HowTo:Checkout SVN

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NOTE:Recently the SVN location of the data directory has changed. Use svn -switch to fix this.

If you're interested in an experimental version of Vega Strike, then SVN is what you'll be looking at.

Executive summary

Subversion, or SVN, is a mechanism by which developers can keep track of changes to their code and distribute these changes to the public in real time. This allows people to take advantage of software as it is being developed, between official releases.

Windows users can use an SVN client to check out the "win32" module, which contains game data and windows binaries.

Linux and Mac OS X users must use an SVN client to check out the vegastrike module as well, which contains source code for them to compile. (Note that compiling Vega Strike on Mac OS X is considered very difficult.)

What is SVN?

SVN stands for Subversion, a system similar to CVS. It allows developers to simultaneously work on a centralised project - in this case, that's Vega Strike.

Downloading ("checking out") and compiling the SVN-version often gives you access to features not included in the latest stable release of the program. SVN-based versions can be unstable and may not even work at all, but may hold advantages compared to stable versions.


Unlike a CVS repository, the top level of an SVN repository contains more than just the trunk. Vega Strike's SVN repository follows the standard layout, so the SVN root looks like this:

  • branches - Independent copies of some or all of the trunk code. A developer making major changes, such as the ogre branch or major code cleanup will usually make a branch so they can keep track of their progress without breaking the trunk code for everyone else. These changes eventually are merged back into the trunk.
  • tags - Revisions which have been marked. For instance, a tag might be made for a stable release so that svn users can update to it via the svn sw command. The VS developers like to use tags to mark milestones in the code, such as before or after a major change, so you'll see a lot of tags.
  • trunk - The main trunk code, as would be seen in the root of a CVS repository. This contains a number of modules filled with code and data.


Vega Strike's SVN repository holds several subdirectories, which can either be checked out separately or altogether. The most notable ones are included below.

  • data - data files of the game. This consists mainly of models, textures and backgrounds. Required to play the game.
  • hqtextures - Optional High Quality Texture pack
  • win32 - Windows Binaries as well as includes an "external" to the data directory.
  • mac - Macintosh Package, as well as an "external" to the data directory.
  • masters - The original master files that created the game data (original meshes and uncompressed textures).
  • history - Old descriptions of factions and species.
  • modtools - Tools to aid creation and modification of game files (campaigns and units)
  • translations - Translations of Vega Strike data files into other languages.
  • vega-proj - Deprecated Visual C++ 6 projects. (See HowTo:VCPP_Compiling#Visual_C.2B.2B_6.0_.28deprecated.29 here)
  • vega-vc7 - Visual Studio 7 projects. (See HowTo:VCPP_Compiling#Visual_Studio_7.x here
  • vega-vc8 - Visual Studio Express 2005 projects. (See HowTo:VCPP_Compiling#Visual_C.2B.2B_8.0_.282005_Express.29 here)
  • vegastrike - the game base code.

Ogre Branch

  • data6.x - Data for the old OGRE branch - included in the old OGRE branch.
  • ogre_branch - the old OGRE branch.

You may download the old OGRE branch including the data6.x dir using this URL:

The new OGRE branch - vegaogre resides on a new repository. Plz visit it here:

The Subversion tree can be browsed via a web interface:

See also: Development:CVS Tree

Linux Clients


Ubuntu users (Debian as well?) go here for a copy-paste, step by step, newb friendly tutorial.

Command-line svn



The linux-command `svn' is the most basic Subversion client.

Using svn for downloading vs-devel

Checking out (downloading) the Vega Strike svn-modules is easy. The general syntax is

 svn co [repo]/trunk/[module] [target-directory]

The following syntax...

 svn co --ignore-externals vegastrike

...will download the entire tree (all modules) into directory `vegastrike'. But don't do this! Such a command would download data for both the normal and ogre branches, plus Visual Studio projects for ALL supported versions and goodness knows what else.

You should really only download individual modules, and a similar syntax can be used. For example, to download the data module...

 svn co data

...will suffice. (Leaving off the target directory will make svn try check out into the working directory.) In order to get all the files required to compile the game, checkout the following modules:

  • data
  • vegastrike

Tutorial to download, setup and run the development version

In order to run the development version of Vega Strike, the executables expect to find the data to be in certain places relative to them. This short tutorial deals with these specifics on Linux operating systems. (more experienced MacOSX users can this, or they can read HowTo:Checkout_SVNMac

So, let's start.

  • Create a directory where you would like your copy of the Vega Strike development version to live in. For tutorial purposes, we will create a directory called VegaStrike in our user's home-directory.
User@UserMachine:~$ mkdir VegaStrike
  • Change into this newly created directory. In our case:
User@UserMachine:~$ cd VegaStrike

Note for newbs: The directory is case sensitive. If you type: cd vegastrike or Vegastrike, it won't find the directory.

Initial downloading (check-out)

Now we can start downloading the packages from the SVN repository. If you download them directly into your Vega Strike directory they will be just in the right place.

To save on download bandwidth, (optionally) you can download a snapshot of the SVN tree, and then just update that to the current revision. One big compressed file will download much faster than having SVN get each file individually. Snapshots available here: Also here (not sure if this second one includes the .svn directories needed to update it with svn): If you run into any problems, it will work fine to follow the instruction below, using svn to do the whole checkout.

  • Download (check-out) the source code package vegastrike, and the content package data package. Copy and paste, in order.
User@UserMachine:~/VegaStrike$ svn co
User@UserMachine:~/VegaStrike$ svn co

This leaves you with two new directories inside your Vega Strike directory called as the packages are.

Note: If you are having problems with SVN due to connecting via a proxy, try to solve them using the method described here:

Notice: As of 0.5.1 you will be able to choose not to download the boost revisions included in the vegastrike module. The Boost revisions are external definitions, so including the --ignore-externals argument when checking out vegastrike will result in none of the boost revisions from downloading. This greatly reduces your download time. If you dont have a system installed boost setup with boost-python, you can pull the specific version of boost you want (1.28 or 1.35) by updating that directory specifically. eg: No Boost: svn co --ignore-externals vegastrike

  • You want 1.35:
svn update vegastrike/boost/1_35

Now, you have to supply ./configure with a specific boost rev when you are choosing anything other than 1.28. Also, choosing a boost rev that you haven't downloaded yet would be problematic. If none are to be downloaded, use --with-boost=system, when using system boost, you have to make sure the python version ./configure uses matches the one boost-python was linked with. Some distros will supply multiple boost revs, python revs, but only one rev combo for boost-python.


FIXME This should merged with the HowTo:Compile_from_SVN page. (Partially done)

The HowTo:Compile_from_SVN page has a list of some options that you can pass to ./configure, so just follow the steps in the compile from SVN page.


This step is not necessary — the binaries will figure out where they are with respect to the data directory.

To run Vega Strike, the built executables need all the configuration and data files to be in the right place relative to them. Currently, the executables (vegastrike and vssetup) reside in the source code directory. But they can be run out of the data directory. Therefore, we will create a link.

  • Change in to the data directory. (We are still in the source code directory vegastrike.)
~/VegaStrike/vegastrike> cd ../data
  • Create symbolic links to the executables in the source code directory.
~/VegaStrike/data> ln -s ../vegastrike/vegastrike
~/VegaStrike/data> ln -s ../vegastrike/vssetup
  • After that, you must run "./vssetup" inside the data folder, or any folder which has the correct setup.config and vegastrike.config.

If we had made copies or moved the files instead of symbolic linking, we would have to do the procedure of copying or moving every time we build the executables from source.

As of 0.5.1 there is a module in svn called hqtextures. hqtextures, is an optional high quality texture pack that will override the textures in data that exist in hqtextures. These are jpegs that wont be compressed in-game. Prior to 0.5.1, you have to edit the config file by hand to uncomment the line that enables the hqtextures module. At 0.5.1, it should be a setting in vssetup. Enabling it while not having it downloaded wont hurt anything.

You have to check it out of svn and put it next to data. So if data is in /usr/local/games/vegastrike You would:

svn co /usr/local/games/vegastrike/hqtextures

To be sure that hq textures is being used, check for the message about finding HQ Texture Pack at the start of the console output when running vegastrike.

Running and configuring

  • To run Vega Strike you have to start it from the data directory.
~/VegaStrike/data> ./vegastrike
  • Optionally you can create a short cut to this application onto your desktop or in your start menu. Simply point it to the vegastrike executable.
  • If you need to adjust screen resolutions, input devices and key-mappings, do so by editing the configuration file vegastrike.config. The default configuration file resides in the data directory. You can change that or you can make your own user specific version by first copying it into your .vegastrike (hidden directory) directory in your user's home directory.

Staying updated with the development version

As development progresses the repository changes. In order to update your working copy you need to do the following.

  • Change into the package's directory you want to update. In our example all the packages were stored in a directory called VegaStrike. Let's assume we want to update the data package.
~> cd VegaStrike
~/VegaStrike> cd data
  • Update from the SVN repository.
~/VegaStrike/data> svn update
  • Do this for every package you want to update. Exchange data with vegastrike.
  • If something changed in the data package, you don't need to recompile.
  • If something changed in the source code package vegastrike, you only need to repeat the building part of this tutorial and in case you did not create symbolic links the copying or moving procedure for the executables in the setup part of this tutorial. You should not need to type "make clean", however if you experience errors like "unresolved external symbol" it may remedy that error.

Windows Clients

Note: For windows, only the win32 module is necessary to play the game. Checking out "win32" will download the "bin" and "data" directories. You will find the executable program inside the "bin" folder.

As of 2010-11-20, the win32 module is working on the HEAD. However, there are times that the win32 module is out of date and incompatible with the data directory in svn. Revision 12933 is a known revision where things work if you find HEAD broken for some reason. Please update this wiki entry if HEAD breaks and you have a later revision number that has no problems preventing gameplay.

If you are interested in compiling the code, you will need the vegastrike module, as well as the appropriate vega-project module for your Visual C++ version. See HowTo:VCPP_Compiling for compiling info.

Some people have problems with the latest executable relating to Visual C++ 8. If you want an older version of the executable compiled with VC7, you can browse the repository here:

Tortoise SVN



Tortoise SVN lets you work with files under SVN version control directly from Windows Explorer (just like TortoiseCVS). It's freely available under the GPL.

With TortoiseSVN you can directly check out modules, update, commit and see differences by right clicking on files and folders within Explorer. You can see the state of a file with overlays on top of the normal icons within Explorer. It even works from within the file open dialog.


  • Download and Install Tortoise SVN from
  • Create a new folder in Windows Explorer where you will download your modules (called Sandbox, SVN or similar working location name);
  • Within that folder, create another folder (for example, VS or win32);
  • Right click on the folder created and select SVN Checkout. This brings up the checkout configuration screen;
  • Input the URL of the repository into the dialog box:

[You may also use the built-in repository browser to select the module you wish to check out.]

  • Click OK to begin checkout of the module.

[Note: The download is 800+ MB and will take some time.]

  • After downloading, run the Setup program in the "bin" folder to set your screen size, etc. More importantly, this will tell Vegastrike where to find the "data" directory. You only have to do this once.
  • Then you can run VEGASTRIKE.EXE in the "bin" directory to play.

Specifying a Revision

Because SVN is the active development repository, sometimes the latest copy will have problems and won't work. At the time of this writing this section (2010-09-18) the units.csv file has a problem and the game won't load. This has been resolved in a later version, but we may run into the problem again so these instructions might be helpful if HEAD breaks again. Luckily SVN has a revision system that allows you to choose a point in time from before the problem was introduced. See the above section "Windows Clients" for the latest known revision that works with win32.

FIXME : We need a way for people to determine the best revision number to use when the HEAD is broken. Perhaps a section at the top of this document? In the mean time, check out the help section of the forums.

If you need to specify a revision when using TortoiseSVN , you need to do so for each module, including dependent modules. So assuming you used the directory name "VS" on the above usage directions, you would:

  • Right mouse click on your "VS" directory, and choose "TourtoiseSVN->Update to revision..."
  • Type in the revision number, and hit OK. This will update everything under VS/bin, but VS/data will not be updated because it is a separate, dependent module.
  • Right mouse click on your "data" directory, under the top level ("VS" in this example) directory. Again choose "TourtoiseSVN->Update to revision..."
  • Again type in the revision number, and hit OK. This will update everything under VS/data directory.

Mac OS X Clients

NOTE: Leopard (10.5) comes with a SVN client.

Command Line Client


(or for Fink packages.)

Footnote: does not maintain current binaries. A better source would be (ordered from most current to most convenient):

(a) for current source code.

(b) use Fink or MacPorts to get (usually) current source code.

(c) for a (usually) current install package.

(d) XCode3 includes svn as part of the default installation (But not XCode2).




"The goal of the SCPlugin project is to integrate Subversion into the Mac OS X Finder. The inspiration for this project came from the TortoiseSVN project."


Must have command line client installed.




Note, if you are not interested in compiling your own version, see HowTo:Checkout_SVNMac to get the whole package.

See HowTo:Compile on OSX

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