It is likely, that there are pre-compiled packages for your distribution. Widelands is tracked by any major Linux distribution.
For Ubuntu, especially for older versions which will not get a backport of the latest build, we offer a PPA. Follow the install instructions on the PPA's site to add it to your system.
In case your distribution does not provide pre-compiled packages you have to compile Widelands yourself. Go to the BuildingWidelands page for further instructions.
Unofficial development Builds
There are some people providing pre-compiled (ready to run like our official releases) packages, made from our current development state. Below are the links to those builds. Installation should work similar as described in "Official builds"
After downloading one of the development builds your browser might warn you that the file can possibly harm your computer. This is a false alarm! There is just too little information about these files, because they change so rapidly, that the browser cannot say for sure whether they are malicious or not.
Mac OS X
PKGBUILD: There is a widelands-bzr pkgbuild in the arch user repository: click here
Daily Builds: provided by a PPA available for all currently supported releases of Ubuntu, i.e. Ubuntu Lucid (10.04), Natty (11.04), Oneiric (11.10), Precise (12.04), Quantal (12.10) :
(unofficial packages): Link to PPA -
Add them to your system, refresh the packages lists and install or upgrade widelands.
PS. For those who have relied on Timowi's PPA in the past, this is no longer actively updated and we encourage you to switch to the one above.
PPS. As of Mai 2012, there are only release builds and release builds with debug info on launchpad. To use the debug window (F6) please compile Widelands in debug mode. compile.sh will kindly ask you for this option. Check BuildingWidelands for a HowTo on building.