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Getting Started v2

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If you want to use Allegro, you should be able to work comfortably with a computer and know the basics of programming in C or C+ either using an IDE or though the command line of your operating system. If you do not know how to program yet then please refer to the section #Learn C or C++.

Installing Allegro

Allegro can be installed either from pre-built binaries or from sources. If you are on Windows, the recommended way to install Allegro is to install from pre-built binaries. On Windows, it is time-consuming and error prone to compile and install the required supporting libraries of Allegro. On Linux it's recommended to install Allegro from sources. It's much easier on Linux to compile and install the supporting libraries than it is on Windows. On OSX it's recommended that you install MacPorts and then use this environment to build Allegro from sources.

Installing From Binaries

The tutorials below show you how to install Allegro with the pre-built binaries using different IDEs and compilers. If you don't see your system listed here, see the manual building instructions in the next section.



Installing From Sources

These tutorials show how to build Allegro from it's sources, which is necessary if there are no pre-built binaries available for your system, or you want to try out the unstable version of Allegro outside of its snapshot releases.


Mac OS




This article is incomplete and needs some revision or has some pending TODOs. Please help Allegro by editing and finishing it. When the article becomes complete, you may remove this tag.

Using Allegro

Official Getting Started Guide

The getting started guide is part of official manual and will introduce you to the parts of the Allegro API that you will most likely need for developing a game of an audiovisual application.


These tutorials teach you how to use Allegro 5. Starting with the absolute bare necessities of display creation, and extending into all the various add-ons for music, and fonts and primitives.

These tutorials assume you are fairly competent in C/C++.

Problems Using Allegro

If you have problems using Allegro, this section provides help with what to do next.

Common Problems

Getting Help

At some point (usually sooner than later) you'll need help. The best place to get it is at Just sign up for an account, and ask your question on the forums. But be sure to read the instructions that come with the Allegro source code and the helpful articles here on the Wiki first!


This section contains various online resources that may be of interest if you use or want to learn how to use Allegro.

Allegro Websites

The following three websites are the main Allegro websites with the most general purpose content. Of course there are many other sites related to Allegro, but for the most part you can find links to them from these listed below.

  • Allegro Wiki You are here. This is the official wiki (maintained by Thomas Fjellstrom) for all things Allegro and includes helpful articles of all sorts.
  • A community website (maintained by Matthew Leverton) used mainly for the Depot (categorizes and hosts games) and the Forums. This is the best place to ask questions and keep in touch with the Allegro community.
  • Official Allegro Website Hosted by SourceForge, the official website has the Allegro source, news, FAQs, etc. For the most part, and the Wiki have more interesting and up to date information.

External Recommended Websites

The following external web sites related to Allegro may be of interest to you.

Learn C or C++

  • [1] - An online book that will teach you the basics of C programming. Reccomended if you already know a different programming language than C.

Allegro In Depth


Allegro 5 has currently two branches that can be used. The 5.0.x branch has a stable API, which is guaranteed to stay the same for the life time of this branch. There is also the allegro 5.1.x branch, which has an expremental API, where features may be added or removed as we decide on the new API. Development of the 5.1.x branch will lead to a 5.2.x branch which will have a stable API again. Allegro 5.1.x is perfectly usable and has functionality and big fixes the allegrio 5.0.x branch misses, so there is no harm in already using it. However, if you are worried that the changes to the Allegro 5.1 API may break your application, or you require a rock-stable API, then using the Allegro 5.1.x branch is probably the best solution.



  • Allegro 4 - Allegro 4 is an older, deprecated version of Allegro. Don't use it for new projects unless you have very good reason to.