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πŸ— Build scripts for the desktop client
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misch7 New Build System (Win64 + Win32)

Signed-off-by: Michael Schuster <>
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.gitignore New Build System (Win64 + Win32) Jun 4, 2019
NSIS.InstallOptions.ini Adds NSIS.InstallOptions.ini file. Sep 3, 2018 New Build System (Win64 + Win32) Jun 4, 2019 New Build System (Win64 + Win32) Jun 4, 2019
build-desktop.bat New Build System (Win64 + Win32) Jun 4, 2019
build-installer-collect.bat New Build System (Win64 + Win32) Jun 4, 2019
build-installer-exe.bat New Build System (Win64 + Win32) Jun 4, 2019
build-qtkeychain.bat New Build System (Win64 + Win32) Jun 4, 2019
build-zlib.bat New Build System (Win64 + Win32) Jun 4, 2019
build.bat New Build System (Win64 + Win32) Jun 4, 2019 New Build System (Win64 + Win32) Jun 4, 2019 New Build System (Win64 + Win32) Jun 4, 2019 New Build System (Win64 + Win32) Jun 4, 2019 New Build System (Win64 + Win32) Jun 4, 2019
nextcloud.nsi New Build System (Win64 + Win32) Jun 4, 2019
sign.bat New Build System (Win64 + Win32) Jun 4, 2019
single-build-desktop.bat New Build System (Win64 + Win32) Jun 4, 2019
single-build-installer-collect.bat New Build System (Win64 + Win32) Jun 4, 2019
single-build-qtkeychain.bat New Build System (Win64 + Win32) Jun 4, 2019
single-build-zlib.bat New Build System (Win64 + Win32) Jun 4, 2019 New Build System (Win64 + Win32) Jun 4, 2019
task-build-log.bat New Build System (Win64 + Win32) Jun 4, 2019
upload.bat New Build System (Win64 + Win32) Jun 4, 2019

How to build the Nextcloud desktop client on Windows

This allows you to easily build the desktop client for 64-bit and 32-bit Windows.

Included and fully automated

  • Build client for 64-bit and 32-bit Windows (+ installer package containing both)
  • Code Signing of the client binaries (exe + dll's), the installer and the uninstaller
  • Uploading the generated installer package via SSH connection (scp)
  • Script file to be invoked by the Windows Task Scheduler for automatic builds (e.g.: daily)


  • Everybody should be able to build the Windows client, the build scripts and guide here should help to make this a pain-free experience.
  • It's designed to be a drop-in replacement for the existing build scripts, used to create the official Nextcloud releases.

System requirements

  • Windows 10 / 8 / 7, 64-bit (bare metal or virtual machine, Win 10 + Win 7 successfully tested)
  • All the tools from the Install list below
  • Internet connection for each build
  • At least 10 GB disk space for the build files and more gigs for the required tools


  • Code Signing certificate, if you intend to sign the binaries (you may use a self-generated one for testing)
  • SSH server and credentials for the upload to work


Assumed working folder

  • C:\Nextcloud

    • Warning: Don't use white spaces in the build (project) paths, since this breaks support for some tools like png2ico !
    • If you prefer to, you may specify a project directory outside of the cloned client-building repo.

Install list

NSIS (Nullsoft Scriptable Install System)

NSIS plugins to install

To upload builds

Build the client: Initial setup

This has to be done ONLY ONCE to create the build folder structure and fetch the required repos (qtkeychain, zlib and Nextcloud's desktop):

  • Create folders:

    • C:\Nextcloud
    • C:\Nextcloud\tools
  • Open Git Bash:

    cd /c/Nextcloud
    git clone client-building
  • Take a look at this file and adapt the environment variables to your needs. You may also define them in the Windows Environment Variables settings, if you don't want modify the file directly:

    • C:\Nextcloud\client-building\
  • Again in Git Bash:

    cd client-building
  • Extract the OpenSSL Pre-compiled Win32/64 libraries to the newly created directories:

    • C:\Nextcloud\client-building\deploy-extra[Release + Debug][Win64 + Win32]\
  • Recommended: Do a test run to check for all the required environment variables:

    TEST_RUN=1 ./build.bat

    Note: This only tests for the existence of all variables, no other file or folder checks will be perfomed.

If the real build fails the scripts will stop and return an error code which is pretty helpful for automated builds. It appears for example in the Task Scheduler. The console output or the log file (only with task-build-log.bat) ease tracing the error's source.

However they complain if there are missing environment variables in order to save time, so you don't have to wait for half completion of the build. ;-)

Build the client: Perform the actual build

When the initial setup is done, only the following needs to be done if you want to build the client at any time later:

  • In Git Bash again:

    • OR instead, if you want the output in a log file:
  • By default the commands above will build Release for 64-bit and 32-bit.

Specifying build types (Release, Debug)

  • Examples:

    ./build.bat Release
    ./task-build-log.bat Debug
  • To build Release, collect all files but build no installer, don't sign and don't upload:


Explanation of the build scripts

You may run any of them directly if build.bat failed and you resolved the error. But they need to be run in the correct order above and all the previous scripts should have succeeded. Parameter syntax is the same as for build.bat.

These scripts contain a loop which invoke their single-build-*.bat helpers and they also set the required environment variables you normally would have to specify manually. Exception: build-installer-exe.bat doesn't need a loop since it builds a combined installer package, so there is no single-build-installer-exe.bat.

Of course you could do this, calling syntax to only build for 32-bit would be e.g.:

./single-build-desktop.bat Release Win32

Upon every new invocation the build scripts fetch the newest version of their repo.

Take a look at the scripts if you want to know how they work, which resources they collect and the CMake options and generators they use.

  • init.bat

    • clones the GitHub repos and creates required directories

    • sets all required variables if not already present in the environment

    • determines the build type (Release or Debug) and sets the CMake generator:
      • 64-bit: "Visual Studio 15 2017 Win64"
      • 32-bit: "Visual Studio 15 2017"
  • +

    • provide a locale-independent way to get a unified build date instead of using %DATE%
  • build-installer-collect.bat

    • collects all required libraries and resources the client needs at runtime (Qt, Qt Keychain, zlib, OpenSSL, VC Redist, etc.)
  • task-build-log.bat

    • is intended to by used in conjunction with the Windows Task Scheduler but may also be run manually insted of build.bat, which shows all the output in the console window only

    • is the actual script to be specified in the Windows Task Scheduler to be run by Git Bash
  • sign.bat

    • used for signing the binaries, the installer and the uninstaller
  • upload.bat

    • used for uploading the installer package to a server (using scp)

Task Scheduler

Use the following values in a new task:

  • Action: Start a program
    • Program/script: "C:\Program Files\Git\bin\sh.exe"
    • Arguments: C:\Nextcloud\client-building\ Release
    • Start in: C:\Nextcloud\client-building


  • Action: Start a program
    • Program/script: cmd
    • Arguments: /c ""C:\Program Files\Git\bin\sh.exe" C:\Nextcloud\client-building\ Release"
    • Start in: C:\Nextcloud\client-building

Which binaries get signed?

  • The following binaries get signed by build-installer-collect.bat as we're responsible for them or they're critical for security and privacy:
    • all the binaries we produce:
      • nextcloud/ocsync.dll
      • shellext/OCContextMenu.dll
      • shellext/OCOverlays.dll
      • shellext/OCUtil.dll
      • nextcloud.exe
      • nextcloudcmd.exe
      • nextcloudsync.dll
      • OCContextMenu.dll
      • OCOverlays.dll
      • ocsync.dll
      • OCUtil.dll
      • qt5keychain.dll
      • zlib.dll
    • the pre-compiled OpenSSL binaries (since they are not signed but integrity is crucial)
      • libcrypto*.dll
      • libeay32.dll
      • ssleay32.dll
    • we don't sign Qt, but this could be an option (not signed at all as of now)
    • VC Runtime DLL's are already signed by Microsoft


Copyright (c) 2019 Michael Schuster
Parts based on work at:

This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify
it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or
(at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but
WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY
or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License
for more details.
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