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How to build the sources from SVN
Please use the install.txt files in docs/gtk, docs/msw, docs/motif, docs/mac
etc. alongside these instructions.
I) Windows using plain makefiles
a) If using Microsoft Visual C++ 5.0 or 6.0
Ensure that the command-line compiler and tools (including
nmake) are installed and ready to run. Depending on your
installation there may be a batch file (commonly named VCVARS32.BAT)
that needs to be run to set correct environment variables and PATH entries.
Continue with item c) below.
b) If using the MinGW or Cygwin compilers
You can get MinGW from
Cygwin is available at
If you are using Cygwin or MinGW together with the MSYS environment, you
can build the library using configure (see "Unix ports" and
"Windows using configure" below). You can also
build wxWidgets without configure using native makefile, but only with
MinGW. Using Cygwin together with Windows makefile is no longer supported.
If building with MinGW without configure:
-> Set your path so that it includes the directory
where your compiler and tools reside
-> Make sure you have GNU Make installed. It must be Windows native version.
Download it from, the executable will be called
-> Modern version of MinGW is required; preferably MinGW 2.0 (with gcc3),
but MinGW with gcc-2.95.3 will suffice. If you are using 2.95, you will
have to change variable GCC_VERSION in config.gcc (see msw/install.txt
for details).
If using configure, Unix instructions apply.
c) Build instructions
Assuming that you installed the wxWidgets sources into c:\wxWidgets:
-> Copy c:\wxWidgets\include\wx\msw\setup0.h
to c:\wxWidgets\include\wx\msw\setup.h
-> Edit c:\wxWidgets\include\wx\msw\setup.h to choose
the features you would like to compile wxWidgets with[out].
and std iostreams are disabled with
#define wxUSE_STD_IOSTREAM 0
-> type: cd c:\wxWidgets\build\msw
-> type: make -f makefile.gcc (if using GNU tools)
or type: nmake -f (if using MS VC++)
See also docs/msw/install.txt for additional compilation options.
d) Borland (including free command line tools)
Download tools from
See docs/msw/install.txt for details; in brief:
-> type cd c:\wxWidgets\build\msw
-> type make -f makefile.bcc
You can customize many things in the build process, detailed description is
in docs/msw/install.txt.
II) Unix ports
Building wxGTK or wxMotif completely without configure
won't ever work, but there is now a new makefile system
that works without libtool and automake, using only
configure to create what is needed.
In order to create configure, you need to have the
GNU autoconf package (version > 2.54) installed
on your system and type run "autoconf" in the base
directory (or run the script in the same
directory, which just calls autoconf). Note that you usually don't
need to do this because configure is included in SVN.
Set WXWIN environment variable to the base directory such
as ~/wxWidgets (this is actually not really needed).
-> type: export WXWIN=~/wxWidgets
-> type: md mybuild
-> type: cd mybuild
-> type: ../configure --with-motif
or type: ../configure --with-gtk
-> type: make
-> type: su <type root password>
-> type: make install
-> type: ldconfig
-> type: exit
Call configure with --disable-shared to create a static
library. Calling "make uninstall" will remove the installed
library and "make dist" will create a distribution (not
yet complete).
III) Windows using configure
wxWidgets can be built on Windows using MSYS (see, which is a POSIX build environment
for Windows. With MSYS you can just ./configure && make (see also VII,
Unix->Windows cross-compiling using configure).
Of course, you can also build the library using plain makefiles (see
section I).
V) MacOS X using configure and the Developer Tools
You need to have the Developer Tools installed. If this is not the case,
you will need to register at the Apple Developer web site (this is a free
registration) in order to download the Developer Tools installer.
In order to create configure, you need to have the
GNU autoconf package (version >= 2.54) installed
on your system and type run "autoconf" in the base
directory (or run the script in the same
directory, which just calls autoconf).
-> type: mkdir macbuild
-> type: cd macbuild
-> type: ../configure --with-mac
or type: ../configure
-> type: make
VI) OS/2
No notes.
VII) Unix->Windows cross-compiling using configure
First you'll need a cross-compiler; linux glibc binaries of MinGW and
Cygwin (both based on egcs) can be found at Alternative binaries,
based on the latest MinGW release can be found at
Otherwise you can compile one yourself.
[ A Note about Cygwin and MinGW: the main difference is that Cygwin
binaries are always linked against cygwin.dll. This dll encapsulates most
standard Unix C extensions, which is very handy if you're porting unix
software to windows. However, wxMSW doesn't need this, so MinGW is
preferable if you write portable C(++). ]
You might want to build both Unix and Windows binaries in the same source
tree; to do this make subdirs for each e.g. unix and win32. If you've
already build wxWidgets in the main dir, do a 'make distclean' there,
otherwise configure will get confused. (In any case, read the section 'Unix
using configure' and make sure you're able to build a native wxWidgets
library; cross-compiling errors can be pretty obscure and you'll want to be
sure that your configure setup is basically sound.)
To cross compile the windows library, do
-> cd win32
(or whatever you called it)
Now run configure. There are two ways to do this
-> ../configure --host=i586-mingw32 --build=i586-linux --with-mingw
where --build= should read whatever platform you're building on. Configure
will notice that build and host platforms differ, and automatically prepend
i586-mingw32- to gcc, ar, ld, etc (make sure they're in the PATH!).
The other way to run configure is by specifying the names of the binaries
-> CC=i586-mingw32-gcc CXX=i586-mingw32-g++ RANLIB=i586-mingw32-ranlib \
DLLTOOL=i586-mingw32-dlltool LD=i586-mingw32-ld NM=i586-mingw32-nm \
../configure --host=i586-mingw32 --with-mingw
(all assuming you're using MinGW)
By default this will compile a DLL, if you want a static library,
specify --disable-shared.
-> make
and wait, wait, wait. Don't leave the room, because the minute you do there
will be a compile error :-)
NB: if you are using a very old compiler you risk to get quite a few warnings
about "ANSI C++ forbids implicit conversion from 'void *'" in all places
where va_arg macro is used. This is due to a bug in (some versions of)
MinGW headers which may be corrected by upgrading your compier,
otherwise you might edit the file
(instead of egcs-2.91.57 you may have something different), searching for
the lines
/* Define __gnuc_va_list. */
#ifndef __GNUC_VA_LIST
#define __GNUC_VA_LIST
#if defined(__svr4__) || defined(_AIX) || defined(_M_UNIX) || defined(__NetBSD__)
typedef char *__gnuc_va_list;
typedef void *__gnuc_va_list;
and adding "|| defined(_WIN32)" to the list of platforms on which
__gnuc_va_list is char *.
If this is successful, you end up with a wx23_2.dll/libwx23_2.a in win32/lib
(or just libwx_msw.a if you opted for a static build).
Now try building the minimal sample:
-> cd samples/minimal
-> make
and run it with wine, for example (or copy to a Windows box)
-> wine minimal.exe
If all is well, do an install; from win32
-> make install
Native and cross-compiled installations can co-exist peacefully
(as long as their widget sets differ), except for wx-config. You might
want to rename the cross-compiled one to i586-mingw32-wx-config, or something.
Cross-compiling TODO:
- resource compiling must be done manually for now (should/can we link the
default wx resources into libwx_msw.a?) [ No we can't; the linker won't
link it in... you have to supply an object file ]
- static executables are HUGE -- there must be room for improvement.
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