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Building MyPaint from Source

This guide is for developers, and testers who want the bleeding edge. Regular users might not need this guide. Most distributions already have a stable version of MyPaint.

Table of Contents

Install libmypaint and mypaint-brushes

MyPaint depends on its brushstroke rendering library, libmypaint.

Which version of libmypaint should I build against?

When building the latest master, the rule of thumb is to build against the latest master of libmypaint.

Stable releases should be built against a compatible stable releases of libmypaint.

If you need to build a commit from the commit history, use git log after having checked out the commit, and search for libmypaint to infer which commit of libmypaint you should build against. This is not always specified explicitly, but should always be inferrable by cross-referencing the commit log of libmypaint (by date or keyword search).

MyPaint also depends on the default brush collection mypaint-brushes. These have to be built from scratch for most systems, see the links below for details on how to do this.

Windows MSYS2 users have pre-packaged options available for libmypaint-1.3.0 (newer versions currently have to be built from source):

pacman -S mingw-w64-i686-libmypaint
pacman -S mingw-w64-x86_64-libmypaint

Using optimization flags

MyPaint and libmypaint benefit dramatically from autovectorization and other compiler optimizations. You may want to set your CFLAGS before compiling:

export CFLAGS='-Ofast -ftree-vectorize -fopt-info-vec-optimized -march=native -mtune=native -funsafe-math-optimizations -funsafe-loop-optimizations'

To avoid potential glitches, make sure to compile both libmypaint and MyPaint using the same optimization flags.

Install third-party dependencies

MyPaint has several third-party dependencies. They all need to be installed before you can build it.

Some dependencies have specific versions for Python 2 and Python 3. Install the ones for the Python version you will use to build MyPaint. Apart from the use of disk space, there is usually no harm in installing both sets.

Debian and derivatives

For Debian, Mint, or Ubuntu, issue the following commands to install the external dependencies.

sudo apt-get install -y \
git swig gettext g++ gir1.2-gtk-3.0 libgtk-3-dev \
libpng-dev liblcms2-dev libjson-c-dev python-gi-dev \
librsvg2-common

# For python 2
sudo apt-get install -y \
python-setuptools python-dev python-numpy python-gi-cairo

# For python 3
sudo apt-get install -y \
python3-setuptools python3-dev python3-numpy python3-gi-cairo

If this doesn't work, try older names for the development packages, such as libjson0-dev, or libpng12-dev.

Red Hat and derivatives

For yum-enabled systems, the following should work. This has been tested on a minimal CentOS 7.3 install, and Fedora 30.

sudo yum install -y git swig gettext gcc-c++ libpng-devel lcms2-devel \
json-c-devel gtk3 gtk3-devel gobject-introspection pygobject3-devel \
librsvg2

# For python 2
sudo yum install -y python-setuptools python-devel numpy

# For python 3
sudo yum install -y python3-setuptools python3-devel python3-numpy

Windows MSYS2

Use the following commands when building in MSYS2. For 32-bit targets, use "i686" in place of the "x86_64".

pacman -S --noconfirm --needed git base-devel
pacman -S --noconfirm --needed  \
  mingw-w64-x86_64-toolchain     \
  mingw-w64-x86_64-pkg-config     \
  mingw-w64-x86_64-python2-numpy   \
  mingw-w64-x86_64-gtk3            \
  mingw-w64-x86_64-pygobject-devel \
  mingw-w64-x86_64-lcms2           \
  mingw-w64-x86_64-json-c           \
  mingw-w64-x86_64-librsvg           \
  mingw-w64-x86_64-hicolor-icon-theme \
  mingw-w64-x86_64-python2-cairo      \
  mingw-w64-x86_64-python2-gobject    \
  mingw-w64-x86_64-mypaint-brushes2

OSX MacPorts

To use Frameworks Python (currently 2.7.8) while satisfying the other dependencies from Macports, use:

export PKG_CONFIG_PATH=/opt/local/Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/2.7/lib/pkgconfig/
export CFLAGS="-I/opt/local/include"

sudo port install gtk3
sudo port install py27-numpy
sudo port install py27-scipy
sudo port install py27-pyobjc-cocoa    # optional, for i18n support
sudo port install py27-gobject3
sudo port install json-c
sudo port install lcms2
sudo port install hicolor-icon-theme
sudo port install librsvg

These commands are poorly tested, and may be incomplete. Please send feedback if they're not working for you.

Fetch the source

Start by cloning the source from git. This will create a new directory named mypaint. Keep this folder around so you don't have to repeat this step.

cd path/to/where/I/develop
git clone https://github.com/mypaint/mypaint.git

Migration from SCons

We've moved the build system from SCons for portability reasons, and things may be a bit rough in comparison. If you have an old installation managed by SCons, please uninstall it before installing with setup.py.

The SCons files are no longer present in the source tree as of revision a332f03deebebaad84a4f3d5dedc987895dc5b70. To access them, you can check out an earlier revision.

For example: git checkout a332f03deebebaad84^

Real Pythonistas™ might expect pip to work. It doesn't, not yet: MyPaint has way too many support files that have to be in special folders, so it uses a custom installation scheme.

Running the build script

MyPaint is a Python project, and it uses a conventional setup.py script. However, this isn't a typical Python module, so pip install doesn't work with it yet.

# Learn how to run setup.py
cd mypaint
python setup.py --help-commands   # list all commands
python setup.py --help build   # get options for "build"

# Some basic commands
python setup.py build
python setup.py clean --all

We've added a few custom commands too, for people used to the old SCons way of working.

# Test without a full installation
python setup.py demo

# Don't use raw "install" unless you know what you're doing
python setup.py managed_install
python setup.py managed_uninstall

See above if you want to install MyPaint or use pip. This isn't a conventional installation scheme.

Demo mode

You can test MyPaint without installing it. The settings aren't saved between runs when you do this.

python setup.py demo

Unit tests

Please run the doctests before committing new code.

sudo apt-get install python-nose
python setup.py nosetests

We have some heavier conformance tests for the C++ parts too. These take longer to run.

python setup.py test

You should write doctests for important new Python code. Please consider writing tests in the tests folder too, if you make any changes to the C++ extension or libmypaint.

To cleanup between unit tests you may want to run:

python setup.py clean --all
rm -vf lib/*_wrap.c*

Managed install and uninstall

MyPaint has an additional custom install command, for people used to our old SCons recipes. It isn't compatible with SCons installs, but it allows you to do an uninstall later.

# For most Linux types
sudo python setup.py managed_install
sudo python setup.py managed_install --prefix=/usr

The default install location is /usr/local. If you want to install without sudo, refer to this section

# You may need to make data files world-readable if you use "sudo"
sudo find /usr/local -ipath '*mypaint*' -exec chmod -c a+rX {} \;

# You can uninstall at any later time
sudo python setup.py managed_uninstall
sudo python setup.py managed_uninstall --prefix=/usr

Note that uninstallation doesn't get rid of all the folders that the managed install created.

Building and installing locally

If you don't want to install MyPaint system-wide, or don't want to use sudo, follow these instructions to create a local install.

If you also need to install and configure any third-party dependencies without using sudo, refer to their respective documentation for how to do so (for most dependencies, this is not recommended).

In this section, the shell variable BASE_DIR is used to refer to the path of a directory which will be the base of your install. You can set it like this (modify if you want to install somewhere else):

BASE_DIR=$HOME/.local/

If you have compatible versions of libmypaint and mypaint-brushes installed and configured, all you have to do is run:

python setup.py managed_install --prefix=$BASE_DIR

and jump to the run instructions. If not, refer to the rest of this section.

Installing libmypaint & mypaint-brushes locally

You don't need to install libmypaint or mypaint-brushes locally in order to install MyPaint locally, but if you want to, use the --prefix= option to configure before running make install for each of them.

E.g:

./configure --prefix=$BASE_DIR && make install

Refer to libmypaint's build instructions for more details on building libmypaint.

Configuring, building and installing

If you want to use locally installed versions of libmypaint and mypaint-brushes you will need to make sure that pkg-config knows where to find them. To do this, set PKG_CONFIG_PATH before building. Assuming both libmypaint and mypaint-brushes were installed configured with --prefix=$BASE_DIR you can do this by running:

export PKG_CONFIG_PATH=$BASE_DIR/lib/pkgconfig/:$BASE_DIR/share/pkgconfig/

The two colon-separated paths refer to the locations of package configuration files for libmypaint and mypaint-brushes respectively. Replace the respective occurrence of $BASE_DIR if you installed either somewhere else.

In addition to knowing where libmypaint is installed when building, MyPaint also needs to know its location when running. This can be done by setting the LD_LIBRARY_PATH environment variable to to the location of libmypaint every time MyPaint is run, but this is not recommended. The recommended way is to explicitly run the build_ext command with the --set-rpath flag, prior to installation.

In short, you can build and install by running:

export PKG_CONFIG_PATH=$BASE_DIR/lib/pkgconfig/:$BASE_DIR/share/pkgconfig/
python setup.py build_ext --set-rpath managed_install --prefix=$BASE_DIR

Note: remember to use the same prefix if uninstalling via managed_uninstall

If you have already run the build script without --set-rpath, you can run the following to force a rebuild:

python setup.py build_ext --set-rpath --force

alternative to --set-rpath

If you want to build an older version of MyPaint that did not have this option, you can instead use the built-in --rpath= option to build_ext, setting the dependency path(s) manually.

E.g: python setup.py build_ext --rpath=$BASE_DIR/lib/

Running the local installation

The start script mypaint will be placed in $BASE_DIR/bin/, so either add that path to your PATH environment variable:

export PATH=$BASE_DIR/bin/:$PATH
mypaint

or create links to the script:

ln -s $BASE_DIR/bin/mypaint my-local-mypaint
./my-local-mypaint

Updating to the latest source

Updating to the latest source at a later date is trivial, but doing this often means that you have to rebuild the compiled parts of the app:

cd path/to/mypaint
python setup.py clean --all
git pull