake on windows, a previous version of CMake is required. This can be downloaded from the Cmake download page: [4].

Download And Install Qt

ParaView uses Qt as its GUI library. Qt is required whenever the ParaView client is built.

  • As stated above, the LGPL of Qt can be found at [5].
    • The recommended way to install Qt on Linux is by using the Qt5 package of your distribution if it is at least of version 5.6, ideally 5.9.
    • In other case it is possible to, by order of recommandation :
      • Install a Qt binary package. Use the latest stable version of qt-PLATFORM-opensource-VERSION.[tar.gz or zip or dmg]. If this gives you trouble, version 5.9.0 is known to work. When downloading binaries, ensure that your compiler version matches the Qt compiler indicated. On Windows, make sure to use the build corresponding to your system and version of visual studio.
      • Build from source. Use the latest stable version of qt-everywhere-opensource-src-VERSION.[tar.gz or zip or dmg]. If this gives you trouble, version 5.9.0 is known to work.

Download And Install ffmpeg (.avi) movie libraries

When the ability to write .avi files is desired, and writing these files is not supported by the OS, ParaView can attach to an ffmpeg library. This is generally true for Linux. Ffmpeg library source code is found here: [6]

Download And Install MESA 3D libraries

ParaView uses the OpenGL graphics drivers and card from a user's workstation. When you want to run ParaView's servers on a platform that does not include hardware OpenGL support, you must use MESA to emulate this hardware in software. Mesa is open source, and it can be downloaded from here: [7].

There is a known problem with MESA version 7.8.2 and ParaView. This has been reported to the MESA team. Version 7.7.1 has been tested and seems to work correctly as well as 7.9.

Build as follows:

  • make realclean
  • make TARGET (for instance, make linux-x86-64)

Note - some platforms will complain during ParaView compiles about needing fPIC. In the configs directory, copy your platform file to another custom file, edit it, and add -fPIC to the compile lines. For instance, cp linux-x86-64 linux-x86-64-fPIC.

For more elaborate discussion on building with Mesa/OSMesa support, refer to ParaView And Mesa_3D.

Download ParaView Source Code

If you are trying to build a ParaView release, download it from the release page. For the development version, please follow the instructions below for checking it out from git.

Download The Release

Don't forget that you can always just download the binaries from the ParaView download page. This page contains binaries for several platforms and the source code for the releases.

Note: debian build

List of packages to build ParaView on Debian:

libphonon-dev libphonon4 libxt-dev g++ gcc cmake-curses-gui mesa-common-dev qt5

With MPI (using openmpi, you can use any other flavour):

openmpi-common openmpi-bin libopenmpi-dev

With Python:


Checkout Development Version from git

Note that you may need to download and install a git client, here: [8]

On Windows

We recommend git for windows. git for windows provides a git bash that has the appropriate environment set up for using git and it's tools. You will then be able to use git the same way is in the linux part.

Configure ParaView With CMake

  • Always use a separate build directory. Do not build in the source directory.

On Unix-like systems

  • Use ccmake (Curses CMake GUI) from the CMake installed location. CCMake is a Curses based GUI for CMake. To run it go to the build directory and specify as an argument the src directory.

About CCMake (Curses CMake GUI)

  • Iterative process.
    • Select values, run configure (c key).
    • Set the settings, run configure, set the settings, run configure, etc.
  • Repeat until all values are set and the generate option is available (g key).
  • Some variables (advanced variables) are not visible right away.
  • To see advanced varables, toggle to advanced mode (t key).
  • To set a variable, move the cursor to the variable and press enter.
    • If it is a boolean (ON/OFF) it will flip the value.
    • If it is string or file, it will allow editing of the string.
    • For file and directories, the <tab> key can be used to complete.
  • To search for a variable press '/' key; to repeat the search, press the 'n' key.

On Windows

  • Use CMakeSetup from the CMake install location.
  • Make sure to select the appropriate source and the build directory.
  • Also, make sure to pick the appropriate generator (on Visual Studio 2013, pick the Visual Studio 12 2013 generator). Some CMake versions will ask you to select the generator the first time you press Configure instead of having a drop-down menu in the main dialog.

About CMakeSetup (Windows CMake GUI)

  • Iterative process.
    • Select values, press the Configure button.
    • Set the settings, run configure, set the settings, run configure, etc.
  • Repeat until all values are set and the OK button becomes available.
  • Some variables (advanced variables) are not visible right away.
  • To see advanced varables, toggle to advanced mode ('Show Advanced Values' toggle).
  • To set the value of a variable, click on that value.
    • If it is boolean (ON/OFF), a drop-down menu will appear for changing the value.
    • If it is file or directory, an ellipsis button will appear ('...') on the far right of the entry. Clicking this button will bring up the file or directory selection dialog.
    • If it is a string, it will become an editable string.

ParaView Settings

BUILD_SHARED_LIBSIf ON, use shared libraries. This way executables are smaller, but you have to make sure the shared libraries are on every system on the cluster. This option should be set to ON if you plan on using plugins for ParaView (they are ways to use plugins in static builds of ParaView for advanced users).
BUILD_TESTINGIf ON, tests will be built and related data downloaded. Unless you have a specific needs for this, it is recommended to set it to OFF to speed up the compilation.
PARAVIEW_USE_MPITurn this to ON to enable MPI. Other MPI options will not be available until you turn this on.
MPI_C_LIBRARIESPaths to the MPI libraries (such as /usr/lib/ Should be found by default, but you may have to set it. Certain mpi implementations need more than one library. All the libraries can be specified by separating them with a ';'. (see the note below)
MPI_C_INCLUDE_PATHPath to MPI includes (such as /usr/include/mpi). Again, this should be found by default.
PARAVIEW_ENABLE_PYTHONMakes Python client scripting and the Python programmable filter available. You will also need to setup the following variables:
PYTHON_LIBRARY: Should point to your python*.lib file. For example on Windows: C:/Python27/libs/python27.lib
PYTHON_INCLUDE_DIR: Should point to the include directory inside your Python installation. For example on Windows: C:/Python27/include
PYTHON_EXECUTABLE: Should point to the python executable file. For example on Windows: C:/Python27/python.exe
PARAVIEW_BUILD_QT_GUIFlag to enable/disable the building of the ParaView Qt-based client. This option is useful when building ParaView on server nodes or when we are only interested in the Python client, as it avoids building of the Qt client thus does not require Qt. ON by default.
PARAVIEW_QT_VERSIONMake sure it is set to the major version of Qt you are using.
Qt5_DIRPath to the directory of Qt5 containing the description of Qt5 installation on this computer via Qt5Config.cmake. On a windows binary version of Qt it may be in C:QtQt5.6.25.6msvc2013_64libcmakeQt5
PARAVIEW_USE_VISITBRIDGEEnable VisItBridge that adds support for additional file formats (requires Boost)

Note for MPI settings: If your MPI variables aren't set automatically (usually the case if the compiler wrapper [mpicxx] is not in the path or in some standard directory), toggle advanced options and set MPI_COMPILER variable to the full path of your mpi compiler (usually mpicxx), and configure. This should set all the required MPI variables. If not, then you might need to enter them manually.
If you get an error such as 'mpi.h: no such file or directory' then set the CMAKE_C_FLAGS= -lmpi and the CMAKE_CXX_FLAGS= -lmpi++ . This is in addition to the MPI variables.

Finish Configuring ParaView

Using CCMake

  • Once all configuration options are set, you should be able to just run <generate> (g key).

Using CMakeSetup

  • Once all configuration options are set, you should be able to just run <generate>.

Build ParaView

You can now build ParaView using the appropriate build system.

Some considerations about the size of the final build (measuring the folders size after compiling with Visual Studio 2010):

  • Total 'Build' folder's size: 7.1 GB
  • Total 'Build/bin/Debug' folder's size: 1.8 GB
  • Total 'Build/bin/Release' folder's size: 96 MB (as you are developing plugins it is recommended to build for Debug though)

Using Make

CMake will now generate Make files. These make files have all dependencies and all rules to build ParaView on this system. You should not however try to move the build directory to another location on this system or to another system.

Once you have makefiles you should be able to just type:

  • If you are on multi-processor system (let's say four processor), you can type:

Using Visual Studio

  • CMake will now create Visual Studio project files. Before you open Visual Studio, be sure that the Qt .dlls are in your path.
  • You should now be able to open the ParaView project (or workspace) file, CMake GUI also provide a bouton to autmatically open the project. Make sure to set the build type is set to Debug (you can also set it to 'Release' but it's recommended to use 'Debug' as it will give you more information in case of errors, while on 'Release' Paraview it will be harder to figure out problems).
  • To build ParaView, simply build the ALL_BUILD target (this may take more than 6 hours depending on the speed of the build machine).

[[Image:Brpv now be able to open the ParaView project (or workspace) file, CMake GUI also provide a bouton to autmatically open the project. Make sure to set the build type is set to Debug (you can also set it to 'Release' but it's recommended to use 'Debug' as it will give you more information in case of errors, while on 'Release' Paraview it will be harder to figure out problems).

  • To build ParaView, simply build the ALL_BUILD target (this may take more than 6 hours depending on the speed of the build machine).

Run ParaView from build

You can now run ParaView before installing it

On Unix-like

Once you have makefiles you should be able to just type:

On Windows

  • Add QT binaries dir to your PATH environment variable, It could be C:QtQt5.6.25.6msvc2013_64bin
  • restart Visual Studio
  • Right-click on paraview project, set as Start-up project
  • Right-click on paraview project -> Properties
  • Configuration -> All Configuration
  • Configuration Properties -> Debugging -> Environnement -> edit
  • PATH=C:QtQt5.6.25.6msvc2013_64bin;%PATH%;
  • Debug -> Start (Without) Debugging
  • Or alternativelly, run paraview.exe in file explorer

ParaView can be run directly from the build directory. That said, for production environments, it should be installed in some system location.

For that purpose simply follow these instructions to install to an appropriate location. (these need to be updated for Windows). Note that ParaView is designed to install what it builds. Thus only the libraries and executables that ParaView builds are installed. For example, these instructions will not install Qt or ffmpeg libraries to the specified location. If you are interested in creating a binary package that is complete and can be distributed to other users/systems, you may want to refer to ParaView Super-Build.

CMake Variables

Some of the CMake variables that affect installation rules are:

CMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX<path>Set this to the root of the location where you want ParaView to be installed. Make sure this directory exists. For unix based systems and windows, ParaView will be installed under bin/ lib/ directories under this install prefix. This option is not available on Mac OSX.
CMAKE_BUILD_TYPEReleaseUnless you want to end up with debug install, set this to Release.
PARAVIEW_INSTALL_DEVELOPMENT_FILESOFF/ONTo install development files, including headers, so that developers can build plugins/custom-applications using the installed version of ParaView, set this to ON. Currently, this option is not available on Mac OSX or Windows.
MACOSX_APP_INSTALL_PREFIX<path>Set this to the location where you want ParaView to install the app bundle on 'make install'. This option is only available on Mac OSX


Following the configuration, simply run 'make' to compile and build.

On Unix-like operating systems:

This will install all the relevant files in directories under the CMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX. The executables are installed in ${CMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX}/bin and the libraries are installed in ${CMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX}/lib/paraview-${major}.${minor}.

On Windows:

  • Right-click on INSTALL target -> Build

This will install all the relevant files in directories under the CMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX. The executables are installed in ${CMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX}/bin and the libraries are installed in ${CMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX}/lib/paraview-${major}.${minor}.

On Mac:

This will create an app bundle in the directory specified by MACOSX_APP_INSTALL_PREFIX. This app bundle will have the main application executable under APP/Contents/MacOS, libraries under APP/Contents/Libraries, plugins under APP/Contents/Plugins, and additional executables such as the server executables and python executables under APP/Conents/bin.

Notes on Mac OSX

On Mac OSX, 'make install' will install an app bundle to the location specified by MACOSX_APP_INSTALL_PREFIX. This app will contain all the ParaView libraries, plugins, python scripts, etc. that were built by ParaView. You can move this app around on the same machine like a regular app and it will work without any problems. Note, however, that this is not a redistributable app bundle. You cannot ship this off to your friend and expect it to work. This app does not include any *external dependencies*, such Qt libraries, or Python libraries, and has references to the versions that you used to build ParaView. This is not unique to Mac OSX, but to all other plaforms as well. 'make install' is used to install runtimes to be used on the same machine. To generate redistributable packages, refer to ParaView Super-Build instructions.

Notes on VM with linux

There is little success in using graphic acceleration from the VM manager, the easiest way to go is to use mesa as usual. However, you may encounter the following warning :

This is due to the fact that mesa does not detect correctly the VM emulated opengl capabilities, and default to a too basic context. To fix it, you just need to setMESA_GL_VERSION_OVERRIDE=3.3 (or an higher version)

Miscellaneous Comments

  • Build trees of ParaView on non-Windows systems, always have RPATH information embedded in the binaries. When a make install is performed or CPACK is used, all RPATH information is stripped from the binaries in the install tree (expect for paths to external libraries). By default ParaView builds forwarding executables (launchers) that are installed in the bin directory. These binaries properly set up the environment to launch the equivalent executable in the lib/paraview-x.y directory.
  • If you are compiling a MESA version of the ParaView server, start the server with the --use-offscreen-memory flag.


Environment Variables

If you build with shared libraries, you may have to add the Qt directory to you PATH environment variables to run ParaView. With Windows, one way to do so is to open up the environment variables dialog by clicking through Start Control Panel System Advanced Environment Variables. From that dialog, add a new user variable called PATH with a value of C:Qt5.6.2bin. For other operating systems, add Qt/5.6.2/lib to your LD_LIBRARY_PATH environment variable.

If you experience the error 'Cannot Mix Incompatible Qt Library' with QHelpGenerator, just set QT_PLUGIN_PATH to the correct qt_dir/plugins/platform.

'make install' does not install ffmpeg and other libraries as it did with 3.14.1 and earlier. Is this a bug?

Build_shared_libs On

This is a deliberate change. It was decided that ParaView should install only what it builds. Since ParaView doesn't build ffmpeg, it doesn't add install rules to install it. If you are interested in creating a package that includes all files ParaView depends on so that you can distribute to other, refer toParaView Super-Build. That is supposed to do exactly that.

How do I generate a distributable ParaView package?

Refer to ParaView Super-Build. That is the process we use to generate the official binaries that are distributed on It streamlines the process of building all the depedencies for ParaView and then packaging them into installables or tarballs.

Do I need BUILD_SHARED_LIBS set to be ON if I want to enable Python scripting?

No. In ParaView 3.14.1 and earlier, this was indeed the case, ParaView required that BUILD_SHARED_LIBS was ON if Python support was to be enabled. That is no longer the case. BUILD_SHARED_LIBS and PARAVIEW_ENABLE_PYTHON can now be managed independently.

Build_shared_libs Opencv

ParaView: [Welcome Site Map]

Build_shared_libs Default

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