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Compiling POV-Ray

The following sections will help you to compile the portable C source code into a working executable version of POV-Ray. They are only for those people who want to compile a custom version of POV-Ray or to port it to an unsupported platform or compiler.

The first question you should ask yourself before proceeding is "Do I really need to compile POV-Ray at all?" Official POV-Team executable versions are available for MS-Dos, Windows 95/98/NT, Mac 68k, Mac Power PC, Amiga, Linux for Intel x86, and SunOS. Other unofficial compiles may soon be available for other platforms. If you do not intend to add any custom or experimental features to the program and if an executable already exists for your platform then you need not compile this program yourself.

If you do want to proceed you should be aware that you are very nearly on your own. The following sections and other related compiling documentation assume you know what you are doing. It assumes you have an adequate C compiler installed and working. It assumes you know how to compile and link large, multi-part programs using a "make" utility or an IDE project file if your compiler supports them. Because makefiles and project files often specify drive, directory or path information, we cannot promise our makefiles or projects will work on your system. We assume you know how to make changes to makefiles and projects to specify where your system libraries and other necessary files are located.

In general you should not expect any technical support from the POV-Team on how to compile the program. Everything is provided here as is. All we can say with any certainty is that we were able to compile it on our systems. If it doesn't work for you we probably cannot tell you why.

There is no technical documentation for the source code itself except for the comments in the source files. We try our best to write clear, well- commented code but some sections are barely commented at all and some comments may be out dated. We do not provide any technical support to help you to add features. We do not explain how a particular feature works. In some instances, the person who wrote a part of the program is no longer active in the Team and we don't know exactly how it works.

When making any custom version of POV-Ray or any unofficial compile, please make sure you read and follow all provisions of our license in POVLEGAL.DOC. In general you can modify and use POV-Ray on your own however you want but if you distribute your unofficial version you must follow our rules. You may not under any circumstances use portions of POV-Ray source code in other programs.

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