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Installing the DREAM.3D SDK


These prerequisites need to be completed before installing the DREAM.3D SDK.

If you have already fulfilled all of these prerequisites, skip to the Install the DREAM.3D SDK section.

Install a Compiler Suite

A compatible compiler needs to be installed on your system to be able to build DREAM.3D.

For more information, please visit Installing a Compiler Suite.

Base DREAM3D_SDK Directory

The develop will need to decide where they would like all the dependent libraries installed. We highly recommend a sandboxed install instead of a system install unless you are an advanced system user.

Operating System Recommended Location
Windows 10/8.1 C:/DREAM3D_SDK
macOS /Users/Shared/DREAM3D_SDK
linux /opt/DREAM3D_SDK

Base Applications - Git

Version 2.x is required

Operating System Recommended Location
Windows 10/8.1 The developer will need to install "Git" from
macOS Git comes as part of the Xcode tools
linux Use platform's packaging system to install git.

Base Application - CMake

Version 3.11 or greater is recommended

Operating System Recommended Location
Windows 10/8.1 The developer will need to install "CMake" from
macOS The developer will need to install "CMake" from
linux The developer will need to install "CMake" from

Base Application - Ninja

This part is optional but does provide faster builds on all platforms (Especially Windows when using QtCreator) and download the appropriate version for your system.

Install the DREAM.3D SDK

It is strongly recommended that developers of DREAM.3D use the Superbuild build system to install the DREAM.3D SDK.

Otherwise, developers can download and install each dependency manually.

Using the Superbuild build system

This is a CMake based build system that uses CMake to drive the creation of the SDK. The Superbuild can run on Windows, OS X and Linux systems.

Note: All of DREAM.3D's dependent libraries, including a prebuilt version of Qt 5.6.x, will be automatically downloaded and compiled during this process and may take a while to complete.

Please visit the DREAM.3D Superbuild Github page to download the Superbuild build system.

After downloading, open the Help documentation inside the Superbuild's directory for more information on how to build a DREAM.3D SDK using the Superbuild. There are separate help documents for Windows, OS X, and Linux.

Download the Source Code for DREAM.3D

The source code for DREAM.3D must be downloaded using Git.

For more information, please visit Downloading the Source Code for DREAM.3D.

Alternate Installation Method - Downloading and Installing External Dependencies Manually

This section is only used if compiling an SDK from scratch instead of using the Superbuild method above! BlueQuartz Software does not officially support this method of SDK installation.

DREAM.3D depends on several 3rd party libraries to be installed and ready to link against. This section will detail the needed libraries and utilities and where to obtain them or how to compile them. This is the recommended order of installation.

Package Minimum Version Download Location
Git 2.8.x
CMake 3.11.1
Doxygen 1.8.11
HDF5 1.8.20
Eigen 3.2.9 Eigen Home Page
Intel Threading Building Blocks tbb44_2018 oss
Qt 5.10.1 (Qt 4.x will NOT work) The developer should obtain a precompiled package from and install that version rather than trying to compile Qt itself. Visual Studio uses should get Qt 5.6.2 at the minimum.
Qwt 6.1.3 Obtain from
ITK 4.13.0 4.13.0 is the earliest version compatible with HDF5 1.8.20

Next Page (Windows): Configuring and Building DREAM.3D on Windows.

Next Page (OS X): Configuring and Building DREAM.3D on Mac OS X.

Next Page (Linux): Configuring and Building DREAM.3D on Linux.

Previous Page: Installing a Compiler Suite.