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This is a personalized fork of OpenStarbound. Removed Discord and Steam nonsense, build jemalloc myself - not that I have trust issues.. well, maybe I do :).

Original README is as follows, if you're here reading it, you can skip the steps about copying SO/DLL files for this build...


This is a fork of Starbound. Contributions are welcome! You must own a copy of Starbound to use it. Base game assets are not provided for obvious reasons.

It is still work-in-progress. You can download the very latest build below, or the occasional releases (though those aren't very up to date yet!)

Nightly Builds

At the moment, you must copy the game assets (packed.pak) from your normal Starbound install to the OpenStarbound assets directory.

Windows: Installer, Client, Server

Linux: Client, Server

macOS: Intel, ARM

These link directly to the latest build from the Actions tab.


Note: Not every function from StarExtensions has been ported yet, but near-full compatibility with mods that use StarExtensions features is planned.


The lightmap generation has been moved off the main thread, and supports higher color range.

  • Point lights are now additive, which is more accurate - you'll notice that different lights mix together better!
  • Object spread lights are auto-converted to a hybrid light which is 25% additive.


  • Assets can now run Lua scripts on load, and after all sources have been loaded.
    • These scripts can modify, read, patch and create new assets!
  • Lua patch files now exist - .patch.lua
    • These can patch JSON assets, as well as images!


  • Player functions for saving/loading, modifying the humanoid identity

  • Character swapping (rewrite from StarExtensions, currently command-only: /swap name case-insensitive, only substring required)

  • Custom user input support with a keybindings menu (rewrite from StarExtensions)

  • Positional Voice Chat that works on completely vanilla servers, uses Opus for crisp, HD audio (rewrite from StarExtensions)

    • Both menus are made available in the options menu in this fork rather than as a chat command.
  • Multiple font support (switch fonts inline with ^font=name;, .ttf and .woff2 assets are auto-detected)

  • Experimental changes to the storage of directives in memory to reduce copying - can reduce their impact on frametimes when very long directives are present

    • Works especially well when extremely long directives are used for "vanilla multiplayer-compatible" creations, like generated clothing or custom items/objects.
  • Client-side tile placement prediction (rewrite from StarExtensions)

    • You can also resize the placement area of tiles on the fly.
  • Support for placing foreground tiles with a custom collision type (rewrite from StarExtensions, requires OpenSB server)

    • Additionally, objects can be placed under non-solid foreground tiles.
  • Some minor polish to UI

  • The Skybox's sun now matches the system type you're currently in.

    • Previously generated planets will not have this feature and will display the default sun.
    • Modded system types require a patch to display their custom sun.
    • You can also access the skybox sun scale and its default ray colors. For more details see, sky.config.patch.



Note: Some of these texts are just tooltips rather than links.

template sbinit.config for dist/ after build
  "assetDirectories" : [

  "storageDirectory" : "./",
  "logDirectory" : "./logs/"
  • Install vcpkg globally.
    • vcpkg recommends a short directory, such as C:\src\vcpkg or C:\dev\vcpkg.
    • If you're using Visual Studio, don't forget to run vcpkg integrate install!
  • Set the VCPKG_ROOT environment value to your vcpkg dir, so that CMake can find it.
  • Install Ninja. Either add it to your PATH, or just use Scoop (scoop install ninja)
  • Check to see if your IDE has CMake support, and that it's actually installed.
  • Open the repo directory in your IDE - it should detect the CMake project.
  • Build.
    • If you're using an IDE, it should detect the correct preset and allow you to build from within.
    • Otherwise, build manually by running CMake in the source/ directory: cmake --build --preset=windows-release
  • The built binaries will be in dist/. Copy the DLLs from lib/windows/ and the sbinit.config above into dist/ so the game can run.
Linux (Ubuntu)
  • Make sure you're using CMake 3.23 or newer - you may need to add Kitware's APT repo to install a newer version.
  • Install dependencies:
    • sudo apt-get install pkg-config libxmu-dev libxi-dev libgl-dev libglu1-mesa-dev libsdl2-dev python3-jinja2 ninja-build
  • Clone vcpkg (outside the repo!) and bootstrap it with the linked instructions.
  • Set the VCPKG_ROOT environment value to your new vcpkg directory, so that CMake can find it.
    • export VCPKG_ROOT=/replace/with/full/path/to/your/vcpkg/directory/
  • Change to the repo's source/ directory, then run cmake --build --preset=linux-release to build.
  • The built binaries will be in dist/. Copy the the .so libs from lib/linux/ and the sbinit.config above into dist/ so the game can run.
    • From the root dir of the repo, you can run the assembly script which is used by the GitHub Action: scripts/ci/linux/assemble.sh
      • This packs the game assets and copies the built binaries, premade sbinit configs & required libs into client/ & server/.
Linux (Fedora)

Starbound in general is built from the ground up, with its own engine written in C++ on top of some basic libraries.

  • CMake is a C++ build scenario generator and your first target. You need at least version 3.23. Where Ubuntu uses APT, Fedora uses DNF as package manager.

    1. sudo dnf upgrade --refresh to ensure your OS is up-to-date
    2. sudo dnf install cmake
    3. cmake --version to verify
  • You will need at least the same dependencies ("basic libraries") as for Ubuntu. Some packages have different names or contents between Linux builds. Namely, Fedora uses "-devel" instead of "-dev" for development packages.

    1. sudo dnf install pkg-config libXmu-devel libXi-devel libGL-devel mesa-libGLU-devel SDL2-devel python3-jinja2 ninja-build
    2. If you find out that you need any other dependencies not listed here, try finding them via Fedora Packages first. And, preferably, improve this instruction.
  • Next you will need VCPKG.

VCPKG is another package manager/dependency resolver for C++. CMake will need it to pull the rest of dependencies automatically early in the building process. If you've worked with language-specific package managers before (for example, NPM or YUM for JavaScript), VSPKG is similar. For reference, the list of dependencies VCPKG will try to install later can be found in source/vcpkg.json.

  1. There are many ways to get VCPKG. Here's one: . <(curl https://aka.ms/vcpkg-init.sh -L). This instruction should install VCPKG in your Linux home (user profile) directory in .vcpkg. Note that this dir is usually hidden by default.
  2. Next you need to set your VCPKG_ROOT environment variable to the correct path. Run . ~/.vcpkg/vcpkg-init to bootstrap VCPKG. You may want to check if the path is now known to the system by running printenv VCPKG_ROOT afterwards.
  3. Step 2 (init command) should be run in every new Terminal (Konsole) window before you begin building (environment variables set in this way do not persist between terminal sessions)
  • Change to the repo's source/ directory
  • Optional. First step for CMake is now to run VCPKG and install the remaining dependencies as per source/vcpkg.json. You can run this step manually via vcpkg install on its own to check if it works, or skip to the next step.

If this step throws errors, Fedora probably still lacks some packages not listed explicitly before. Read error messages to identify these packages, find them via Fedora Packages and install with DNF. What you need most of the time is the package itself as well as its -devel and -static subpackages.

  • Optional. Next, we can ask CMake to assemble instructions for linux build without actually running them. The instructions generated will be stored under build/linux-release. To do that, run cmake --preset=linux-release or skip to the next step.
  • Run cmake --build --preset=linux-release to build. It includes previous two steps, so if any of them throw errors, you will have problems. If that's the case, run and debug them separately as described earlier, as CMake itself can just throw Error: could not load cache without specifying the exact problem. In case of major changes (example: you've reinstalled VCPKG to a different location and need to regenerate path to it for CMake) purge CMake cache by deleting source/CMakeCache.txt.

Building will take some time, be patient ;)

Specific problem: If your VCPKG can't build meson for libsystemd

Diagnosed by

ERROR: Value "plain" (of type "string") for combo option "Optimization level" is not one of the choices. Possible choices are (as string): "0", "g", "1", "2", "3", "s".

error in meson building logs when building libsystemd.

Fix for VCPKG is pretty fresh (May 2024) and can be found here.

  • The built binaries will be in dist/. Copy the the .so libs from lib/linux/ and sbinit.config (see beginning of this section) into dist/ so the game can run. Sample sbinit.config can be found in scripts/linux/.
  • From the root dir of the repo, you can run the assembly script which is used by the GitHub Action: scripts/ci/linux/assemble.sh. This packs the game assets and copies the built binaries, premade sbinit configs & required libs into client_distribution/ & server_distribution/.

Next you need to copy original Starbound assets at assets/packed.pak of the Starbound copy that you own into assets/ of either client or server dir (depending on what you're going to run).

The game now can be run by executing client_distribution/linux/run-client.sh (or the corresponding server bash script) from terminal.

Fedora-specific problem with OSS (dsp: No such audio device)

Diagnosed by this error message when launching client:

Couldn't initialize SDL Audio: dsp: No such audio device

The reason is outlined on StackEx:

Most new Linux distributions don't provide the OSS (open sound system) compatibility layer, because access to the OSS sound device /dev/dsp was exclusive to one program at time only.

The same answer has the solution: use padsp to emulate dev/dsp.

  • dnf install pulseaudio-utils to install padsp util
  • execute padsp bash run-client.sh instead of running sh directly. To avoid doing it every time you can edit run-client.sh, replacing

#!/bin/sh cd "dirname "$0"" LD_LIBRARY_PATH="$LD_LIBRARY_PATH:./" ./starbound "$@"


#!/bin/sh cd "dirname "$0"" LD_LIBRARY_PATH="$LD_LIBRARY_PATH:./" padsp ./starbound "$@"


To be written.