Compiling wxWidgets 2.8.6 to develop Code::Blocks (MSW)

From Code::Blocks

Obsolete directions please see Compiling wxWidgets (MSW) 2.8.12 on Windows using makefile.gcc

These are the instructions for compiling wxWidgets for use with Code::Blocks. They are primarily intended in preparation for compiling Code::Blocks itself but (hopefully) may also help installing wxWidgets for general development using that framework.

Although these instructions are targeted at the Windows operating system, it should be possible to apply them with slight adjustments to other platforms, since we make use of MinGW.

Installing MinGW

Directions to install MinGW for Code::Blocks can be found here. MinGW installation

Installing the wxWidgets Source Code

The wxWidgets 2.8.6 distribution can be found at the wxWidgets download site. (Note that there is also a winhelp file available.) You can choose between an installer and a zip file. You can just get the zip file because the installer is also a zipped version.

If you use the plain zip version, make sure to unzip using the full path. Otherwise the directories won't be created correctly.

The future patches for wxWidgets 2.8.6 distribution will be found at the wxWidgets download site.

NOTE: For the remainder of these instructions we call the wxWidgets directory <WXWIN>. You have to change it to your corresponding directory (e.g. "c:\wxMSW-2.8.6-1\wxWidgets-2.8.6").

NOTE: You do not need MSYS. Furthermore, you cannot have MSYS in your path, or the wxWidgets compilation will fail. Thus, if you have MSYS installed, ensure that <MSYS>\bin is not in your path before compiling wxWidgets. wxWidgets must be compiled from a "regular" command line (like cmd.exe), not from a Unix-like shell. The same problem could arise if Cygwin is in the path.

NOTE: For the remainder of these instructions we call the MinGW directory <MINGW>. You have to change it to your corresponding directory (e.g. "C:\MinGW").

Checking make Version

If you didn't install MinGW yourself you have to ensure you are using a recent enough version of the make utility. Open a command prompt and type:

cd /D <MINGW>\bin
mingw32-make -v

The version should read 3.80 or higher.

NOTE: the /D flag after cd may be omitted from all commands; it simply allows command prompt to change drives if necessary.

Building wxWidgets

To compile wxWidgets, open the command prompt window and change to the wxWidgets directory:

cd /D <WXWIN>\build\msw
SET PATH=<MINGW>\bin;<MINGW>\mingw32\bin

NOTE: This is normally SET PATH=C:\MingGW\bin;C:\MingGW\mingw32\bin

Now clean up the source:

mingw32-make -f makefile.gcc MONOLITHIC=1 SHARED=1 UNICODE=1 BUILD=release clean

NOTE: Make sure you use exactly the same options for this step and for the build step below. The clean target uses these variables and only cleans the specified version of the generated object and library files. (It will not clean the intended files if these variables are not identical.)

NOTE: If you still have problems with compiling after cleaning, you could try to manually remove the gcc_msw directory under the build\msw directory. This directory is the place where the object files are stored.

When everything is clean you can start compiling wxWidgets:

mingw32-make -f makefile.gcc  MONOLITHIC=1 SHARED=1 UNICODE=1 BUILD=release

NOTE: These options are the officially-supported Code::Blocks options. If you want another version of wxWidgets (debug or non-Unicode) you still have to make sure you build a MONOLITHIC version (one big DLL) for linking Code::Blocks.

Patience. This step takes time. Make sure there was no compilation error before you continue.

NOTE: If you're having errors because of libjpeg, you might want to look at this patch

Compiling Code::Blocks

Setting up paths

Before finally compiling Code::Blocks itself, you need to setup the paths:

  • Open the Code::Blocks project (CodeBlocks.cbp).
  • It will ask you to define a Global variable
  • Set the path to where you have wxWidgets installed (e.g. "c:\wxMSW-2.8.6-1\wxWidgets-2.8.6").
  • Compile Code::Blocks.

Post compilation steps

When the compilation process is finished, simply run the update.bat script. It will ensure that all resource files Code::Blocks uses are in the right place and up to date.