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Windows client builds

Throughout 2019 and 2020, I've been able to build the GTK2 client on Windows, with relatively good success, except that everything explodes when I take it out of the build environment.


to various Windows build instructions:

Release Guide -> Windows (2014 or older)

CaveSomething's CMake instructions (2010 or older)

Server compiling with Visual Studio 6 (contains passing references to gtk client builds)

MinGW and CMake instructions from ~2018 (External on

My Notes

loosely based on the makegho 2018 instructions:

These instructions assume a fresh, clean 32-bit windows 10 machine.

Install compiler tools:

Go to

Download and run latest i686 installer (msys2-i686-20190524.exe)

Start an msys2 32-bit shell (“MSYS2 MinGW 32-bit” in the start menu) and type:

pacman -S mingw-w64-i686-gcc 
pacman -S mingw-w64-i686-make
pacman -S mingw-w64-i686-pkg-config
pacman -S mingw-w64-i686-vala
pacman -S mingw-w64-i686-SDL_image
pacman -S mingw-w64-i686-SDL_mixer

Alternatively, do a oneliner:

pacman -S mingw-w64-i686-gcc mingw-w64-i686-make mingw-w64-i686-pkg-config mingw-w64-i686-vala mingw-w64-i686-SDL_image mingw-w64-i686-SDL_mixer

Add c:\msys32\mingw32\bin to path

Install PERL:

Download portable 32 bit edition

Extract to C:\perl

Add C:\perl\perl\bin to path.

Note that this can cause some issues, especially if CMake tries to use perl-supplied components instead of those from MSYS/MinGW. But, perl is still needed “for def-keys and msgtypes generation”

Download and extract CrossFire source to e.g. c:\cfsource.rxxxxx.

Install latest CMake 32-bit:

Run CMake gui:

Set source code directory, e.g. c:/cfsource.rxxxxx

Set binary directory, e.g. c:/cfbuild

Click 'Configure' and choose 'MinGW Makefiles'

Change CMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX to something reasonable

(C:\Program Files (x86)\… is probably read only).

(Nothing seems to be put in this folder anyway?)

(I use “.”, but I don't know if it makes any difference at all)

If CMake finds wrong include directories, e.g. from Visual Studio, change them manually to 'C:\msys32\mingw32\include'

If CMake fails near a pkgconfig or gtk/gio item, check to make sure that it hasn’t defaulted the PKG_CONFIG_EXECUTABLE to a perl directory. If so, revert it to the msys32 one, probably C:\msys32\mingw32\bin\pkg-config.exe

Click “Configure” again, hope no errors occur.

Once it finally doesn’t have warnings or errors, Click 'generate'.

If configuring goes wrong, delete the contents of C:\cfbuild\ and try again.


Open msys32 32-bit shell (“MSYS2 MinGW 32-bit” in the Start Menu)

cd /c/cfbuild/

run mingw32-make.exe

Create release package:

Run 'mingw32-make install'

Make directory 'release', somewhere in your system

Copy cfbuild\bin\crossfire-client-gtk2.exe to release\

Create dir release\bin, and copy \cfbuild\bin\cfsndserv.exe to it sound server has been merged to main executable since r21700

Copy directory cfbuild\share to release\

At this point, the client should run more or less fine, at least in your dev environment. Now we need to prep it so it can be run on other systems (but this is the broken part).

  1. Ordered List Item

In release, create a folder called “lib”, and copy “gdk-pixbuf-2.0” and “gtk-2.0” from “C:\msys32\mingw32\lib”.

This fixes some xpm warnings, and makes a few GUI icons render correctly, apparently a very few gui elements are xpm?

Fetch “msys32\mingw32\share\themes” and place it in “release\share\”. This fixes an issue that breaks the GTK theme.

Find sounds from somewhere, and put them in release\share\crossfire-client\sounds\

Find the DLLs, and put them in release\

Most of the DLLs can be found in c:\msys32\bin. Currently includes:

libgdk_pixbuf-2.0-0.dll <del>Adding this causes a deluge of warnings about XPM not being supported. To fix, in release, create a folder called “lib”, and copy “gdk-pixbuf-2.0” and “gtk-2.0” from “C:\msys32\mingw32\lib”. This fixes some xpm warnings, and makes a few GUI icons render correctly, apparently a very few gui elements are xpm?</del>
libglib-2.0-0.dll <del>Adding this causes the sound server to fail to spawn, message "Could not spawn sound server: Failed to execute helper program (Invalid argument)" Skip for now, and it will work in the dev enrions.</del> <del>The sound server will fail to spawn if you do not get the glib helper program. This is a Windows-specific thing.</del> Sawning the sound server is no longer an issue since r21700, when it was merged into the main binary.
libgtk-win32-2.0-0.dll Adding this breaks the GTK theme. Fetch “msys32\mingw32\share\themes” and place it in “release\share\”. This only works if you have also copied the above items into "lib"
libmikmod-3.dll (skipping this doesn't seem to break anything, but the client still looks for it)
libopenal-1.dll (skipping this doesn't seem to break anything, but the client still looks for it)
libpcre-1.dll (skipping this doesn't seem to break anything, but the client still looks for it)

These DLLs go in release\bin\, since they are used by the sound server:<del> Since r21700, these dlls go with all the others. libmad-0.dll libSDL_mixer-1-2-0.dll libogg-0.dll libvorbis-0.dll libvorbisfile-3.dll <del>It works to put them in release\, but the sound server checks for them in .\, so it helps if they're in the same folder as cfsndserv.exe

At this point, the client runs in your dev environs, no warnings, sound works, etc

Get the glib helper program from C:\msys32\mingw32\bin\gspawn-win32-helper-console.exe, and copy it to release\ Not needed since r21700

Pull the release\ folder to another machine, and run.

Weep because everything's on fire:

  • Sound works in the dev environs, but not once you bring it to another machine.
  • If client.ini exists, then it will barf errors about gtk_scrolled_window_add_with_viewport() and accelgroup1. But, these are not fatal.

There are various non-fatal build warnings:

  • \script.c:608:47: warning: multi-character character constant [-Wmultichar]
  • /msys32/mingw32/include/gtk-2.0/gtk/gtktypeutils.h:236:1: warning: 'GTypeDebugFlags' is deprecated [-Wdeprecated-declarations]
  • /msys32/mingw32/include/gtk-2.0/gtk/gtktooltips.h:73:3: warning: 'GTimeVal' is deprecated: Use 'GDateTime' instead [-Wdeprecated-declarations]
  • \crossfire-code-r21708-client-trunk\gtk-v2\src\sdl.c:895:13: warning: 'mapdata_face' is deprecated [-Wdeprecated-declarations]
user/draugthewhopper/windowsbuild.txt · Last modified: 2021/01/03 11:59 by draugthewhopper