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Contacting the FreeType Team

There are three mailing lists related to FreeType.

    Discusses general use and applications of FreeType, as well as future and wanted additions to the library and distribution. If you are looking for support, start in this list if you haven't found anything to help you in the documentation.
    Discusses engine internals, design issues, specific licenses, porting, etc. Mainly for software developers.
    Only contains important announcements related to the project, like releases, milestones, etc. Only the FreeType team can post to this list.

To subscribe to one of them use one of the methods below.

When joining, you will receive a confirmation request by e-mail; it will also contain the address of a specific web page you can use to to change your account settings, for example to unsubscribe.

Note that mailing archives provided through the Mailman web interface are searchable.


Accessing the source code

There are several ways to access the source code for the FreeType packages.

  • Download a source archive
    then browse, compile, and use the source locally as you like.

  • Use the cgit page
    It will let you view our source code and the changes that occurred lately.

  • Use git access
    The complete FreeType repositories can be downloaded using git. Enter these commands for anonymous read-only access of the repositories:

    git clone git://
    git clone git://

    If you are behind a Firewall which disables port 9418, you might try the HTTP protocol:

    git clone
    git clone

    Please read

    for more details on the git setup of Savannah (for example, how to check out the git repositories with a CVS client, if necessary).

  • Use anonymous CVS access
    Other, no longer maintained FreeType repositories which exist for historical interest only can be downloaded through CVS. Use the following value for the CVSROOT environment variable (or the equivalent -d command line option of the cvs client):

    When asked for a password, simply press Enter for cvs login. The module names are freetype (Freetype version 1.x, C code), freetype1-contrib (contributed programs), and ftpascal (Freetype version 1.x, Pascal code).

    The freetype2 and ft2demos modules have been transformed to git (see above) and shouldn't be used anymore.


Support Tools

One of the simplest way to compile FreeType 2 is from the command line using one of the following tools.

GNU Make

FreeType 2 comes with a sophisticated build system that is based on GNU Make. This really means a set of Makefiles and sub-Makefiles that are used to perform the following operations.

  • Detect the current operating system in order to select the appropriate default compiler settings for the build.
  • Select the settings corresponding to a given compiler for a given platform. For example, on Windows, the following compilers are supported: Visual C++, GCC, Borland C++, Watcom C++, Win32-LCC. On Unix, gcc, lcc and standard cc are also supported through a traditional configure script.
  • Build the list of FreeType 2 modules automatically from the sub-directories present in the src directory.
  • Finally, build the library and its module as a static library or DLL, depending on the platform and compiler.

The build system is capable of supporting several compilers, on several platforms. However, you must have a recent version of GNU Make installed to use it. The build does not work with other make tools (like BSD Make, NMake, etc.).

See the download section for binaries of GNU Make for Windows.


FT Jam

Unfortunately, the GNU Make-based build system described above is rather complex due to various technical reasons, one of them being the really weird syntax used in Makefiles. Since release 2.0.2, the FreeType library can also be created with an alternative build tool named Jam.

Briefly, Jam is a small, efficient, portable and open-source replacement for make that is both a lot easier to use and more powerful!

  • Jam control files (named Jamfiles) are portable among platforms and compilers and thus do not need to be edited for each specific build (unlike the ugly trick used commonly on Unix).
  • The syntax of Jamfiles is simple, expressive and allows you to define your own functions.
  • Jam performs lots of nifty things for you, like automatic header dependencies computations.
  • Jam only does project builds, it is not a configuration tool and is trivially compatible with Autoconf on Unix.

Find more information on the FT Jam page.


Reporting a Bug

In case you find a bug which you think is related to FreeType, please check the problematic font with one of our demo programs, for example ftview or ftstring. In case the problem persists, go to the Savannah bug database for FreeType, check whether the problem has been reported already. Otherwise, please submit a bug report. It might be useful to use the git version (see above) of FreeType for testing since we don't release FreeType very often.


Last update: 6-Aug-2011
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