Installing Gammu

Prebuilt Binaries for Linux

Many distributions come with prebuilt Gammu binaries, if you can use them, it is definitely the easiest thing. There are also binary packages of latest release built for many distributions available on Gammu home page <>.

You can usually also find Gammu in your distribution, so unless you need a newer version, just install package from your distribution.


Gammu packages are included in Debian (testing versions go to experimental and stable to unstable). If you want to build Debian package on your own, you can find packaging in Git repository at (you can browse it on <>).


Gammu packages are included in openSUSE and Fedora. Additionally source tarball contains gammu.spec which you can use for building RPM package.


Gammu packages are included in Gentoo. Additionally source tarball contains description-pak which you can use for building Slackware package.

Prebuilt Binaries for Windows

You can download Windows binaries from <>. For Windows 95, 98 and NT 4.0 you will also need ShFolder DLL, which can be downloaded from Microsoft:


You need CMake from <> for compiling Gammu.

Additionally pkg-config <> is used for detecting available libraries.

Optional Dependencies

Gammu does not require any special libraries at all to build, but you might miss some features. Optional libraries include:


Required for Bluetooth support on Linux.


Required for fbususb/dku2 connection support on Linux.


Required for new versions notification (see gammu checkversion).


Used to support more character sets in AT engine.


Localization of strings.


Required for MySQL Backend in SMS Daemon.


Required for PostgreSQL Backend in SMS Daemon.


Required for ODBC Backend in SMS Daemon.


Not needed on platforms having native ODBC support such as Microsoft Windows.


Required for DBI Backend in SMS Daemon.


Required at least version 0.8.2.


Gammu has a Python bindings, see python-gammu.

SQLite + libdbi-drivers with SQLite

Needed for testing of SMSD using libdbi driver (libdbd-sqlite3), see Testing Gammu.


Currently needed only for gammu-detect.


Currently needed only for gammu-detect.

Compiling on Linux/Unix Systems

First install all Dependencies and Optional Dependencies. Do not forget to install corresponding devel packages as well, they are usually named with -dev or -devel suffix, depending on your distribution.

For example on Debian or Ubuntu, you can install all optional packages by following command:

apt-get install cmake python-dev pkg-config libmysqlclient-dev libpq-dev \
    libcurl4-gnutls-dev libusb-1.0-0-dev libdbi0-dev libbluetooth-dev \
    libgudev-1.0-dev libglib2.0-dev unixodbc-dev

For openSUSE, the installation all optional packages could look like:

zypper install libusb-1_0-devel libdbi-devel bluez-devel postgresql-devel \
    mysql-devel python-devel libcurl-devel cmake pkgconfig unixODBC-devel \
    glib2-devel libgudev-1_0-devel

Configure like wrapper

For compatibility reasons, configure like wrapper is provided, if you don’t need much specific tuning, you can use usual set of commands:

sudo make install

The configure wrapper will create directory build-configure and build all binaries there (nothing is changed in source tree), for example gammu binary is in build-configure/gammu directory.

Using CMake

If you need/want to tweak build a bit more than configure wrapper provides, you have to use CMake directly. For now, only out of source build is supported, so you have to create separate directory for build:

mkdir build
cd build

Then just configure project:

cmake ..

Build it:


Test that everything is okay:

make test

And finally install it:

sudo make install

You can configure build parameters either by command line (see parameters below), or using TUI - ccmake.

Useful cmake parameters:

  • -DBUILD_SHARED_LIBS=ON enables shared library
  • -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE="Debug" enables debug build
  • -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX="/usr" change installation prefix
  • -DENABLE_PROTECTION=OFF disables various compile time protections against buffer overflows and similar attacks

You can also disable support for whole set of phones, e.g.:

  • -DWITH_NOKIA_SUPPORT=OFF disables Nokia phones support
  • -DWITH_BLUETOOTH=OFF disables Bluetooth support
  • -DWITH_IRDA=OFF disables IrDA support

Library search paths

By installing Gammu to non default system paths, you might need to add path where libGammu and other Gammu liraries are installed to ldconfig search path.

You can do this by editing /etc/ or adding new file to /etc/ directory containing path, wherge Gammu library has been installed. Some examples:

# Gammu on 64-bit Fedora installed to /opt/gammu
echo /opt/gammu/lib64 > /etc/

# Gammu installed to /usr/local
echo /usr/local/lib > /etc/

The similar situation exists with Python modules, if you install in path when your Python interpreter does not search it won’t load newly installed Gammu bindings.

You can also avoid changing ldconfig configuration by installing Gammu to paths where it already searches, for examble by:

cmake .. -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX="/usr"

Compiling on Microsoft Windows

First install all Dependencies and Optional Dependencies.

CMake is able to generate projects for various tools including Microsoft Visual Studio, Borland toolchains, Cygwin or Mingw32. Just click on CMakeLists.txt in project sources and configure CMake to be able to find optional libraries (see cross compilation section for more information about getting those). The result should be project for your compiler where you should be able to work with it as with any other project.

Compiling using MS Visual C++

You will probably need additional SDKs:

  • Microsoft Windows Platform SDK (required especially for Bluetooth). It’s given for free. Below are links to different releases (if you have problems with latest one, use older). They work for various Windows versions, even though Microsoft named them Windows Server 2003 Platform SDK.
  • For free Visual C++ Express 2005 you need to set compiler to work with Platform SDK (see description).
  • MySQL include/library files from MySQL install package (for MySQL support in SMSD).
  • PostgreSQL include/library files from PostgreSQL install package (for PostgreSQL support in SMSD).
  • For gettext (internationalization) support, you will need gettext packages from GnuWin32 project.
  • As build is now based on CMake, you will need to get it from

After downloading and installing them into your system:

  • Now you should be able to execute cmake by clicking on CMakeLists.txt file in Gammu sources, this should pop up dialog with configuration options.
    • You can also start CMakeSetup from start menu and select source directory (just point to it to Gammu sources).
    • Select directory where binaries will be stored, I suggest this is different than source one, eg. append subdirectory build.
    • Select compiler you want to use in Build for select.
  • In list below, you can tweak paths to some optional libraries and project configuration.
  • Then just press Configure button, which will do the hard job. After this, just click OK button to generate Visual Studio project.
  • Project files for Visual Studio should be now generated in directory you selected, just open it in Visual Studio and compile :-).
    • Project file should be named Gammu.dsw or Gammu.sln depending on what MSVC version you choose.
    • You should see ALL_BUILD target, which builds everything needed, similar to make all on Linux.
  • For running testsuite, you need working sh and sed. The easiest way to install them is from MinGW project <>.
  • I know this guide is incomplete, I don’t have environment to test, you’re welcome to improve it!. Some more information can be found in howtos for other projects using CMake, eg. Blender, SIM, KDE, VTK, ISGTK. ITK, [wxWidgets].

Compiling using Borland C++

Borland toolchain - you can download compiler at <>. You need to add c:/Borland/BCC55/Bin to system path (or manually set it when running CMake) and add -Lc:/Borland/BCC55/Lib -Ic:/Borland/BCC55/Include -Lc:/Borland/BCC55/Lib/PSDK to CMAKE_C_FLAGS in CMake (otherwise compilation fails).

Compiling using Cygwin

This should work pretty much same as on Linux.

Compiling on Mac OS X

First install all Dependencies and Optional Dependencies.

Gammu should be compilable on Mac OS X, you need to have installed Developer Tols (version 2.4.1 was tested) and CMake (there is a Mac OS X “Darwin” DMG download). For database support in SMSD, install wanted database, eg. MySQL.

The rest of the compilation should be pretty same as on Linux, see Linux section for more details about compile time options.

If you get some errors while linking with iconv, it is caused by two incompatible iconv libraries available on the system. You can override the library name:

cmake -D ICONV_LIBRARIES="/opt/local/lib/libiconv.dylib" ..

Or completely disable iconv support:

cmake -DWITH_Iconv=OFF ..

To build backward compatible binaries, you need CMake 2.8 or newer. The command line then would look like:


Cross compilation for Windows on Linux

First install all Dependencies and Optional Dependencies into your mingw build environment.

Only cross compilation using CMake has been tested. You need to install MinGW cross tool chain and run time. On Debian you can do it by apt-get install mingw32. Build is then quite simple:

mkdir build-win32
cd build-win32
cmake .. -DCMAKE_TOOLCHAIN_FILE=../cmake/Toolchain-mingw32.cmake

There is also toolchain configuration for Win64 available:

mkdir build-win64
cd build-win64
cmake .. -DCMAKE_TOOLCHAIN_FILE=../cmake/Toolchain-mingw64.cmake

If your MinGW cross compiler binaries are not found automatically, you can specify their different names in cmake/Toolchain-mingw32.cmake.

To build just bare static library without any dependencies, use:

cmake .. -DCMAKE_TOOLCHAIN_FILE=../cmake/Toolchain-mingw32.cmake \
    -DWITH_Postgres=OFF \
    -DWITH_GettextLibs=OFF \
    -DWITH_Iconv=OFF \

To be compatible with current Python on Windows, we need to build against matching Microsoft C Runtime library. For Python 2.4 and 2.5 MSVCR71 was used, for Python 2.6 the right one is MSVCR90. To achieve building against different MSVCRT, you need to adjust compiler specifications, example is shown in cmake/mingw.spec, which is used by CMakeLists.txt. You might need to tune it for your environment.

Third party libraries

The easiest way to link with third party libraries is to add path to their installation to cmake/Toolchain-mingw32.cmake or to list these paths in CMAKE_FIND_ROOT_PATH when invoking cmake.


You can download MySQL binaries from <>, but then need some tweaks:

cd mysql/lib/opt
reimp.exe -d libmysql.lib
i586-mingw32msvc-dlltool --kill-at --input-def libmysql.def \
    --dllname libmysql.dll --output-lib libmysql.a

reimp.exe is part of mingw-utils and can be run through wine, I didn’t try to compile native binary from it.


You can download PostgreSQL binaries from <>, but then you need to add wldap32.dll library to bin.


For Gettext (internationalization support), you need,, from <>. Unpack these to same directory.


For CURL support, you need from <>.

Crosscompiling to different platform

To cross compile Gammu to different architecture (or platform) you need to provide CMake toolchain file for that and invoke CMake with it:

cmake -DCMAKE_TOOLCHAIN_FILE=~/Toolchain-eldk-ppc74xx.cmake ..

More information on creating that is described in CMake Cross Compiling wiki page. Also distributions like OpenEmbedded usually already come with prepared recipes for CMake.

Advanced Build Options

The build system accepts wide range of options. You can see them all by running GUI version of CMake or by inspecting CMakeCache.txt in build directory.

Limiting set of installed data

By setting following flags you can control which additional parts will be installed:

  • INSTALL_GNAPPLET - Install Gnapplet binaries
  • INSTALL_MEDIA - Install sample media files
  • INSTALL_PHP_EXAMPLES - Install PHP example scripts
  • INSTALL_BASH_COMPLETION - Install bash completion script for Gammu
  • INSTALL_LSB_INIT - Install LSB compatible init script for Gammu
  • INSTALL_DOC - Install documentation
  • INSTALL_LOC - Install locales data

For example:


Debugging build failures

If there is some build failure (eg. some dependencies are not correctly detected), please attach CMakeCache.txt, CMakeFiles/CMakeError.log and CMakeFiles/CMakeOutput.log files to the report. It will help diagnose what was detected on the system and possibly fix these errors.

To find out what is going on during compilation, add -DCMAKE_VERBOSE_MAKEFILE=ON to cmake command line or run make with VERBOSE=1:

make VERBOSE=1

Debugging crashes

To debug program crashes, you might want to build Gammu with -DENABLE_PROTECTION=OFF, otherwise debugging tools are somehow confused with protections GCC makes and produce bogus back traces.

Compiling python-gammu

Currently python-gammu is distributed as a separate package, which follows Python usual method for building modules - distutils, so use is placed in the top level directory:

./ build
sudo ./ install

You can install it using pip installer:

pip install python-gammu