This python script helps you build a full GTK library stack for Windows using Visual Studio. Currently, GTK 3 and GTK 4 are supported.
The script supports multiple versions of Visual Studio - at the moment we are focusing on VS 2022, but we include projects for other versions, and we gladly accept patches.
The script focuses on GTK and the surrounding ecosystem (e.g. GStreamer). However, we are open to adding more libraries as long as the contributor takes on the responsibility for keeping it up to date. The supported projects are modules in the projects directory.
The script requires a working installation of Visual Studio for Windows Desktop, Python 3 and msys2. The script will download any additional tools required to build the libraries and will use them from a local directory, without any installation. As of today these tools include cmake, meson, ninja, nuget and perl.
The script fetches source tarballs for the projects from their original locations, however in some cases it might be necessary to host a patched tarball on GitHub. To ensure integrity of the downloaded files, the script checks the SHA256 hash of each download. Downloads are done using TLS, using SSL certificates provided by the system, but in case of error the download is tried again ignoring certificate errors.
We recommend using Chocolately as a package manager in Windows.
To install it, open PowerShell as an administrator, then execute:
Set-ExecutionPolicy Bypass -Scope Process -Force; iex ((New-Object System.Net.WebClient).DownloadString('https://community.chocolatey.org/install.ps1'))
To run local scripts in follow-on steps, also execute
Set-ExecutionPolicy RemoteSigned. This allows for local PowerShell scripts
to run without signing, but still requires signing for remote scripts.
To setup a development environment in Windows install Git by executing as an administrator:
choco install git
Both of the development environments in the next steps need MSYS2 installed.
Keep PowerShell open as administrator and execute:
choco install msys2
First we will install the gvsbuild dependencies:
- Visual C++ build tools workload for Visual Studio 2022 Build Tools
With your admin PowerShell terminal:
choco install visualstudio2022-workload-vctools
Note: Visual Studio versions 2013 (not for all projects), 2015, 2017, 2019, and 2022 are currently supported.
Download and install the latest version of Python:
- Install from Chocolately with
choco install pythonwith admin PowerShell
- Restart your PowerShell terminal as a normal user and check that
python --versionis correct.
Note: If you are going to install Python using an alternative means, like the official Windows installers, we suggest to install Python in C:\Python3x, for example C:\Python310. Other Python distributions like Miniconda 3 should also work.
The recommended way to install gvsbuild is with pipx. Open a new regular user PowerShell terminal and execute:
python -m pip install --user pipx python -m pipx ensurepath pipx install gvsbuild
Alternatively, you can also use git to clone the repository and install it. Open a new regular user PowerShell terminal and execute:
mkdir C:\gtk-build\github cd C:\gtk-build\github git clone https://github.com/wingtk/gvsbuild.git cd C:\gtk-build\github\gvsbuild python -m venv .venv .\.venv\Scripts\activate.ps1 pip install .
In the same PowerShell terminal, execute:
gvsbuild build gtk3
Alternatively, if you want to build GTK 4, execute:
gvsbuild build gtk4
Grab a coffee, the build will take a few minutes to complete.
$env:Path = "C:\gtk-build\gtk\x64\release\bin;" + $env:Path $env:LIB = "C:\gtk-build\gtk\x64\release\lib;" + $env:LIB $env:INCLUDE = "C:\gtk-build\gtk\x64\release\include;C:\gtk-build\gtk\x64\release\include\cairo;C:\gtk-build\gtk\x64\release\include\glib-2.0;C:\gtk-build\gtk\x64\release\include\gobject-introspection-1.0;C:\gtk-build\gtk\x64\release\lib\glib-2.0\include;" + $env:INCLUDE
--py-wheel options like:
gvsbuild build --enable-gi --py-wheel gtk4 pygobject
pip install --force-reinstall (Resolve-Path C:\gtk-build\build\x64\release\pygobject\dist\PyGObject*.whl) pip install --force-reinstall (Resolve-Path C:\gtk-build\build\x64\release\pycairo\dist\pycairo*.whl)
For more information about the possible commands run:
To get detailed help on the build command run:
gvsbuild build --help
It is possible to set some parameters from a file, e.g. vs2015-release.pro, putting the @ character before the file name. The file contains the option, one per line, separated by a carriage return:
--vs-ver 14 --win-sdk 8.1 --configuration release
Even if the format is not the easier to write or read in this way we eliminate the problem of escaping spaces is file names and directories. Then you can use it:
gvsbuild build @vs2015-release.pro gtk3-full
- If a build fails, try rebuilding it with
--clean, if that fails, try rebuilding it with
- If the download of a tarball fails a partial file will not pass the hash check, delete the file and try again.
In addition to the setup instructions above, to build OpenSSL you also need the Visual C++ 2013 Redistributable Package installed. To install it, open PowerShell as administrator and execute:
choco install vcredist2013
Similar to other packages, you can build OpenSSL by executing:
gvsbuild build openssl
To see and analyze the dependency between the various projects, in text or in a Graphviz format, use the script deps.py:
gvsbuild deps --graph --gv-file test.gv
Without option a simple dependency of all the projects is printed, as usual with --help a summary of the options/commands is printed.
This build script is licensed under the GPL2.0 license, see the COPYING file for the full text.
The binaries produced by the build script are licensed under the license terms of the project that is built (ie glib is LGPL so you can use glib.dll built with this script under the terms of LGPL).
Patches included in the repository are licensed under the license terms of the project they apply to.
This tool originated from a gtk-win32 PowerShell script created by the HexChat developers for building it for Windows. Although this project is now archived, you can explore the original project if you are interested in the history at https://github.com/hexchat/gtk-win32.
Compiling the GTK stack on MSVC would not be possible without the incredible work by Fan Chun-wei. If you are interested in more details of how this works, please see Compiling the GTK+ (and Clutter) stack using Visual C++ 2008 and later.