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Getting Started

Follows is a quick step by step guide to helping new OpenSceneGraph users get up to speed on how to use the software in their own application development work.

1. Downloading the OpenSceneGraph

You may download the OpenSceneGraph as a set of binaries or source code tarballs for the current release which can be found on the Stable Releases section, or use the Code Repositories or Developer Releases to check out the development version of the OpenSceneGraph to get latest additions, revisions and bug fixes. For beginners we'd recommend using the binaries or the source tarballs.

2. Obtaining the pre-requisites tools/dependencies

If you plan to compile the OpenSceneGraph you'll also need to the build system generator tool CMake 2.6.x (CMake 2.4.2+ may be used on older Linux/Unix systems) and an appropriate compiler suite for your platform, i.e. VisualStudio, g++ etc. For modern linux distributions you'll be able to pull down cmake, g++ and other dependencies directly from central repositories. It's possible to compile in mac using clang or Xcode.

You will need to download the dependencies which are listed in the Dependencies section. You don't need all the dependencies for the plugins as this are all options libraries, so don't worry about trying to get all the dependencies installed, you can always add further dependencies later if it turns out you need them for your project.

When running the examples its is useful to install the Sample Dataset so that the examples have some data to load, download it.

3. Compiling

OpenSceneGraph is a multiplatform library so take a look to platform specifics section to know how to compile in your desired platform or with your favorite compiler.

4. Running the examples 

OpenSceneGraph has an ever growing number of examples available for developers to learn from. Follow the Running Examples Guide to experiment and learn with them.

5. Write your first application

Take one of the existing examples such as osgviewer as a base and modify it.

6. Debugging

Make use of the Debugging Tips to learn how to debug your application.

7. Further resources