I've been trying to build CuraEngine on Ubuntu following the Github instructions.

The problem is that it lists some requirements:

  • Clone the CuraEngine repository;

  • Install Protobuf (see below);

  • Install libArcus.

I'm not sure where should I install Protobuf and libArcus. After several tries and locations I've received several errors during the build process.

Does anyone have a more detailed guide on how to build this engine?

  • $\begingroup$ This is not a direct answer, but a somewhat large workaround. Have you considered using OctoPrint? Most installations including Ubuntu, which I use, come with cura-engine installed. If not, it can be easily installed from the plugins menu in OctoPrint settings. OctoPrint is a really nice alternative to native software for various printers. I had the same struggle with Protobuf and libArcus and OctoPrint worked great. $\endgroup$
    – khaverim
    Jun 12, 2016 at 1:24
  • $\begingroup$ Have you tried installing using sudo make install in the protobuf and libArcus (after running cmake) directories? $\endgroup$
    – nanofarad
    Jun 15, 2016 at 14:33
  • $\begingroup$ I've tried, but the build does not complete so it is impossible to run the install command. $\endgroup$ Jun 15, 2016 at 20:38

1 Answer 1


I'm assuming you actually want to build Cura, rather than simply install Cura. If you instead want to install Cura, you can try sudo apt-get install cura-engine

The following instructions were tested on my own Debian 8 (Jessie) distribution; they should be mostly, if not entirely, the same, for Ubuntu. Note that I did not follow the exact steps as described on the github/Ultimaker/CuraEngine README.

Before we begin, let's make a build directory and do everything in there.

mkdir ~/Downloads/curabuild
cd ~/Downloads/curabuild

The instructions will be broken into

1. Install dependencies

Some or all of these may already be installed on your computer. To be sure, we install them anyways:

sudo apt-get install git curl libtool dh-autoreconf cmake python3-setuptools python3-dev python3-sip sip-dev

2. Install protobuf

  1. Clone and enter the protobuf git repository:

    git clone https://github.com/google/protobuf
    cd protobuf
  2. Build and install for C++:

    make # this will take some time
    sudo make install
  3. Install for Python 3:

    cd python
    sudo python3 setup.py install

3. Install libArcus

  1. Clone and enter the libArcus repository:

    cd ../..
    git clone https://github.com/Ultimaker/libArcus
    cd libArcus
  2. Build and install

    cmake .
    sudo make install

4. Install CuraEngine

  1. Clone and enter repository:

    cd ..
    git clone https://github.com/Ultimaker/CuraEngine
    cd CuraEngine
  2. Build and install

    cmake .
    make # grab a cup of coffee
    sudo make install

5. Celebrate!

If all went well, you're done! You can now use the Cura engine via CuraEngine. Enjoy.

  • $\begingroup$ The objective is to build cura engine which runs from the terminal so I can run it from command line, will this end up on installing it without the GUI? That is the objective. $\endgroup$ Jun 21, 2016 at 3:12
  • $\begingroup$ This will not install the GUI. I believe sudo apt-get install cura-engine will not install the GUI either. $\endgroup$
    – Kye W Shi
    Jun 21, 2016 at 3:44
  • $\begingroup$ This solved my issue with the install, thank you. $\endgroup$ Jun 21, 2016 at 8:20
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I found I also needed sudo apt-get install python3-sip-dev otherwise libArcus would fail on the cmake step. $\endgroup$ Jun 13, 2018 at 4:56

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