Building OVITO on Linux

The following instructions have been written for Ubuntu Linux 22.04 and compatible distributions.

Installing dependencies

First, install the required build tools and third-party libraries as follows:


OVITO requires the Qt cross-platform framework (version 6.2 or higher). We recommend using the newest release of the Qt framework, which is available as a download from Alternatively, you can use the Qt6 development files provided by the package manager of your Linux distro.

Ubuntu / Debian:
sudo apt-get install build-essential git cmake-curses-gui qt6-base-dev libqt6svg6-dev \
      libboost-dev libavcodec-dev libavdevice-dev libavfilter-dev libavformat-dev \
      libavutil-dev libswscale-dev libnetcdf-dev libhdf5-dev libhdf5-serial-dev \
      libglu1-mesa-dev libvulkan-dev ninja-build \
      libssh-dev python3-sphinx python3-sphinx-rtd-theme
sudo zypper install git cmake gcc-c++ qt6-concurrent-devel qt6-core-devel qt6-gui-devel \
       qt6-network-devel qt6-dbus-devel qt6-opengl-devel qt6-printsupport-devel \
       qt6-widgets-devel qt6-xml-devel qt6-svg-devel libavutil-devel libavresample-devel \
       libavfilter-devel libavcodec-devel libavdevice-devel netcdf-devel libssh-devel \
       boost-devel hdf5-devel libswscale-devel ninja
# Activate the RPMfusion repository providing the ffmpeg package (optional):
sudo dnf install \$(rpm -E %fedora).noarch.rpm \$(rpm -E %fedora).noarch.rpm

sudo dnf install git cmake g++ qt6-qtbase-devel qt6-qtsvg-devel boost-devel zlib-devel ninja-build \
                 ffmpeg-devel netcdf-devel libssh-devel python3-sphinx python3-sphinx_rtd_theme
RHEL / CentOS:
sudo yum install epel-release
sudo yum install git gcc gcc-c++ cmake qt6-qtbase-devel qt6-qtsvg-devel qt6-qttools-devel \
                     boost-devel netcdf-devel hdf5-devel libssh-devel

These RHEL/CentOS packages allow building only a basic version of OVITO without video encoding support and documentation. In order to build a complete version, other dependencies must be installed manually.

Getting the source code

Download the source repository of OVITO into a new subdirectory named ovito/:

git clone --recursive

Compiling OVITO

Create a build directory and let CMake generate a Makefile:

cd ovito
mkdir build
cd build
cmake -G Ninja -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Release ..

If this step fails, you can now run ccmake . to start up the CMake configuration program and adjust the build options as needed.

To build OVITO run:

cmake --build . --parallel

If this step is successful, the ovito executable can be found in the directory ovito/build/bin/. The command cmake --build . --target documentation builds the HTML pages of the user manual (requires Sphinx Python package and Sphinx RTD theme).