SDLMESS with Additional code by Sven Gothel, couriersud, and Vas Crabb. For Linux/Unix, Mac OS X (both PPC and Intel), FreeBSD, Win32, and OS/2 systems.
Portable to anything remotely POSIX-y with SDL 1.2.11 or higher available. Note: the Win32 target is not intended to compete with baseline MESS – it’s simply a demonstration that SDLMESS works well with that OS.

GCC: 3.4.x, 4.0.x, or 4.1.x (3.4.5 and 4.1.2 are recomended). Older or newer
versions may expose you to compile problems.
SDL: 1.2.10 or later on Unix and Mac, 1.2.11 or later on Win32.

Build instructions

Linux: make sure you have SDL and it’s development packages installed via
apt-get, yum, emerge, or whatever your distro of choice uses. On Fedora 4 or
later, ‘yum install SDL SDL-devel’ will get you going assuming you already
have GCC. If you already can compile XMAME/XMESS with the SDL target you’re
good to go. Just edit makefile.sdl, change the options as necessary, and
type ‘make -f makefile.sdl’.

In most cases on Linux you’ll want to comment out BUILD_EXPAT and BUILD_ZLIB
since most systems have them already present and you’ll save some time and
memory using the system’s version (plus if security problems arise your
distro’s normal update will protect SDLMESS without having to upgrade SDLMESS).

For native 64-bit x86-64, you should also uncomment “PTR64 = 1”.

NOTE: you will need OpenGL headers and libraries as well. If you’re
running either ATI or NVIDIA’s binary-only drivers you’ve definitely got them.
Otherwise you may need to install the “MesaGL” and “MesaGL-devel” packages.

NOTE: if you do not have hardware accelerated OpenGL you should not try to
enable it, it’ll just go horribly slow.

Mac OS X: you’ll need Xcode 2.3 or later (a free download from and SDL 1.2.12. Get SDL from, click the
“SDL 1.2” download link in the sidebar, then scroll down to “Mac OS X” under
“Runtime Libraries”. Download the “SDL-1.2.12.dmg” disk image and open it.
Click ‘Macintosh HD’ or whatever your Mac’s hard disk is named in the left
pane of a Finder window, then open the Library folder and drag the
SDL.framework folder from the SDL disk image into the ‘Frameworks’ folder.

Next unzip the SDLMESS source in your home directory and edit makefile.sdl
with your favorite editor (even good old emacs). Change the ‘TARGETOS=unix’
line to ‘TARGETOS=macosx’ (lowercase is important).

If you have an Intel Mac, the other default settings should be fine for you.
If you have a PowerPC Mac, remove the # mark before “G4 = 1” or “G5 = 1”,
depending on if your Mac is a G4 or G5. You don’t have to explicitly disable
the X86 DRCs for a PPC build – the makefile does it for you automatically.
Save the makefile and type ‘make -f makefile.sdl’ from a command prompt
to build.

NOTE: if you experience issues with OpenGL mode make sure your OS X is up to
date first, especially on Intel Macs.

Win32: First, download SDL 1.2.12. Go to and click “SDL 1.2”
under “Downloads”. Scroll down to “Development libraries” and open
“SDL-devel-1.2.12-mingw32.tar.gz”. Assuming you have WinZip ora compatible
archiver installed it should open automatically. Decompress it into C:\, where
it will create the “SDL-1.2.12” folder. Open that folder. Drag the “bin” and
“lib” folders into your MinGW installation (note: it must be a style
install, raw MinGW will not work). Finally, create a new folder “SDL” inside
“include” in your MinGW install (e.g. MinGW\include\SDL) and copy the contents
of SDL-1.2.12\include into that folder.

Now, Edit makefile.sdl with e.g. “edit makefile.sdl” or Notepad or whatever. Change
the TARGETOS to “win32” and change the CPU type to whatever you need. The
other defaults should be fine for you. Type ‘mingw32-make -f makefile.sdl’
to build SDLMESS. Unlike normal MESS, you’ll need the SDL.dll from the
SDL package in order to run it, so don’t try moving it to another machine
without that file accompanying it.

NOTE: MinGW appears to already come with sufficient OpenGL headers and
libraries to build. If problems occur, make sure your video card drivers are
up to date.

Other: SDLMESS should work with very little effort on other SDL targets,
especially Unix and Unix-like ones. Start with the Linux target and
modify as necessary. For non-Intel systems, turn off the X86_*_DRCs.
For big-endian systems, don’t -DLSB_FIRST. If you get SDLMESS
running on other platforms, let us know.
File Name: SDLMESS V0.134
File Size: 31.8 MiB
Date Added: September 19, 2009
Downloads: 160
Description: SDL source of MESS, that can be compiled for Linux, FreeBSD, Mac OS X, or Windows.

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