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distcc is a tool to distribute building C/C++ software across multiple Unix like systems.

This project has its own documentation, so this is just some notes on using it with Blender.

Use Case

For incremental rebuilds and general development, there aren't significant advantages to distributing the process.

This is mainly useful when you need to rebuild the entire source tree, many times.

  • Using git bisect.
  • Changing compiler flags.
  • Changes to heavily used headers.


  • Install distcc using your systems package manager on 2 or more systems.

In the following example, is the master, and, are the slaves.


Edit /etc/distcc/hosts

Example configuration:,lzo,cpp,lzo,cpp localhost/8,cpp

Note that the values 16 and 8 represent the number of jobs you want each system to be given.

  • cpp means the pre-processing is done on build the slaves too.
  • lzo uses lzo compression for file transfer.


Edit /etc/default/distcc

Example configuration:


Build System

First start the distcc service on master and slave systems.

systemctl start distccd

... replace 'start' with 'enable' if you want this to be stated each reboot.

In this example we'll assume your source directory is called blender/ and create a new build directory called build_distcc/.

The following commands assume you're in an existing Blender checkout.

(Authors note, in CMake 3.4x you should not need to change the compiler, instead use CMAKE_<LANG>_COMPILER_LAUNCHER. This needs to be tested though before updating the docs! Ideasman42 10:02, 21 July 2017 (UTC))

mkdir ../build_distcc
cd ../build_distcc
CC="distcc gcc" CXX="distcc g++" cmake ../blender

This should configure the new build without any errors.

Now compile the source.

pump make -j32

In this example the number of jobs is 32, jobs will be split across all systems. To keep all cores busy you can set the job count to slightly more than the sum of all cores - since there will be network latency where cores wait for new jobs.


  • Building with the instructions above you may get the warning -Wmissing-include-dirs which can be safely ignored.
  • When the distcc daemon isn't running, it will print a warning and fall-back to building locally.
  • If you try to modify an existing build to use distcc, CMake will detect the compiler as being changed and remove your existing CMakeCache.txt and create a new one (loosing any manual edits!).