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Users running Linux distros have to build Dolphin from source. Dolphin is compatible with x86-64 and AArch64 Linux distributions. This is a guide to compiling Dolphin using the cmake build system.

For help on building on Ubuntu-based distros, such as Linux Mint, Elementary OS, Zorin OS, Bodhi Linux, Deepin, Linux Lite, Pinguy OS, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Lubuntu, Ubuntu GNOME, Edubuntu, Ubuntu Studio or Mythbuntu, see the instructions for Ubuntu below.

Step 1 - Installing the Dependencies


Follow the steps below only if you like to make your own package or use a specific git commit version. There's a PPA with Dolphin already built, easy to use.

18.04 LTS and up

Follow this step for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS and later. It probably also works for Debian GNU/Linux 10.
Install all necessary packages by running the following command:

sudo apt install --no-install-recommends ca-certificates qt6-base-dev qt6-base-private-dev libqt6svg6-dev git cmake make gcc g++ pkg-config libavcodec-dev libavformat-dev libavutil-dev libswscale-dev libxi-dev libxrandr-dev libudev-dev libevdev-dev libsfml-dev libminiupnpc-dev libmbedtls-dev libcurl4-openssl-dev libhidapi-dev libsystemd-dev libbluetooth-dev libasound2-dev libpulse-dev libpugixml-dev libbz2-dev libzstd-dev liblzo2-dev libpng-dev libusb-1.0-0-dev gettext

Add -DUSE_SHARED_ENET=ON on cmake line if you want to build Dolphin against shared libenet-dev.


Quick method for Fedora 24 and later.


These dependencies must be installed.

dnf install cmake git gcc-c++ libXext-devel libgudev qt5-devel systemd-devel openal-soft-devel libevdev-devel libao-devel SOIL-devel libXrandr-devel pulseaudio-libs-devel bluez-libs-devel libusb-devel 

The following dependencies are best from RPM Fusion and may not be provided in Fedora repos.

dnf install ffmpeg ffmpeg-devel

OpenSuse Tumbleweed

The following will be needed to build dolphin properly on OpenSuse Tumbleweed. There are some oddities with cmake not finding headers for libraries so it falls back to Externals.

sudo zypper install --no-recommends git cmake gcc-c++ fmt-devel Mesa-libGL-devel libX11-devel Mesa-libEGL-devel qt6-base-private-devel qt6-svg-devel ffmpeg-5 ffmpeg-5-libavcodec-devel ffmpeg-5-libavformat-devel ffmpeg-5-libavutil-devel ffmpeg-5-libswscale-devel ffmpeg-5-libswscale-devel libXi-devel libXrandr-devel systemd-devel libevdev-devel sfml2-devel libminiupnpc-devel mbedtls-2-devel libcurl-devel libhidapi-devel bluez-devel alsa-devel libpulse-devel pugixml-devel libbz2-devel libzstd-devel lzo-devel xz-devel libpng16-devel libusb-1_0-devel gettext-runtime

When using pipewire-libjack will make the build fails not finding the libraries. This is a problem with the cubeb library included in dolphin. You can workaround using

LDFLAGS="${LDFLAGS} `pkg-config --libs jack`" make

Other Linux Distributions

If running another distribution, see the build dependencies in Addendum A for a list of packages needed to install.

Step 2 - Get the Dolphin Repository

Install git if it's not already installed:

  • for apt-based distros (eg Ubuntu, Debian, Linux Mint): sudo apt install git
  • for rpm-based distros (eg Red Hat, Fedora): su -c 'dnf install git'
  • for openSUSE: sudo zypper in git
  • for pacman-based distros (eg Arch Linux): sudo pacman -S git

Get a local copy of the dolphin-emu repository:

git clone https://github.com/dolphin-emu/dolphin.git dolphin-emu

Change to the directory created.

cd ./dolphin-emu

Pull the git submodules.

git submodule update --init --recursive

To update the local copy in the future without repeating the whole process, run git pull origin within the dolphin-emu directory and proceed to the following steps.

For building the current stable (5.0) instead of the most current development build; run the following command

git checkout tags/5.0

Step 3 - Building Dolphin

Create a build subdirectory, and change into it. The name Build is used in this example.

mkdir Build && cd Build

Configure the build. Note that in some cases you will need to configure in the dolphin-emu directory in stead of the build directory.

cmake ..

If you are using a different gcc version (7 on Ubuntu 16.04 for example), you'll need to overwrite some flags:


You can compile with clang too:

cmake .. -DCMAKE_C_COMPILER=clang -DCMAKE_CXX_COMPILER=clang++ -DCMAKE_CXX_FLAGS=-stdlib=libc++

Note that you will have to add libc++-dev and libc++abi-dev as dependence in this case. Clang minimum version is 3.4. Use SFML and pugixml from Externals/ (the latter is only necessary for 5.0-7026 and later), otherwise you'll get some undefined references.

Optionally you can change the install prefix by adding "-DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=/new/path". Note that this path does not need to be absolute. cmake will complete it to its absolute equivalent. The default prefix is "/usr". This means that the executable will be installed as "/usr/bin/dolphin-emu", the plugins will be installed into "/usr/lib/dolphin-emu", and the shared data files will be installed into "/usr/share/dolphin-emu".

From here build and install in the standard make way.

make -j$(nproc)

sudo make install

Note that superuser privileges are needed for make install.

To have the "local" build setup from the deprecated scons build configure the build with the following command.

cmake -Dbindir=../Binary/Linux -Ddatadir=../Binary/Linux ..

Step 4 - Run Dolphin!

Run Dolphin by executing:


The same action can be done graphically from within some desktop environments, such as Unity's Dash menu on Ubuntu.
If the prefix was changed in step 3 and $prefix/bin is not in the path, then precede this with the path to the executable.


  • Where can I get help?

Go to the forums. Lots of Dolphin users use Linux, and they are very experienced with this process.

  • My build failed, but I did nothing wrong!

Most of the time, any problems in the build process are due to user error. It's understandable, it is a complicated process and can be quite daunting for a first timer. But sometimes even with everything right, triple checked, and it's still not working. It's rare, but sometimes a build will just be bugged. But many of Dolphin devs are Linux users, so just wait a day or so, and it will be sorted out. If you are trying on Ubuntu 16.04, it is tested and working now.

  • I want a PKGBUILD!

Here is a PKGBUILD for the stable branch. For the master branch, see this PKGBUILD (in pkgver=4.0.rxxxx.7222eb1 replace "xxxx" with the number of the desired revision). Other PKGBUILDs can be found on the Arch User Repository.

Addendum A

This addendum lists the dependencies to build Dolphin.

Build Dependencies

These packages must be installed before building Dolphin.

  • git
  • cmake
  • pkg-config
  • gcc
  • libwxbase3.0-dev
  • libwxgtk3.0-dev
  • libgtk2.0-dev
  • libxext-dev
  • libreadline-dev
  • libgl1-mesa-dev
  • libevdev-dev
  • libudev-dev

Optional dependencies

Package Service
libasound-dev for alsa sound backend
libpulse-dev for pulseaudio sound backend
libao-dev for ao sound backend
libopenal-dev for openal sound backend
libavcodec-dev for dumping frames in AVI format
libavformat-dev for dumping frames in AVI format
libswscale-dev for dumping frames in AVI format
libenet-dev (>= 1.3.12) if not found will be built statically
liblzo2-dev (>= 2.04) if not found will be built statically
libminiupnpc-dev (>= 1.8) if not found will be built statically
libpolarssl-dev (>= 1.3.8) if not found will be built statically (Debian Testing/Unstable replaced this with mbedtls, see https://ftp-master.debian.org/removals.txt)
libsoil-dev if not found will be built statically
libsoundtouch-dev (>= 1.8.1) if not found will be built statically
libsfml-dev (>= 2.1) if not found will be built statically
libusb-1.0-0-dev (>= 1.0.19) if not found will be built statically
libbluetooth-dev for real Wii Remotes
libxrandr-dev for switching desktop resolution in fullscreen mode

Addendum B

Scripts for building Dolphin.

General purpose script

This script checks for Dolphin's source code, downloads it or updates it, then compiles it and finally installs it. It is somewhat interactive and distro-independent.
It will not install any of the dependencies listed above, and will fail if any of them are missing. Install manually as described at the first step.
Licence: GNU General Public Licence v2 or (at your option) any later version of the GPL.


DIR="$( cd "$( dirname "${BASH_SOURCE[0]}" )" && pwd )"
getdolphin() {
	echo 'Downloading Dolphin...'
	git clone https://github.com/dolphin-emu/dolphin.git
updatedolphin() {
	cd $DIR/dolphin
	echo 'Updating the local repository...'
	git pull origin
build() {
	cmake $DIR/dolphin
updatedolphin || getdolphin
mkdir $DIR/build
cd $DIR/build
build && echo 'Compiled successfully.' || exit
echo 'Proceeding to the installation; press Enter to continue or Ctrl+C to cancel.'
if [ $(whoami) == "root" ];
		make install
		sudo make install


Put this script in any directory, preferably a subdirectory of the Home directory, such as ~/.scripts/dolphin
Within this directory, the script will create two subdirectories, dolphin-emu and build. It must remain in this directory to work.
Execute the script from anywhere, by running sh /path/to/the/script.sh, where /path/to/the/script.sh is replaced with the actual path to the script.
The script will download Dolphin's source, or update it if it has already been downloaded once. After building it, the script will install it. This requires root privileges. After the installation, the script exits, and Dolphin can be used. Note that the process is very fast and simple after the first time. Using a bash alias to execute the script by running a custom command such as dolphin-update is recommended.

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