Building SDL2 from Source (GCC and Make)

SDL2: Static vs Dynamic Linking

What is the difference between static and dynamic linking when building SDL2 from source?

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When building SDL2 from source, you have the option to link the libraries statically or dynamically to your project.

Static linking means that the SDL2 libraries are compiled directly into your executable. This results in a larger file size, but the libraries are always available, and you don't need to distribute them separately.

Dynamic linking, on the other hand, means that the SDL2 libraries are loaded at runtime. The libraries (.dylib on macOS/Linux or .dll on Windows) need to be available on the user's system for the program to run successfully. Dynamic linking results in smaller executables but requires distributing the libraries along with your application.

To statically link SDL2 in a CMake project, you would use the target_link_libraries command like this:

target_link_libraries(YourProject PRIVATE

For dynamic linking, you would use:

target_link_libraries(YourProject PRIVATE
  /path/to/libSDL2.dylib # or .dll on Windows

The choice between static and dynamic linking depends on your project's requirements, such as target platforms, distribution methods, and file size constraints.

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