LiveCode cross-platform development environment (engine)

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LiveCode Community Edition

Copyright © 2003-2019 LiveCode Ltd., Edinburgh, UK


The LiveCode Community open source platform provides a way to build applications for mobile, desktop and server platforms.

The visual workflow allows the user to develop apps "live", using a powerful and uniquely-accessible language syntax.

LiveCode Ltd., based in Edinburgh, UK, coordinates development of LiveCode and has run the open source project since LiveCode Community was first released in April 2013.

You can download pre-compiled versions of the LiveCode Community development environment from the LiveCode download centre.

Overview Subproject directories

This repository contains a number of subprojects, each of which has its own subdirectory. They can be divided into three main categories.

  1. Main system:
  • engine/ — The main LiveCode engine. This directory produces the IDE, "standalone", "installer" and "server" engines
  1. Non-third-party libraries:
  • libcore/ — A static library that provides various basic functions and types, and is used by many of the other subprojects

  • libexternal/ and libexternalv1 — Static libraries that support the LiveCode "external" interface, which allows the engine to load plugins

  1. Externals (libraries that can be dynamically loaded into the engine at runtime):
  • revdb/ — Database access external, and drivers for various backend database systems

  • revmobile/ — The iOS support external (which can only be built on Mac) and the Android support external (available on all desktop platforms)

  • revpdfprinter/ — Print-to-PDF functionality

  • revspeech/ — Text-to-speech support

  • revvideograbber/ — Video capture (Windows only)

  • revxml/ — XML parsing and generation

  • revzip/ - Zip archive management

Engine flavours

The engine — which loads, saves, manages and runs LiveCode stack files — can be built in several different specialized modes, which are adapted for various specific purposes. They are exposed as separate targets in the build system.

  1. IDE engine (development target)— Used to run the IDE. It contains extra support for things like syntax handling and building LiveCode "standalone" programs.

  2. Installer engine (installer target) — Used to create the LiveCode installer. It contains extra support for things like handling zip archives and comparing binary files.

  3. Server engine (server target) — This is the engine used in a server context, when no graphical user interface is needed. It contains server-specific functions such as CGI support. It also has a much fewer system library dependencies (and requires only non-desktop APIs where possible).

  4. Standalone engine (standalone target) — The engine that is embedded in "standalone apps" created with LiveCode.

Compiling LiveCode

LiveCode uses the gyp (Generate Your Projects) tool to generate platform-specific project files. It can generate xcodeproj files for Xcode on Mac, vcproj files for Microsoft Visual Studio, and makefiles for compiling on Linux.

Quick start

Note: You can only compile LiveCode from a clone of the LiveCode git repository on GitHub. See also the GitHub documentation on cloning a repository.

On Linux or Mac, you can quickly build LiveCode by installing basic development tools, and then running make all.

Detailed instructions

Please see the following table, which shows which target platforms are supported by which host platforms. The documentation for compiling for each target platform is linked.

Target platform Host platforms

mac, ios mac

win win, linux (Wine)

linux linux

android mac, linux

emscripten (html5) linux

Getting help

There are several ways to get help with installing and using LiveCode:

Contributing to LiveCode

For information on modifying LiveCode and submitting contributions to the LiveCode Community project, please see the CONTRIBUTING file.


LiveCode Community is freely distributable under the GNU Public License (GPL), with some special exceptions. For more information, please see the LICENSE file in this repository.

The LiveCode Community engine, libraries, and associated files are, unless otherwise noted:

Copyright © 2003-2019 LiveCode Ltd.

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