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Detailed installation guide for Microsoft Windows

Thorbjørn H.H. Sindrup edited this page Jan 13, 2019 · 3 revisions


Welcome to the Continued Massive Network Game Object Server! :tada:

This step-by-step guide is intended to help people to install a CMaNGOS World of Warcraft server on their Windows computer. If you need installation instructions for MacOS or Linux, see the More Information section. Information about updating an already installed server is provided in the Updating section of this file.

Table Of Contents


Table Of Contents

What Should I Know Before I Get Started?


Cloning the repositories


Database Setup

Map Extraction

Finishing touches


What Should I Know Before I Get Started?


There are three versions of CMaNGOS: Classic, The Burning Crusade, and Wrath of the Lich King. The fourth version, Cataclysm is currently not maintained. Each version consists of one core git repository and one database git repository (found under

Repo\Version Classic TBC WotLK
Core mangos-classic mangos-tbc mangos-wotlk
DB classic-db tbc-db wotlk-db

Note: When following this guide, you will sometimes have to pick the command/path appropriate to the version you would like to install. You will have to replace the VERSION part of them with classic, tbc or wotlk, i.e. if you are asked to got to C:\mangos\mangos-VERSION and you are installing WotLK, you have to go to C:\mangos\mangos-wotlk. The screenshots will show the pathes for Classic version.


Compilation of the server core and extractor tool binaries is optional. If you do not plan on changing the code yourself, you can download the precompiled binaries from the release pages of the core repositories on Github. Here are the links to the download pages:

We will provide more information about how to setup a server with released files when it will be possible.

More Information

This guide is intended only for Windows and provides one of many ways to setup a CMaNGOS server. You can find a more detailed installation guide (including alternative programs, Linux/Mac setup, etc.) in the Wiki. If you get stuck you can find us here:

32 or 64 Bit?

This section will most likely not be of any concern to most people, as it is highly unlikely they have 32-bit hardware/OS. If your system is very old and you want to make sure you run a 64-bit version of Windows, press WinKey+Pause (or navigate to the System settings in the Control Panel). You should see a row named System type in the list there, which should read 64-bit Operating System. If that is the case, you can ignore the rest of this section and follow the guide to the letter.


32-bit/64-bit refers to the instruction set architecture (ISA) of your computers central processing unit (CPU). Generaly speaking, 64-bit processors can run instructions sets (parts of a program) that are twice as big and the program therefore runs faster. They are however able to run 32-bit programs as well, while 32-bit processors are unable to run 64-bit programs. The same goes for operating systems. If you have a 64-bit processor but a 32-bit Windows version, you will not be able to run 64 bit programs.

In the context of this guide, that means if you have either a 32-bit processor or Windows version, you will have to adjust the instructions given here to that fact. You will have to download/install 32-bit programs and set it as target architecture during compilation. You can usually recognise the correct link/file by a part of its name that will read something like 32, 32bit, x86, etc. If you run into problems while compiling or running a 32-bit version of CMaNGOS, you can find information about how to contact the team in the above section.

Note: While x86 refers to the 32-bit architecture, x86_64 or x86-64 refers to the 64-bit architecture (read "I can only process 32-bit" vs. "I can process both 32-bit and 64-bit").


These are programs you will need to setup the database and compile the core. This section will explain where to download and how to install them. If not otherwise noted in the programs installation instructions, the default settings apply. After downloading them all into a separate folder, it should look something like this:



  • Go to:

  • Select a version number not ending in _bX (those are beta versions), e.g. click 1.69.0. (Confirmed working as of 2019-01-09.)

  • Download the executable file containing msvc-14.1-64, e.g. boost_1_69_0-msvc-14.1-64.exe. (MSVC-14.1 is the Visual Studio 2017 C++ compiler, 64 stands for the 64 bit architecture)

  • Execute the downloaded file. During the installation you will be asked to set the installation path, if you change it, remember it. It is needed in the next step.

  • Add the BOOST_ROOT environment variable (Note: You might have to relog/restart afterwards, so every program can see this variable):

    • Press WinKey+Pause (or navigate to the System settings in the Control Panel).
    • Click on Advanced system settings.
    • Click on Environment Variables.
    • Click on the bottom New button (Note: there are two, we need the one under System variables).
    • As Variable name enter BOOST_ROOT, as Variable value enter the path you installed boost to (C:\local\boost_X_XX_X by default, depending on which version you downloaded).




  • Go to:

  • Confirm the download if it is the architecture you want (32 or 64 bit). Otherwise abort and select the correct version.

  • During installation make sure the following options are checked:

    • Git Bash Here:


    • Use Git from the Windows Command Prompt:


    • Use MinTTY:



  • Go to:

  • Download the web installer. If you have no internet during setup you can download the full 400 MB installer instead.

    mysql1 1

  • Start the installer and select Setup Type Custom:


  • Add MySQL Server and MySQL Workbench:


  • If there are missing requirements reported on the next page, select them and click Execute if possible:


  • You will have to define the MySQL Root Password. This will be the admin password to your MySQL server so make sure to remember it! The root user will have access to all databases. We will create another user later in the process which will only have access to CMaNGOS databases.


  • After the installation has finished, start the MySQL Workbench program and click on the Local instance button. In the popup that opens, set the checkbox and enter your root password.


  • Add the MySQL servers path to the Path environment variable: (Note: You might have to relog/restart afterwards, so every program can see the updates to the variable)

    • Press WinKey+Pause (or navigate to the System settings in the Control Panel).
    • Click on Advanced system setting.
    • Click on Environment Variables.
    • In the bottom part of the new window (under System variables) look for the variable called Path, select it, and click on Edit.
    • Note: This field is a list of values, separated by ;. Do not delete the entries that were already there, or some programs might stop working!
    • Select the Variable value field and make sure the cursor is at the end of the field and no text is selected (press EndKey or ArrowRightKey).
    • Add the path where your MySQL server was installed, prefixed by a semi-colon (by default ;C:\Program Files\MySQL\MySQL Server 5.7\bin) and save the changes by clicking OK.



  • Notepad++ is completely optional. It is an improved version of the text editor that comes with Windows. You will have to edit a few files during installation, which you can do with the standard editor, but it is recommended doing it with Notepad++, as it has some handy features:

    • Open files from the context (right-click) menu:


    • Recognises Linux style line endings. (Windows apparently thinks it is a typewriter and uses two symbols, CR and LF - carriage return and line feed - for new lines instead of just LF like Linux does. This is why some files mysteriously appear to be written in one line.)

    • Line numbers.

    • Open multiple files at once.

    • Remembers opened files and unsaved changes between sessions.

  • Go to:

  • Download (32bit recommended since it has more plugins available) and install it.

  • Make sure Context Menu Entry option is enabled:


Visual Studio

  • Go to:

  • Under Visual Studio Community 2017 click on Free Download.

  • Open the installer. When asked to select Workloads, check Desktop development with C++ and then click Install:


  • Start Visual Studio 2017. You will be asked if you want to sign in, but it is not needed:


  • In the next window, leave the Development Settings as they are (General), but feel free to select another theme:


  • Close Visual Studio for now.

Cloning the repositories

A git repository is basically just a normal directory which contains some hidden files, that the git program (or some other program) can use to manage different versions of that directory. In this step we will "clone" the repositories from Github, which means creating an exact copy of them on your hard drive.


You can basically follow this guide from any location on your hard drive. However, we will assume you have created an empty directory called mangos on your C drive: C:\mangos. If you want to work in another location, you will have to adjust some of the provided commands/locations. We also assume you have installed the Git Bash Here and Edit with Notepad++ commands to the Windows context menu.

Navigate to C:\mangos in the Windows Explorer, Right-Click into the empty area and select Git Bash Here:


A new window should open with two lines of text:

  1. user@device MINGW64 /c/mangos
    • This line shows the active user and the working directory. You can ignore the MINGW64.
  2. $
    • This line is the command prompt. It waits for you to write a command and press Enter.

FYI: Git Bash uses Linux style pathes, which means:

  • Pathes use / (forward slash) instead of \ (backwards slash).
  • Your base directories are not the hard drive partitions, but the single "root directory" /, which contains all the hard drives (and some other stuff). So /c/ points to your C:\ and /d/ points to D:\.
  • There is a shortcut to the users "home" directory, which is ~. The Windows path hidden behind that is C:\Users\YourUserName. So if Git Bash says you are in ~/Desktop you are actually in C:\Users\YourUserName\Desktop.
  • There are absolute pathes (starting with / or ~), and relative pathes (not starting with / or ~). Relative pathes point to a location relative to the working directory. Every directory contains a directory .. which points to its parent (the directory one step closer to the root directory), and a directory . which points to itself (executing binaries is prefixed with ./).
  • Use cd /absolute/path/to/something or cd relative/path/to/somethingto change your working directory. You can use cd .. to go one directory back, cd ../.. to go two directories back, etc.
  • When you are entering long path names, you can use the Tab key to auto-complete them. E.g. if you have already entered cd /c/man and then press Tab, the command prompt will autocomplete it to cd /c/mangos (as long as there are no other directories in /c/ that start with man).
  • For more information see


Note: You need these files even if you use the precompiled binaries, since some of the database creation scripts are contained in this repository. This command creates a copy of the Github repository on your hard drive.

  • Copy the command (Ctrl+C):
git clone
git clone
git clone
  • In the Git Bash window, Right-Click and select Paste, or press Shift+Insert (for historic reason the usual copy/paste keyboard shortcuts do not work in most command line interfaces).

    git_bash2 1

  • Press Enter to confirm the command.

  • Wait for download to finish.


  • Copy the command:
git clone
git clone
git clone
  • Paste it in Git Bash and press Enter to confirm the command.

  • Wait for download to finish.



Configure CMake

  • Start CMake.

  • Set source directory to C:\mangos\mangos-VERSION and build directory to C:\mangos\mangos-VERSION\bin\BuildDir (see screenshot). You will have to create the bin and BuildDir directories, if they do not exist. The bin directory is listed in the repositories .gitignore file, which means you can change its content without git noticing it. If you choose another location inside the repository for building, you will break the update process (see Updating).

  • Click Configure

    cmake1 1

  • In the popup window select the compiler version. If you followed this guide you have Visual Studio 15 2017 Win64


  • Make sure the BUILD_EXTRACTORS option is checked. Then click Generate. FYI: You can also activate the BUILD_PLAYERBOT option. Playerbot allows you to add other characters in your account as AI controlled bots that follow you around.

    cmake3 x

  • Once the console at the bottom says Generating done, press Open Project, which should open Visual Studio.

    cmake3 y

Compile with VS2017

  1. Wait until the loading has finished (see bottom of the window).
  2. Choose Release and x64 at the dropdown menus on top.
  3. Press Ctrl+Shift+B, or Right-Click the topmost solution and select Build Solution.
  4. Wait until the output log shows the Build succeeded message.


  • Assuming everything went well the binary-, library-, and configuration-files should now be in C:\mangos\mangos-VERSION\bin\x64_Release.

Database Setup


  • Open MySQL Workbench and under MySQL Connections click on Local instance MySQL57 to establish a connection to the MySQL server.

  • In the new tab that opens, click the Open SQL script file button:

    db_create1 1

  • Navigate to C:\mangos\mangos-VERSION\sql\create\ and open the db_create_mysql.sql file.


  • By running this script, a new user and three new databases will be created. Make sure you have no text selected in the editor, then click the left dash symbol. See the output at the bottom of the window to make sure there were no errors.

    • Note: The new user is created in case people use their MySQL server for other stuff, as well as for security reasons. If you want to expose your server to the internet, it is highly recommended to change the password of this user in line 7 of the script (the string behind IDENTIFIED BY). When closing the file, do not save the changes, or you will break the update process.
    • FYI: If you want to run different versions of CMaNGOS at the same time (Classic/TBC/WotLK), you will have to rename the mangos DB (lines 1 and 9), the characters DB (lines 3 and 11) and the realmd DB (lines 5 and 13). The user creation (line 7) will need to be deactivated when creating a second or third server. Note that the middle dash button in Workbench executes only that part of the code, which has been selected in the editor, which might be helpful here.
    • FYI: If you change neither password nor database names, and you do not wish to change the standard server configuration, you can skip the Configuration step later on.


  • You should now see the new databases (referred to as Schemas in Workbench) on the left. If not, click the refresh button.



  • Double-Click the mangos database in the Schemas overview, so that its name is written bold. This marks the database as active, which means that table specific SQL commands will be run on this database. If the database name is not written in bold text after double-clicking it, restart Workbench and double-click again.

  • Click the Open script file button above the editor:

    mysql12 1

  • Execute the mangos.sql file found in C:\mangos\mangos-VERSION\sql\base\. (See output at bottom of window to know when it is finished.)

  • Execute all scripts in the C:\mangos\mangos-VERSION\sql\base\dbc\original_data directory (currently DungeonEncounter.sql and Spell.sql).

  • Double-Click the characters database in the Schemas overview and execute the characters.sql file found in C:\mangos\mangos-VERSION\sql\base\.

  • Double-Click the realmd database in the Schemas overview and execute the realmd.sql file found in C:\mangos\mangos-VERSION\sql\base\.

  • You can now close Workbench.


  • Navigate to the C:\mangos\VERSION-db directory in the Windows Explorer, Right-Click into the empty area and select Git Bash Here.


  • Enter ./ and press Enter.


  • In the Windows Explorer, Right-Click the newly created file InstallFullDB.config and select Edit with Notepad++.


  • Change the CORE_PATH variable to ../mangos-VERSION and save the file.

    • FYI: The double dots mean we are going back one step in the directory tree, so it is assumed that the core repository has been cloned to the parent directory of the database repository. If you diverged from the guides steps adjust the relative path accordingly or use an absolute path (see Location section).
    • Note: If you changed the MySQL user name and/or password during the database creation step, you will have to change the USERNAME and/or PASSWORD variable here as well.
    • Note: If you changed the database name mangos during the database creation step, you will have to change the DATABASEvariable here as well.


  • In Git Bash, enter the ./ again, by pressing ArrowUp and Enter (it will now do something different, since the config file is present).


  • Once the script finished you should see a message like this:


Map Extraction

  • FYI: This step deals with extracting terrain information from the client. This is used by the AI to generate correct movement. Four different data types are extracted. One of them, mmaps, is optional, because its extraction takes a long time (depending on your CPU, 30 minutes to several hours). Mmaps are required for correct NPC movement though, so it is not advised to skip mmap extraction. This step is sometimes also needed when updating, but only if the extraction process has been changed (it is always needed when first installing). If the files need to be updated, the server will crash on startup and write information about this to the log file.

  • Acquire a clean copy of the correct WoW client version (1.12.1/2.4.3/3.3.5). Note: It is recommended to do this step in a copy of the client directory, not the actual one you use for gaming, since some temporary files are created. If you use a copy you can just delete it after you are done. Your directory should look something like this (example from classic):


  • Go to C:\mangos\mangos-VERSION\bin\x64_Release\Extractors (or the Extractors directory inside the directory you extracted the precompiled binaries to) and copy all the files to the client directory:


  • Right-Click into the empty area and select Git Bash Here. Enter the command ./ and press Enter.

  • The script will ask for settings, the recommended inputs are:

    • y

    • Number of your CPUs cores/threads. If you are unsure how many cores/threads your CPU has, Right-Click the Windows Taskbar, select Start Task Manager and switch to the Performance tab:

      • On Windows 7 the number of graph windows you see under CPU Usage History corresponds with the number of cores/threads your CPU has. Example picture with 4 cores/threads:


      • On Windows 10, look for the line saying Logical Processors:


    • nothing (leave line blank and press Enter)


  • You will be prompted to confirm your settings. Press Enter to do so and go do something else. Like mentioned before, extraction takes a long time (depending on your CPU, 30 minutes to several hours). Wait until you see the command prompt again ($ ).


  • After extraction is finished, copy the dbc, maps, mmaps and vmaps directories to C:\mangos\mangos-VERSION\bin\x64_Release (or the directory you extracted the precompiled binaries to).


Finishing touches


Note: If you have not changed the user password and database names during the database creation step above, and you do not plan on changing the standard configuration, then you can skip to running.

  • FYI: You will have to start two binaries (.exe files) to launch the server, the mangosd.exe and the realmd.exe (*the d stands for daemon (disk and execution monitor). Both of the binaries read settings from a file which is passed to them by the -c <config-file> argument when starting them (see below).

  • The standard names for the configuration files are mangosd.conf.dist and realmd.conf.dist. They are copied to C:\mangos\mangos-VERSION\bin\x64_Release when compiling (or contained in the zip file of the precompiled binaries). If you change the configuration, it is advised you rename the files to mangosd.conf and realmd.conf, so they will not be overwritten when updating. To do so, select the file and press F2 or Right-Click it and select Rename from the context menu. Then remove the .dist at the end, and press Enter. If you do not see the .dist ending when trying to rename, see the note below.

    folder1 3

  • Note: By default, Windows hides the part of the file name behind the last dot (.) in it (the file type extension). If you try to rename the files and do not see the .dist ending:

    • Click on Organize in the top left and select Folder and search options.


    • Uncheck the Hide extensions for known file types option and click OK or Apply.


    • Try renaming again.

  • After changing the file names, Right-Click the mangosd.conf and select Edit with Notepad++. Change the values of LoginDatabaseInfo, WorldDatabaseInfo, and CharacterDatabaseInfo variables according to the changes you made (if you made any) during the database creation step and save the file with Ctrl+S.


  • Right-Click the realmd.conf and select Edit with Notepad++. Change the values of LoginDatabaseInfo variable according to the changes you made (if you made any) during the database creation step and save the file with Ctrl+S.



  • In the Windows Explorer, navigate to C:\mangos\mangos-VERSION\bin\x64_Release (or the directory you extracted the precompiled binaries to). You have two options of doing the start up:
  1. Manual: Run from Git Bash
    • Right-Click into the empty area and select Git Bash Here.
    • Enter ./realmd.exe -c realmd.conf (or realmd.conf.dist if you skipped the Configuration step) and press Enter.
    • Right-Click into the empty area and select Git Bash Here again.
    • Enter ./mangosd.exe -c mangosd.conf (or mangosd.conf.dist if you skipped the Configuration step) and press Enter.
  2. Automatic: Create shortcuts containing the arguments
    • Right-Click the mangosd.exe, chose either Send to->Desktop (create shortcut) or Create shortcut to create it in the same directory as the binaries.


    • Right-Click the newly created shortcut and select Properties.


    • At the end of the Target field, add -c mangosd.conf (or -c mangosd.conf.dist if you skipped the Configuration step).


    • Repeat this for the realmd.exe, but add -c realmd.conf (or -c realmd.conf.dist if you skipped the Configuration step) at the end of the Target field instead.

  • Start the the realmd.exe first, then the mangosd.exe. The latter will take some time to start, watch for the CMANGOS: World initialized line. (Depending on your configuration, it will be visible only for a split second. See next step on how to change that.)


  • When first starting the server, the Windows Firewall might ask for permissions. If you want players to connect over the local network or the internet, enable both check boxes and click Allow access (for both realmd and mangosd binaries).


Account Creation

  • The mangosd.exe window will wait for commands. You can ignore the text scrolling through the window, it does not influence text input or deletion.

  • FYI: If the scrolling text is bothering you, open the mangosd.conf file and change the value of the LogLevel variable to 0 (Mind the notes in the Configuration section about the config being overwritten during updates).


  • Creating a new account: account create MyNewAccount MyPassword

  • Setting the expansion the account is allowed to access: account set addon MyNewAccount 2

    • 0: Classic (default value, this command is not needed when installing classic)
    • 1: TBC
    • 2: WotLK
    • 3: Cata
  • Setting the access level to ingame commands: account set gmlevel MyNewAccount 3

    • 0: Player (default value)
    • 1: Moderator
    • 2: Game Master
    • 3: Administrator
  • After successfully entering these commands you are ready to start the client and log in to the server. Make sure the file in the client directory only contains set realmlist before starting. If you want to save addresses of other servers, you can prefix their lines with //, like:

    set realmlist
    //set realmlist someRealmd.somewhere

Ingame commands

  • There are many useful ingame commands. When ingame, open the chat prompt by pressing Enter, write .help and confirm by pressing Enter again. This will show a list of commands available to your account in the chat window. Many commands show further ingame documentation when called without arguments (e.g. .modify).
  • CMaNGOS has no dedicated documentation of these commands, if you want a list look through the source files, the database, or search the web for something like "mangos gm commands" (most commands are the same across open source servers).


  • In the mangosd.exe window, write server shutdown 1 (the number represents delay in seconds) and press Enter.
  • In the realmd.exe window, press Ctrl+C.


  • Note: The git pull command used below might not work if you changed files inside the repositories (except for the bin directory inside the core repository and the InstallFullDB.config file in the database repository, because they are listed in the .gitignore file). If you have changed some files and the pull does not work, you can use the command git reset --hard to reset all the changes you made inside the repository (again excepting locations in the .gitignore file) and then git pull again.
  • FYI: The default configuration files mangosd.conf.dist and realmd.conf.dist will be overwritten during the update. If you changed them, make sure you changed their name or file type too (see configuration section for more information).

Released binaries

To update the precompiled binaries, go to the release page on Github and download a fresh copy of the zip file (the release is automatically updated when there are new commits). Extract the content of the zip file into your current server directory, overwriting existing files. Now you need to update your database. Occasionally database updates get delivered through the core repository instead of the DB repository. The script used later to do the database update will search the core repository for updates, if its path is provided in the InstallFullDB.config file (see database filling section).

Self compiled binaries

  • In the Windows Explorer, navigate to C:\mangos\mangos-VERSION\.

  • Right-Click and select Git Bash Here.

  • Enter the git fetch command and wait until it is finished. It will look for updates in the repository on Github.


  • If there are updates on origin/master, enter the git pull command to download them.


  • Redo the steps of the Compilation section above.

Database Update

  • In the Windows Explorer, navigate to C:\mangos\VERSION-db\.

  • Right-Click and select Git Bash Here.

  • Enter the git fetch command and wait until it is finished. It will look for updates in the repository on Github.


  • If there are updates on origin/master, enter the git pull command to download them.


  • Enter the ./ command and wait until it is finished. The necessary InstallFullDB.config file should still be present and correctly set from installing.

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