______   ___    ___
    /\  _  \ /\_ \  /\_ \
    \ \ \L\ \\//\ \ \//\ \      __     __   _ __   ___ 
     \ \  __ \ \ \ \  \ \ \   /'__`\ /'_ `\/\`'__\/ __`\
      \ \ \/\ \ \_\ \_ \_\ \_/\  __//\ \L\ \ \ \//\ \L\ \
       \ \_\ \_\/\____\/\____\ \____\ \____ \ \_\\ \____/
        \/_/\/_/\/____/\/____/\/____/\/___L\ \/_/ \/___/
                                       \_/__/     Version 4.4.2

                A game programming library.

             By Shawn Hargreaves, May 19, 2011.

                See the AUTHORS file for a
               complete list of contributors.

#include <std_disclaimer.h>

"I do not accept responsibility for any effects, adverse or otherwise, that this code may have on you, your computer, your sanity, your dog, and anything else that you can think of. Use it at your own risk."


Allegro is a cross-platform library intended for use in computer games and other types of multimedia programming. It was initially conceived on the Atari ST, but that platform sadly died during childbirth. After a brief stay with Borland C, it was adopted by the fantastic djgpp compiler, where it grew to maturity. In the fullness of time it gave birth to children of its own, who went to live in such exotic locations as DirectX and the X Server, but the entire family is now back together again, living in harmony as a single portable entity. How about that for a mixture of metaphors? :-)

A wide range of extension packages and add-on modules are also available, which can be found in the "Library Extensions" section of the Allegro.cc website, http://www.allegro.cc/.

According to the Oxford Companion to Music, Allegro is the Italian for "quick, lively, bright". It is also a recursive acronym which stands for "Allegro Low Level Game Routines".

Installation and supported platforms

For generic instructions on how to build and install Allegro, see docs/build/cmake.txt.

For more information on specific platforms, see one of these files:

   Windows/MSVC      - see docs/build/msvc.txt
   Windows/MinGW     - see docs/build/mingw32.txt
   Windows/Cygwin    - see docs/build/mingw32.txt
   Unix (X11)        - see docs/build/unix.txt
   MacOS X           - see docs/build/macosx.txt
   Linux (console)   - see docs/build/linux.txt
Other platforms were supported in the past, but may no longer work without effort from interest parties. Sorry.

General API information can be found in the main manual, usually referred to as docs/txt/allegro.txt, allegro.txt or simply "The Allegro manual" throughout this document. The Allegro manual source is available as a set of files in the docs/src directory. During the build process of the library, these source files will be converted to HTML, TexInfo, and RTF formats (among others) and placed in their respective doc/FORMAT directory.

Information about changes in the API and deprecated features can be found in docs/txt/api.txt (also available in HTML, TexInfo, and RTF format as part of the Allegro manual).

Included Addons

See docs/txt/addons.txt.


Formerly also:


Allegro is gift-ware. It was created by a number of people working in cooperation, and is given to you freely as a gift. You may use, modify, redistribute, and generally hack it about in any way you like, and you do not have to give us anything in return. However, if you like this product you are encouraged to thank us by making a return gift to the Allegro community. This could be by writing an add-on package, providing a useful bug report, making an improvement to the library, or perhaps just releasing the sources of your program so that other people can learn from them. If you redistribute parts of this code or make a game using it, it would be nice if you mentioned Allegro somewhere in the credits, but you are not required to do this. We trust you not to abuse our generosity.




Allegro reads information about your hardware from a file called allegro.cfg. If this file doesn't exist it will autodetect (ie. guess :-) You can write your config file by hand with a text editor, or you can use the setup utility program (located in the setup directory).

Normally the setup program and allegro.cfg will go in the same directory as the Allegro program they are controlling. This is fine for the end user, but it can be a pain for a programmer using Allegro because you may have several programs in different directories and want to use a single allegro.cfg for all of them. If this is the case you can set the environment variable ALLEGRO to the directory containing your allegro.cfg, and Allegro will look there if there is no allegro.cfg in the current directory.

The mapping tables used to store different keyboard layouts are stored in a file called keyboard.dat. This must either be located in the same directory as your Allegro program, or in the directory pointed to by the ALLEGRO environment variable. If you want to support different international keyboard layouts, you must distribute a copy of keyboard.dat along with your program.

Various translations of things like the system error messages are stored in a file called language.dat. This must either be located in the same directory as your Allegro program, or in the directory pointed to by the ALLEGRO environment variable. If you want to support non-English versions of these strings, you must distribute a copy of language.dat along with your program.

Under Unix, BeOS and MacOS X, the config file routines also check for ~/allegro.cfg, ~/.allegrorc, /etc/allegro.cfg, and /etc/allegrorc, in that order, and the keyboard and language files can be stored in your home directory or in /etc/. If under MacOS X, the application bundle Contents/Resources directory, if any, is also scanned first.

See docs/txt/allegro.txt for details of the config file format.

Notes about sound

The DIGMID wavetable driver uses standard GUS format .pat files, and you will need a collection of such instruments before you can use it. This can either be in the standard GUS format (a set of .pat files and a default.cfg index), or a patches.dat file as produced by the pat2dat utility. You can also use pat2dat to convert AWE32 SoundFont banks into the patches.dat format, and if you list some MIDI files on the command line it will filter the sample set to only include the instruments that are actually used by those tunes, so it can be useful for getting rid of unused instruments when you are preparing to distribute a game. See the Allegro website for some links to suitable sample sets.

The DIGMID driver normally only loads the patches needed for each song when the tune is first played. This reduces the memory usage, but can result in a longish delay the first time you play each MIDI file. If you prefer to load the entire patch set in one go, call the load_midi_patches() function.

The CPU sample mixing code can support between 1 and 64 voices, going up in powers of two (ie. either 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, or 64 channels). By default it provides 8 digital voices, or 8 digital plus 24 MIDI voices (a total of 32) if the DIGMID driver is in use. But the more voices, the lower the output volume and quality, so you may wish to change this by calling the reserve_voices() function or setting the digi_voices and midi_voices parameters in allegro.cfg.

Contact info

The latest version of Allegro can always be found on the Allegro homepage, http://alleg.sourceforge.net/.

There are three mailing lists for Allegro-related discussion, each with a slightly different purpose.

To subscribe to one of the three lists, simply go to it's web page and use the online forms to subscribe yourself. You can remove yourself from a list going to the same page above, which can be used to remind you of your password too, in case you have forgotten it.

To send a message to one of the lists, write to alleg-main@lists.sourceforge.net or alleg-developers@lists.sourceforge.net. You don't need to be subscribed to these mailing lists before you can post there, but it is a good idea to subscribe in order to see the replies.

Before posting tech-support questions to the Allegro list, please take a moment to read the guidelines in docs/txt/help.txt. See docs/txt/ahack.txt for information about the style of code we use, and how to create your patches.

If you want to search through the archives of any of those mailing lists, you will have to check the available options at http://alleg.sourceforge.net/maillist.html.

Please don't send messages in HTML format. The increased size places an unnecessary load on the server, and many subscribers have a hard time reading these posts.

Please do not crosspost between these lists. Choose the most appropriate one for your message, and then send it only to that list.

Please don't send large binary attachments to any of the lists, they will be rejected by the size limit filter, which is set to 100KB for the developers mailing list, and 40KB for the others. Upload your files to a website and then post the URL, or if you can't do that, post an announcement asking people to write to you privately, and then send the file by individual email to whoever responded.

Please use English in your messages. You could eventually post messages in whatever language you prefer, but that would terribly limit the chances of getting a useful answer.

Remember that the RFC 1855: netiquette guidelines (http://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc1855.txt) describes other general guidelines you should follow as a correct internet user (in mailing lists and other places as well), and provides more verbose descriptions and explanations about why you should follow the above guidelines.

One of the important guidelines you should be aware of is how to quote correctly the message you are replying to. The previous RFC doesn't really explain how to do it, so you might want to read the document "How do I quote correctly in Usenet?" at http://www.netmeister.org/news/learn2quote.html. Quoting correctly is easier to say than to do, especially for users of Microsoft Outlook. If you are such a user, you can help yourself using the Outlook-QuoteFix extension written by Dominik Jain, which you can find at http://home.in.tum.de/~jain/software/outlook-quotefix/.