Installing Code::Blocks from source on Windows

From Code::Blocks



The build process described on this page is a kind of "Self-Hosting." You use an existing version of Code::Blocks to compile the next version. When that version is proven to function correctly it is used to compile the next, and so on.


Bootstrap Code::Blocks

A properly working Code::Blocks is required to compile the next SVN version. A [/index.php?board=20.0 Nightly Build] is a good candidate to use. It will be paired with a MinGW compiler in the next section.

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.


ZIP and SVN functions are not required to run Code::Blocks but are necessary to build it.


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).


You can either download the Code::Blocks source from ➡ "Download Snapshot" or use an SVN Client to checkout the code.

For convenience, it is recommended that you install TortoiseSVN on your machine, as this is a lot more comfortable. TortoiseSVN includes an optional command-line SVN client and the option to add it to your PATH during installation. However, if you do not wish to have the TortoiseSVN Explorer extensions in your right-click context menu or just don't feel a need for a GUI in particular then you can use a SVN command-line client equally well. If you choose to install the optional SVN command-line client that is part of TortoiseSVN and add it to your PATH then you do not need any other SVN executable.

It is generally a good idea to install a command-line client (and adding it to your PATH) even if you use the TortoiseSVN GUI 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 a fall-back. As a result of having a SVN command-line client in your path during the build process the resulting build of Code::Blocks will show the revision on the loading splash window, the Start here page, and in the About dialog (shown here in the About dialog, indicated by the arrow):

About SVN10627.png


wxWidgets is the windowing system that Code::Blocks is built on top of. It provides the basic user interface whose components are then weaved together into a complete Integrated Development Environment.

For information about wxWidgets, see their official site:

Code::Blocks comes in two wxWidgets versions at this time. There is the more tested and bug free wxWidgets 2.8.12 project and an alternative wxWidgets 3.0.x project which isn't as well tested and also has a 64-bit variation available.

Download the wxWidgets version that you wish to build Code::Blocks against. Minor differences in the building steps will be addressed as needed.

For specific versions used by the nightly builds, see: [/index.php?topic=3299.0 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).

Code::Blocks Sources

Finally, you will need the Code::Blocks sources.


If you prefer a GUI SVN client you can use TortoiseSVN - make a directory where you want to store the sources, right-click on the directory, and select "SVN Checkout," and as shown you will get a checkout dialog:

Tor SVN.png

In the URL of the repository box, enter svn:// and verify the checkout directory is where you would like it to be. The example given here is "C:\cb_svn" - once satisfied with the arguments click the OK button to process the checkout.

Command-Line SVN

If you do not wish to use a GUI SVN client then a command-line equivalent to the above is to use the svn command - open a command prompt, make a directory, change into that directory, and then checkout a copy of the repository:

mkdir codeblocks-head
cd codeblocks-head
svn checkout svn://

Build wxWidgets Support Library

Depending on which wxWidgets you're using, follow the appropriate section.

Unpack the zip file to a directory of your choice, open a command-line prompt, and navigate to the folder build/msw inside either wxWidgets folder.

wxWidgets 2.8.12

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

If your compiler errors while compiling wxWidgets 2.8.12 with a more recent MinGW compiler then try these config.gcc option lines:

 CFLAGS ?= -D_WIN32_IE=0x0603 -fno-keep-inline-dllexport
 CXXFLAGS ?= -D_WIN32_IE=0x0603 -fno-keep-inline-dllexport

wxWidgets 2.8.12 will not compile by default with a 64-bit compiler. To make it compile with one add CFG=64 to the build line that is given a bit later. However, there is no point to it. The Code::Blocks project files do not have a 64-bit project that targets wxWidgets 2.8.12. To attempt to modify them so they do is beyond the scope of this guide.

wxWidgets 3.0.2

As with wxWidgets 2.8.12, if your linker is running out of memory then use -fno-keep-inline-dllexport. In addition, you need -std=gnu++11 in the CXXFLAGS. So, in config.gcc:

 CFLAGS ?= -fno-keep-inline-dllexport
 CXXFLAGS ?= -std=gnu++11 -fno-keep-inline-dllexport

wxWidgets 3.0.2 will compile with a 64-bit compiler. You can also specify the CFG=64 build option but the 64-bit Code::Blocks projects do not expect that and are not configured for the naming differences it causes. You can modify the Code::Blocks wx30_64 project, but you don't need to. Just compile with a 64-bit compiler and don't specify the CFG option.

Build wxWidgets Library

Use the following commands to build 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.

If your compilation fails for any reason then make sure to run the clean line before trying again.

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 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" with "debug".
  • Advanced: 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 Variables.png

Global wx.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.

Prevent unnecessary warnings

Compiler Settings.png

Unused Local Typedefs.png

Compile project

Make sure that "All" is selected as the target (blue arrow), and then click the Build icon (red arrow).

Compile All.png

If everything builds correctly your log should end with no errors.

Build Log.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

Running 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.