Installing Code::Blocks from source on Windows

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Contents

Prerequisites

Note for RC2 users

The older Code::Blocks RC2 does not support global compiler variables which were added after RC2 was released and is unable to read project files generated with post-RC2 versions. To build Code::Blocks, you need a post-RC2 build, such as 8.02 or any of the nightly builds obtainable by searching the forum.

MinGW compiler

At the present time, Code::Blocks only compiles successfully with the MinGW compiler (or any other gcc for that matter). You will need a complete, working MinGW installation or TDM-MinGW package.

Do not use the barebones MinGW with GCC 4.5.1 as you'll run (with this specific version) into a linker bug (which happened to me on Vista SP1 32-bit on 2011-02-28); the solution is to use the TDM-GCC 4.5.1 package, or later.

wxWidgets

wxWidgets.org

Code::Blocks uses

For latest infos check forum: Important changes to the nightly builds


You do not need MSYS (in fact, if you have MSYS, make sure it is not in your PATH when building wxWidgets).

You can get the c::b source from svn or download it directly from http://sourceforge.net/p/codeblocks/code -> "Download Snapshot"

SVN client

In order to check out the Code::Blocks sources you will need a SVN client. For convenience, it is recommended that you install TortoiseSVN on your machine, as this is a lot more comfortable. However, if you get a bad feeling when some program is messing with your Explorer menu, then you can use the svn command-line client equally well.

It is generally a good idea to install the command-line client (and adding it to PATH) even if you use TortoiseSVN for convenience. The autorevision tool which is used during the build of Code::Blocks makes use of the svn binary if it is available. This is preferable to the manual parsing of the entries file that is used as fall-back.


Please do note that working copies checked out with the 1.4 version of Subversion are no longer compatible with earlier versions (Subversion will transparently update existing repositories).

The built-in fall-back mechanism in autorevision has been updated to the new 1.4 format and will no longer work with the old format.
Therefore, if you use a Subversion client from the 1.0-1.3 line, you must put the command line tool into PATH for a successful build.
If you use Subversion 1.4, then it is good practice nevertheless, but you can do without, too.

svn.exe

If you want to show the SVN number in your code::blocks dialog box.

300*300px

You should also let svn.exe exist in the PATH of your windows system. A command line SVN package can be download here CollabNet Subversion Command-Line Client v1.6 (for Windows).

zip.exe

You'll also need a working 'zip' program. If you have the version listed on our tools page, you'll be fine.

The zip program coming with cygwin will not work properly. You do not need WinZip.

Make sure the zip binary is in your PATH so the update.bat script will be able to find it (alternatively, you can edit the batch file, setting the ZIPCMD variable to something else).

The easiest way is to put zip.exe into bin inside your MinGW installation directory (that folder is normally in the path).

Code::Blocks sources

You will also (obviously) need the Code::Blocks sources.

Using TortoiseSVN, make a folder where you want to store the sources, right-click on the folder, and select "SVN Checkout...".

!! The URL in this image is wrong !! Look at the description under the image:

Win svn checkout.png

In the top box, enter svn://svn.code.sf.net/p/codeblocks/code/trunk and hit the OK button.

Using svn, you have to open a command prompt ("DOS Window"). Make a folder, change directory, and run svn:

mkdir codeblocks-head
cd codeblocks-head
svn checkout svn://svn.code.sf.net/p/codeblocks/code/trunk

Unicode Build

Compile wxWidgets in Unicode mode

After unpacking the zip file to a directory of your choice, open a cmd prompt, and navigate to the folder build/msw inside the wxWidgets folder. Use the following commands to compile wxWidgets:

set path=c:\mingw\bin;c:\mingw\mingw32\bin
mingw32-make -f makefile.gcc SHARED=1 MONOLITHIC=1 BUILD=release UNICODE=1  clean
mingw32-make -f makefile.gcc SHARED=1 MONOLITHIC=1 BUILD=release UNICODE=1

This assumes your MinGW installation is in C:\mingw. Use a different path if you installed MinGW somewhere else.

You will see a lot of warning messages during compilation. Don't worry, this is normal, you are compiling wxWidgets. The build process may take 10-30 minutes, depending on your computer's speed.

If you are using a recent version of MinGW you may find that the object files are too large and that the linker runs out of memory. To fix this problem you need to edit config.gcc so that inline functions are not exported, by modifying the CFLAGS and CXXFLAGS lines to:

 CFLAGS ?= -fno-keep-inline-dllexport
 CXXFLAGS ?= -fno-keep-inline-dllexport


remark: If you want to use wxWidgets not only for building Code::Blocks, but also for writing wxWidgets programs, and if you want to use the debugger in those programs, you have to compile a debug build of wxWidgets as well. Use the same commands as for the release build, but replace "release" by "debug".

Optional:

To reduce the size of your wxWidgets library, you can disable features which are not used by Code::Blocks. However, you should not do this unless you know what you are doing. You have to delete the generated setup.h from lib/gcc_dll/msw/wx before building, because your changes to include/wx/msw will otherwise not be honoured.

Compile Code::Blocks

Now, before this step, you have prepared all the stuff to build code::blocks. It's very interesting that we use code::blocks to build code::blocks binaries.

Open project

Open the project file CodeBlocks.cbp.

  • You will be prompted to define the global variable $(#wx). Enter the location where you unpacked wxWidgets.

Global variable.png

Global variable2.png


  • You will also be prompted to enter the global variable cb_release_type. Here you can add compiler optimization or debug-flags. Enter -g in the base field.

Compile project

Hit the blue gear and lean back. Compilation may take 3-5 minutes, depending on the speed of your computer.

Win build button.png

Win build target.png

Win build finish.png


Copy wxWidgets support DLL

After the compilation has finished, copy lib\gcc_dll\wxmsw28u_gcc_custom.dll from the wxWidgets directory to the src\devel directory inside the Code::Blocks source folder (it will also work if you keep a copy of that library in your Windows folder or anywhere in your system path, but this is generally not recommended because you can get into dll hell).

Win output folder.png

Win copy dll.png


Runing script file

Run src\update.bat (located in the root source directory). This will pack the resource files and copy libraries and plugins to their correct locations.

Win run bat.png

The stripped ("production") executable is found in output folder together with all libraries and data files. If you want a version with debug symbols instead (caution: huge size!), use the one found in the devel folder.
Congratulations, you own a freshly built version of Code::Blocks!

Win final folder.png

Note for future updates

Go to the Code::Blocks root directory and run svn update (or use TurtoiseSVN to the same effect).
Then open and build the project as described before (and any contrib plugins that you wish to use), and re-run src\update.bat.

Install Code::Blocks

Copy the folder output to where you want Code::Blocks to reside.

Compile contributed (or your own) plugins

The workspace file ContribPlugins.workspace contains the project files for all contributed plugins. Open that workspace and compile the plugins which you would like to use (or select "Build Workspace" from the context menu if you want them all).

Contribute plugin.png

When you open the contrib plugins workspace, you will be asked to define the $(#cb) global compiler variable. This is the path that contains the sdk folder normally this is codeblocks\src. The build process uses this information to place the plugins and data files into the correct place. Enter the location of the Code::Blocks sources in the same way as for the $(#wx) variable earlier.

Don't forget to run update.bat again after building the contrib plugins.

ANSI Build

DEPRECATION WARNING:

As of February 2006, the official default build for Code::Blocks is Unicode (see above). Although ANSI builds are technically possible, we discourage their use unless there is a good reason.
Support for ANSI builds is likely to be dropped after Version 1.0 is out.

There is hardly any good argument against using a Unicode build if your OS supports Unicode, even if you do not understand any other language than English, as a Unicode version guarantees that it will be able to work with whatever languages you may possibly encounter in the future -- at a very reasonable cost.

However, if you absolutely don't care about Unicode or if you are bound to use Windows 95, then you may want to build an ANSI version nevertheless.

Compile wxWidgets in ANSI mode

After unpacking the zip file to a directory of your choice, open a cmd prompt, and navigate to the folder build/msw inside the wxWidgets folder. Use the following commands to compile wxWidgets

set path=c:\mingw\bin;c:\mingw\mingw32\bin
mingw32-make -f makefile.gcc SHARED=1 MONOLITHIC=1 BUILD=release UNICODE=0 clean
mingw32-make -f makefile.gcc SHARED=1 MONOLITHIC=1 BUILD=release UNICODE=0

This assumes your MinGW installation is in C:\mingw. Use a different path if you installed MinGW somewhere else.

You will see a lot of warning messages during compilation. Don't worry, this is normal, you are compiling wxWidgets. The build process may take 10-30 minutes, depending on your computer's speed.

Optional:

To reduce the size of your wxWidgets library, you can disable features which are not used by Code::Blocks. However, you should not do this unless you know what you are doing. You have to delete the generated setup.h from lib/gcc_dll/msw/wx before building, because your changes to include/wx/msw will otherwise not be honoured.

Compile Code::Blocks

Open the project CodeBlocks.cbp. You will be prompted to define the global variable $(#wx) if you have not used it before. Enter the location where you unpacked wxWidgets.

Important: The project file is set to compile an Unicode version of Code::Blocks by default. To make an ANSI build, you have to make the following two changes to build options before compiling: 1. In the "Compiler" tab, under "#defines", remove the entry wxUSE_UNICODE. 2. Under "Custom variables", set the variable WX_SUFFIX to empty (default value: u).

Hit the blue gear and lean back. Compilation may take 3-5 minutes, depending on the speed of your computer.

After the compilation has finished, copy wxmsw28u_gcc_custom.dll from lib\gcc_dll inside the wxWidgets directory to the devel directory inside the Code::Blocks source folder (it will also work if you keep a copy of that library in your Windows folder or anywhere in your system path, but this is generally not recommended because you can get into dll hell). Run update.bat (located in the root source directory). This will pack the resource files and copy libraries and plugins to their correct locations. The location of executable is src\output in C::B tree. From here you'll not need the nightly build anymore.

One little note for svn updates and rebuilds : just go into the codeblocks root directory and do svn update (or use Turtoise svn).

Then run the src/output/codeblocks.exe, reload project, build it, reload plugins workspace, build it, quit codeblocks and re-run update.bat. You'll have an up-to-date C::B in 3 minutes !

Install Code::Blocks

Copy the folder output to where you want Code::Blocks to reside.

Compile contributed (or your own) plugins

The workspace file ContribPlugins.workspace contains the project files for all contributed plugins. Open that workspace and compile the plugins which you would like to use (or select "Build Workspace" from the context menu if you want them all). Don't forget to run update.bat again after building the contrib plugins.

Note that the Nassi Shneiderman plugin (part of the contrib plugins) has a dependency on boost which is needed to compile this plugin. Boost does not need to be compiled therefore.

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