POV-Ray 3.6 for UNIX/Linux - README file

For the generic source distribution for UNIX/Linux

This is the README file for the generic UNIX/Linux distribution of the
POV-Ray 3.6 source code.  Platform specific instructions for POV-Ray
can be found in doc/README.unix and in chapter 1 of the documentation.
This source distribution is covered by the POV-Ray License Agreement,
see doc/povlegal.doc (plain text) or the doc/html/povlegal.html file.

Source code package

This package contains the complete source code of POV-Ray for UNIX
as well as its accompanying HTML documentation and supporting files.
The package substructure is organized as follows:

  source/     Platform-independent source code (POV-Ray core code).
  libraries/  Third-party supporting libraries (JPEG, PNG, TIFF, ZLIB).
  unix/       UNIX-specific source code, including X Window and SVGA support.
  config/     UNIX-specific configuration and installation scripts.
  doc/        UNIX-specific and generic HTML documentation, POV-Ray license.
  icons/      UNIX-specific color icons for the KDE window manager.
  scripts/    UNIX-specific render scripts (portfolio, stills, animations).
  include/    Standard POV-Ray include files.
  ini/        Standard POV-Ray INI files.
  scenes/     Standard POV-Ray sample scene files.

Compiling and installing

Basic and detailed instructions to compile and install the generic POV-Ray
source code on UNIX-based systems are given in the INSTALL file.

In a nutshell: the package installation is based on a configure script
which detects your environment automatically and adapts the compilation
and installation process accordingly.  Simply run:

% ./configure COMPILED_BY="your name <email@address>"  # configure the package
% make                                                 # build the program
% su                                                   # log as root
$ make install                                         # install program + data

Please consult the INSTALL file for further details.

POV-Ray 3.5 was the first effort at an official version of POV-Ray using
a configure script and Makefiles generated by the GNU autoconf and automake
tools.  In POV-Ray 3.6 the configure script and accompanying files have been
completely rewritten to work with as many platforms as possible, including
systems that are missing some required libraries; see below.  We hope that
not only Linux but many (if not all) UNIX-based platforms will benefit from
the new configure script.

Single POV-Ray binary

Since POV-Ray 3.5 compiling the program for UNIX/Linux creates only one
executable, regardless of the platform.  This binary combines what was
known as the X, SVGA, and console display versions in POV-Ray 3.1 and
earlier.  For displaying the image while rendering (using the +d flag),
the program chooses the display that makes most sense in your current
context.  More details are given in chapter 1 of the documentation.

X Window display should work on most UNIX systems nowadays and POV-Ray will
most likely be compiled with X Window support by default.  This behaviour
can be changed at configure time.  See INSTALL for details.

Alternatively, SVGA display can be used if you run POV-Ray on a system
where the SVGA libraries are installed (basically only Linux-based systems).
POV-Ray using the SVGA display must be run as root.  Support for SGVA can
be also disabled at configure time, see the INSTALL file.

When neither X Window nor SVGA support is possible/desirable, the console
display (text-only) can be used.

Supporting libraries

The source distribution of POV-Ray 3.6 is bundled with all the 3rd-party
libraries which provide support for various image format such as JPEG, PNG,
and TIFF.  The ZLIB library is also provided since the PNG library depends
on it.  The inclusion of these libraries in the POV-Ray source distribution
is only meant to help compiling POV-Ray on systems where these libraries are
missing.  Therefore, the supporting libraries are NOT part of the POV-Ray
source code and are NOT covered by the POV-Ray License Agreement.  See the
doc/povlegal.doc file for license details, as well as the specific licences
in the libraries/ directory (jpeg/libjpeg.doc, png/LICENSE, tiff/COPYRIGHT,
and zlib/README).

POV-Ray 3.6 comes with the latest versions of the supporting libraries
available at the time of its development and testing.  These are:

  ZLib    1.2.1
  LibPNG  1.2.5
  LibJPEG 6b
  LibTIFF 3.6.1

The configure script detects automatically which library is available on
your system and in which version.  In case the library is missing or is
older than the version provided in the POV-Ray package, the library is built
and linked with the POV-Ray source code.  Note however that in this case
the library is NOT installed on your system, but stays locally under
the POV-Ray folder.  Otherwise, the pre-installed library is linked with
POV-Ray, the same way as e.g. the X Window system.  See the INSTALL file
for further details.

Have fun !

Nicolas Calimet <>, June 2004