Crazy Eddie's GUI System Mk-2

CEGUI logo http://www.cegui.org.uk

Copyright ©2004 - 2014 Paul D Turner, The CEGUI Development Team and Contributing Authors

The majority of the auxiliary files for CEGUI, that used to be plain text, are now kept in a "doxygenised" format within the doc/doxygen directory - please see those files, or generate the documentation for a more friendly format. Alternativelly, visit http://static.cegui.org.uk/docs for all your documentation needs!

What follows is just a quick-start guide, go to our doxygen docs for more detailed documentation.

Available branches and versions

  • The CEGUI repository consists of multiple branches:
    • v0-8 provides the latest stable ABI compatible (to 0.8.X releases) version of CEGUI. This allows you to replace older 0.8.X versions with newer 0.8.X versions and vice-versa, without having to recompile your project. This branch is also the base for new 0.8.X releases.
    • v0 Provides the latest stable API compatible version of CEGUI and contains changes that break the ABI. Versions from this branch will be used for the next minor version release.
    • default contains changes that will only be used in the next major version. This branch is highly unstable, will introduce fundamental changes and breaks ABI and API compatibility. We do not recommend you to use this in production, unless you heavily depend on a feature and discussed this with a developer of CEGUI before: This is recommended so that you are aware of all potential risks. In the general case you are advised to use one of the stable branches, to save you a lot of headache.

The v0-8 and v0 branches are considered stable but do undergo bug-fixes and small changes, which do not break ABI and API respectively. These changes of course introduce a small risk that there might be temporary issues for the moment in the branches. If you notice any bugs in those branches, please report them to us as soon as possible - use the forum and/or our IRC channels #cegui and #cegui-devel on irc.freenode.net to inform us. Please consider that we are not available on IRC 24 hours per day, but feel free to idle there until we respond. If in doubt which branch to use, also feel free to ask us this way. For production usage we generally recommend to use a stable release version. A list of releases can be found on the on our website.


We are happiest with clean pull requests containing conscise commits with proper commit messages. We also accept plain patches but making it easier for us to just accept your contribution with one click greatly speeds up the review process.

Here is an explanation on how to fork from our repository, commit changes to your fork, and create a pull request targeting the right branch: https://confluence.atlassian.com/display/BITBUCKET/Fork+a+Repo,+Compare+Code,+and+Create+a+Pull+Request

Please also keep in mind to target the right repository. We prefer to target the ABI compatible branch if possible. Otherwise the API compatible ones. For information about ABI/API compatibility, please read this page: https://techbase.kde.org/Policies/Binary_Compatibility_Issues_With_C++

If in doubt which branch to target, please contact us!

Building CEGUI

The following script is more or less universal for *NIX systems and Windows. Minor changes may be required.

cd $cegui_folder
# you can call the folder differently but "build" is customary
mkdir build/
cd build/
# run the configure step
cmake-gui ../
# fix any issues pointed out by cmake
# not all dependencies are required so if some are not found, don't panic and carry on!
# alternative (if you are a command line pro)
# cmake ../

At this point, Makefiles, project files or something else will be generated. Next step depends on which that is.

For Makefiles, just run

cd $cegui_folder
cd build/

For Visual Studio solutions, double click, change Build Mode accordingly (Release, Debug, ...) and press Build.

Installing CEGUI

This section only makes sense on *NIX-like systems.

Make sure you have the correct CMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX set at configure time. Alternativelly rerun cmake and set it. By default it should be /usr/local/ but you may want /usr/.

cd $cegui_folder
cd build/
sudo make install

Running CEGUI samples

If you installed CEGUI system-wide just call:


If is preferable to call it from the command line because it will ask you to select a renderer in case you have more than 1 available.

If you have no installed system-wide, it's a bit more involved and complicated.

cd $cegui_folder
cd build/bin/
CEGUI_SAMPLE_DATAPATH=../../datafiles ./CEGUISampleFramework-0

We want to clarify some common misconceptions about CEGUI:

"It causes a DLL hell" or "Oh no, so many dll files!"

First off, the term "DLL hell" is used wrongly by users in this context. It does not mean "I see many DLL files, this must be hell!". Dynamically linking the CEGUI library is the best way to have things working as they are supposed to and guaranteeing good compatibility and a low chance of issues arising with dependencies. On Windows we heavily recommend to never use static linking with CEGUI and past experience has proven us right. A short summary of static vs dynamic linking can be found here: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/1993390/static-linking-vs-dynamic-linking

"It has useless version numbers in the dlls and executables"

This numbering system does actually serve a very important purpose! Please let us keep them. It allows Linux distributions (and others) to install multiple CEGUI API versions alongside which eases migration and speeds up adoption of new CEGUI versions. On Windows this will allow us to provide you with precompiled CEGUI dependencies using Nuget in the future.

"It has a killion dependencies"

CEGUI has relatively few required dependencies (currently only glm) and many optional dependencies. The fact that it supports many different rendering libraries and engines, many different image loaders/codecs (with pass through options) and many different xml parsers is a good thing and only an uninformed person would tell you otherwise.

"CMake tells me something was not found"

If CMake tells you that something was not found, you shall not panic ;) ! Most probably it's a harmless message. You should only worry if not a single dependency was found. On Windows and Mac OS X, you should however make sure you placed the dependency folder correctly before running Cmake.

"It is slow"

Whenever users complained in the forums about CEGUI's speed it turned out to be that they either ran the application in Debug configuration (which, clearly, the compiler does not compile with full optimisations) or did something wrong (such as updating CEGUI the wrong way or causing unnecessary amounts of events or creating event handling functions that cause the issues on the user's side). Only occasionally it can be tracked down to a bug, but mostly that is connected to specific usage.

While no complex library out there will ever be perfectly optimised, CEGUI is still to be considered highly performant. CEGUI can easily compete with other GUI libraries in speed. This is true for the computations done on the CPU as well as those on the GPU and the resulting rendering speed. It still runs optimally when hundreds of windows are opened and rendered at the same time.

The best proof that CEGUI is fast is that big proprietary games, which displays hundreds of widgets and use complex hierarchies, have been made using CEGUI (Torchlight 1, Torchlight 2, Venetica, etc.). CEGUI is definitely not too slow to use. It could be too slow if you are doing something wrong - like loading layout files every frame or causing unnecessary updates and events. In this case it is best to do a forum search and - if you do not find anything helpful - to describe your setup in detail and what issues you have.

We expect CEGUI to perform very well, and in a lot of cases faster than other libraries. This is epecially true for GUI libraries and toolkits that depend on Flash or similar techniques for rendering and do not access OpenGL or Direct3D directly. Most of our samples, if started in Release mode, will render at speeds above 3000 frames per second on a modern CPU and GPU. As an additional note for people who like to cite or look at benchmarks, we want you to keep in mind that benchmarks are often very situation-dependent and could easily misrepresent a library's actual speed by wrong or unusual usage.