Building

Note

If you just want to use the latest Release version of Cutter, please note that we provide pre-compiled binaries for Windows, Linux, and macOS on our release page and CI page for latest development builds.

This page describes how to do a basic build from the command line. If you are planning to modify Cutter it is recommended to also read our development environment setup.

Getting the Source

Make sure you’ve git installed in your system (Installation guide) and do the following:

git clone --recurse-submodules https://github.com/rizinorg/cutter

This will clone the Cutter source and its dependencies(rizin, etc.) under cutter and you should see the following dir structure:

cutter/-|
        |-docs/     # Cutter Documentation
        |-rizin/    # Rizin submodule
        |-src/      # Cutter Source Code

Following sections assume that cutter is your working dir. (if not, do cd cutter)

Building on Linux

Requirements

On Linux, you will need:

  • build-essential

  • cmake

  • meson

  • libzip-dev

  • libzlib-dev

  • qt5

  • qt5-svg

  • pkgconf

  • curl*

  • python-setuptools*

  • KSyntaxHighlighter**

  • graphviz**

* Recommended while building with make/Cmake.

** Optional. If present, these add extra features to Cutter. See CMake Building Options.

On Debian-based Linux distributions, all of these essential packages can be installed with this single command:

sudo apt install build-essential cmake meson libzip-dev zlib1g-dev qt5-default libqt5svg5-dev qttools5-dev qttools5-dev-tools

Note

For Ubuntu 18.04 and lower, meson should be installed with pip install --upgrade --user meson.

On Arch-based Linux distributions:

sudo pacman -Syu --needed base-devel cmake meson qt5-base qt5-svg qt5-tools

Building Steps

The recommended way to build Cutter on Linux is by using CMake. Simply invoke CMake to build Cutter and its dependency Rizin.

mkdir build && cd build
cmake ..
cmake --build .

If your operating system has a newer version of CMake (> v3.12) you can use this cleaner solution:

cmake -B build
cmake --build build

If you want to use Cutter with another version of Rizin you can set -DCUTTER_USE_BUNDLED_RIZIN=OFF. Note that using a version of Rizin which isn’t the version Cutter is using can cause issues and the compilation might fail.

Note

If you are interested in building Cutter with support for Python plugins, Syntax Highlighting, Crash Reporting and more, please look at the full list of CMake Building Options.

After the build process is complete, you should have the Cutter executable in the build dir. You can now execute Cutter like this:

./build/cutter

Making Linux distribution specific packages

When making a distribution specific package, the default install target should give you a good starting point. It uses CMake built-in functionality and GNUInstallDirs for installing the executable, desktop file, headers and other files required for plugin compilation. See CMake documentation for adjusting installed file locations and properties. It shouldn’t be necessary to manually copy files from plain build.

It is recommended to build and package rizin as a separate package so that it can be used with or without Cutter. Doing that will also give more control over the way rizin dependencies are handled. We are trying to maintain compatibility with latest rizin release at the time of Cutter release and making a new Cutter release when new rizin version is released.

If you are packaging Cutter, users will appreciate it if you also package rz-ghidra and jsdec decompilers as optional packages. It should be possible to compile Cutter plugins against proper Cutter installation without having direct access to Cutter source code.

If the names “Cutter” or “cutter” conflict with other packages or their content, “rz-cutter” can be used.

Configuration for packaging

  • -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Release turn on release optimizations, unless your distro has more specific guidelines for common compiler options.

  • CUTTER_USE_BUNDLED_RIZIN=OFF turn off use of rizin from submodule to use previously packaged rizin. Note that keeping it on doesn’t install rizin in a way suitable for linux packaging without doing additional manual steps making packaging process more complex. Bundled rizin will also likely conflict with standalone rizin package.

  • Correct install prefix. By default CMake will install to /usr/local suitable for user builds. Change it according to your distro packaging guidelines.

  • CUTTER_ENABLE_PYTHON and CUTTER_ENABLE_PYTHON_BINDINGS it is recommended to turn on for complete user experience. May require manual path specification on distros with multiple python versions.

  • CUTTER_ENABLE_GRAPHVIZ and CUTTER_ENABLE_KSYNTAXHIGHLIGHTING optional but nice to have since they are available on most distros.

  • CUTTER_EXTRA_PLUGIN_DIRS use it to specify additional plugin search locations if distro packaging guidelines require you placing them in locations Cutter doesn’t use by default.

Building on Windows

Requirements

Cutter works on Windows 7 or newer. To compile Cutter it is necessary to have the following installed:

Building Steps

To build Cutter on Windows machines using CMake, you will have to make sure that the executables are available in your %PATH% environment variable.

You can check if the binaries are available by opening PowerShell and executing the following commands.

ninja --version
meson --version
cmake --version

If they are not available, you can use PowerShell to add them to your PATH one by one:

$Env:Path += ";C:\enter\path\here"

Note that the paths below may vary depending on your version of Qt and Visual Studio.

# First, set CMAKE_PREFIX_PATH to Qt5 intallation prefix
$Env:CMAKE_PREFIX_PATH = "C:\Qt\5.15.2\msvc2019_64\lib\cmake\Qt5"

# Then, add the following directory to your PATH
$Env:Path += ";C:\Qt\5.15.2\msvc2019_64\bin"

# Build Cutter
cmake -B build
cmake --build build

After the compilation completes, the cutter.exe binary will be available in .\build\Debug\cutter.exe.

Building on macOS

Requirements

  • XCode

  • CMake

  • Qt

  • meson

  • ninja

For basic build all dependencies except XCode can be installed using homebrew:

brew install cmake qt5 meson ninja

CMake Building Options

Note that there are some major building options available:

  • CUTTER_USE_BUNDLED_RIZIN automatically compile Rizin from submodule (Enabled by default).

  • CUTTER_ENABLE_PYTHON compile with Python support.

  • CUTTER_ENABLE_PYTHON_BINDINGS automatically generate Python Bindings with Shiboken2, required for Python plugins!

  • CUTTER_ENABLE_KSYNTAXHIGHLIGHTING use KSyntaxHighlighting for code highlighting.

  • CUTTER_ENABLE_GRAPHVIZ enable Graphviz for graph layouts.

  • CUTTER_EXTRA_PLUGIN_DIRS List of addition plugin locations. Useful when preparing package for Linux distros that have strict package layout rules.

Cutter binary release options, not needed for most users and might not work easily outside CI environment:

  • CUTTER_ENABLE_CRASH_REPORTS is used to compile Cutter with crash handling system enabled (Breakpad).

  • CUTTER_ENABLE_DEPENDENCY_DOWNLOADS Enable downloading of dependencies. Setting to OFF doesn’t affect any downloads done by Rizin build. This option is used for preparing Cutter binary release packges. Turned off by default.

  • CUTTER_PACKAGE_DEPENDENCIES During install step include the third party dependencies. This option is used for preparing Cutter binary release packges.

These options can be enabled or disabled from the command line arguments passed to CMake. For example, to build Cutter with support for Python plugins, you can run this command:

cmake -B build -DCUTTER_ENABLE_PYTHON=ON -DCUTTER_ENABLE_PYTHON_BINDINGS=ON

Or if one wants to explicitly disable an option:

cmake -B build -DCUTTER_ENABLE_PYTHON=OFF

Compiling Cutter with Breakpad Support

If you want to build Cutter with crash handling system, you will want to first prepare Breakpad. For this, simply run one of the scripts (according to your OS) from root Cutter directory:

source scripts/prepare_breakpad_linux.sh # Linux
source scripts/prepare_breakpad_macos.sh # MacOS
scripts/prepare_breakpad.bat # Windows

Then if you are building on Linux you want to change PKG_CONFIG_PATH environment variable so it contains $CUSTOM_BREAKPAD_PREFIX/lib/pkgconfig. For this simply run

export PKG_CONFIG_PATH="$CUSTOM_BREAKPAD_PREFIX/lib/pkgconfig:$PKG_CONFIG_PATH"

Troubleshooting

  • Cmake can’t find Qt

    Cmake: qt development package not found

Depending on how Qt installed (Distribution packages or using the Qt installer application), CMake may not be able to find it by itself if it is not in a common place. If that is the case, double-check that the correct Qt version is installed. Locate its prefix (a directory containing bin/, lib/, include/, etc.) and specify it to CMake using CMAKE_PREFIX_PATH in the above process, e.g.:

rm CMakeCache.txt # the cache may be polluted with unwanted libraries found before
cmake -DCMAKE_PREFIX_PATH=/opt/Qt/5.9.1/gcc_64 ..
  • Rizin’s librz_*.so cannot be found when running Cutter

    ./cutter: error while loading shared libraries: librz_lang.so: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory

The exact Rizin .so file that cannot be found may vary. On some systems, the linker by default uses RUNPATH instead of RPATH which is incompatible with the way Rizin is currently compiled. It results in some of the Rizin libraries not being found when running cutter. You can verify if this is the problem by running ldd ./cutter. If all the Rizin libraries are missing you have a different problem. The workaround is to either add the –disable-new-dtags linker flag when compiling Cutter or add the Rizin installation path to LD_LIBRARY_PATH environment variable.

cmake -DCMAKE_EXE_LINKER_FLAGS="-Wl,--disable-new-dtags"  ..
  • rz_*.h: No such file or directory

    Eg: rz_util/rz_annotated_code.h: No such file or directory

If you face an error where some header file starting with rz_ is missing, you should check the rizin submodule and make sure it is in sync with upstream Cutter repo. Simply run:

git submodule update --init --recursive
  • rz_core development package not found

If you installed Rizin and still encounter this error, it could be that your PATH environment variable is set improperly (doesn’t contain /usr/local/bin). You can fix this by adding the Rizin installation dir to your PATH variable.

macOS specific solutions:

On macOS, that can also be, for example, due to Qt Creator.app being copied over to /Applications. To fix this, append :/usr/local/bin to the PATH variable within the Build Environment section in Qt Creator. See the screenshot below should you encounter any problems.

You can also try:

  • PKG_CONFIG_PATH=$HOME/bin/prefix/rizin/lib/pkgconfig cmake ...

_images/cutter_path_settings.png

You can also install Rizin into /usr/lib/pkgconfig/ and then add a variable PKG_CONFIG_PATH with the value /usr/lib/pkgconfig/.

  • macOS libjpeg error

On macOS, Qt5 apps fail to build on QtCreator if you have the libjpeg installed with brew. Run this command to work around the issue:

sudo mv /usr/local/lib/libjpeg.dylib /usr/local/lib/libjpeg.dylib.not-found