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Different MinGW compiler versions may NOT work. Even if blender compiles, it may not run on startup or fail otherwise. Read below on "Compiler Version" sections for supported compiler versions!

This page will describe how to build Blender from its git source, and SVN precompiled libaries using MinGW with CMake. Firstly download and install:

  1. CMake
  2. MinGW for 32-bit builds or MinGW-w64 for 64-bit builds. See below for supported versions!
  3. TortoiseSVN, used to download precompiled libraries for Blender and keep them updated.
  4. git, used to download Blender's source code and keep it updated.

TortoiseSVN Installation

Be sure to enable the command line tools during installation so you can create a .bat file later on.

git Installation

Be sure to check "Run git from the Windows Command Prompt" on the configuration page, as it add git to the PATH so you can create a .bat file allowing you to update the source code seamlessly later on.

MinGW Compiler Version

Our libraries have been compiled to be compatible with gcc version 4.6 at most. This is the version of MinGW that you will need. If the default MinGW installer comes with a newer version, you can still download older versions from their GCC packages. Be sure to enable C++ Compiler when downloading!

MinGW-w64 Compiler Version

Please be aware that MinGW-w64 support is experimental. It comes in many flavours so it is simply impossible to maintain support for each and every one, since there is no stable release.

The MinGW-w64 version that has been used for libraries and testing can be found here.

To install it, extract the mingw64 folder from the archive to your C:\ drive, or somewhere else in an easy to remember directory. Make note of this directory for use later in this page.

Set up your local repository

Create a folder to store your copy of the Blender source code. This guide will assume your chosen folder is C:\BlenderDEV. Then use the command-line to download the Blender source code via git and precompiled libraries via SVN.

Note, to get the precompiled libraries you can use the command-line OR TortoiseSVN, no need to do both, however the command-line is relatively easy to do.

Using the Command line

Open the command prompt window by hitting Windows+R, and then typing cmd, or by searching for it in the start menu.

At the command prompt type the following commands:

cd C:\BlenderDEV
git clone git://
cd blender
git submodule update --init --recursive
git submodule foreach git checkout master
git submodule foreach git pull --rebase origin master

This will checkout the source files to blender/

If you plan on building 32-bit binaries with Microsoft Visual Studio, checkout the precompiled library files by typing:

svn checkout  lib/windows

If building 32-bit binaries with MinGW, type:

svn checkout lib/mingw32

This will checkout the libraries to lib/windows/ or lib/mingw32/ respectively.

If you are going to be compiling 64-bit binaries using Microsoft Visual Studio, do this instead for the libraries:

svn checkout lib/win64

Otherwise if building 64-bit binaries with MinGW-w64, type:

svn checkout lib/mingw64

Again, this will check the libraries out in lib/win64/ or lib/mingw64/ respectively.

Using TortoiseSVN

Under no circumstances should you set the SVN repository for the C:\BlenderDEV folder, because it could cause major conflicts with the git repository. If you want to update each precompiled library folder with the explorer context menu, you can do so by clicking on the requisite folders under lib/ and going to SVN checkout. After the checkout finishes you will see a revision and are able to close the dialog out.

The only safe folders that you should use this feature on are the following:

  • Precompiled libraries (if building 32-bit with Visual Studio):
    Directory: C:\BlenderDEV\lib\windows
  • Precompiled libraries (if building 32-bit with MinGW):
    Directory: C:\BlenderDEV\lib\mingw32
  • Precompiled libraries (if building 64-bit with Visual Studio):
    Directory: C:\BlenderDEV\lib\win64
  • Precompiled libraries (if building 64-bit with MinGW-w64):
    Directory: C:\BlenderDEV\lib\mingw64

Updating your repository

To keep your local Blender source code and precompiled libraries up to date, you will need to do a git and SVN update once in a while. The most convenient way of doing this is to make a batch file containing the necessary commands.

Command line

Create this batch (.bat) file in C:\BlenderDEV\:

For Microsoft Visual Studio 32-bit:

cd lib\windows
svn update
cd ..\..\blender
git pull --rebase
git submodule foreach git pull --rebase origin master

For MinGW (32-bit):

cd lib\mingw32
svn update
cd ..\..\blender
git pull --rebase
git submodule foreach git pull --rebase origin master

For Microsoft Visual Studio 64-bit:

cd lib\win64
svn update
cd ..\..\blender
git pull --rebase
git submodule foreach git pull --rebase origin master

For MinGW-w64:

cd lib\mingw64
svn update
cd ..\..\blender
git pull --rebase
git submodule foreach git pull --rebase origin master

Run this newly created .bat file whenever you want to update.

TortoiseSVN Explorer Menu

If you plan to compile different versions of Blender with different compilers or targets, and need to have more than one of the precompiled libraries, you can update them individually by right clicking on the requsite library under C:/BlenderDEV/lib/PRECOMPILED-LIB where "PRECOMPILED-LIB" are the following:

C:/BlenderDEV/lib/windows, C:/BlenderDEV/lib/win64, C:/BlenderDEV/lib/mingw32, and/or C:/BlenderDEV/lib/mingw64

Once you right click on the C:/BlenderDEV/lib/PRECOMPILED-LIB folder you should choose the SVN Update option. A TortoiseSVN window will appear listing the files that are updating.

Once the process is finished it will print Completed At Revision: xxxxx at the end of the list.

Just click the OK button to dismiss the dialog.

  1. REDIRECT Dev:2.5/Doc/Building Blender/Windows/cmake


Compile errors with Visual Studio 2008 PRO

When you get compile errors with functions from the c++ std:: library then please make sure that you have the "Visual studio 2008 Service pack 1" installed besides your Visual Studio 2008 Pro installation.

Cycles And CUDA Binaries

Currently CUDA GPU Toolkit 4.2 is supported:

If you want to build with cycles and CUDA binaries you also need to install Microsoft Visual Studio (MSVC) 2008 as well and run the build process from a MSVC terminal. This is needed because the CUDA compiler needs to use the MSVC compiler.

For 64-bit builds(such as MinGW-w64) the CUDA compiler will need the 64bit toolset. It is possible to get this without MSVC professional by downloading the Windows SDK (version 7.1 has a very buggy installation but 7.0 iso should work) Additionally, there's one other thing to change for a 64-bit system. Apparently the cuda compiler has a "hard-coded" directory for 64-bit compilers. To make the fix, copy the needed file "vcvars64.bat" and rename it to "vcvarsamd64.bat" as follows:

C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 9.0\VC\bin\vcvars64.bat


C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 9.0\VC\bin\amd64\vcvarsamd64.bat

(method copied from: ) Then you should be able to generate 64bit kernels from a MSVC terminal.

nvcc fatal

When building via mingw and Windows SDK, Cuda compiler could fail with following message(even for 64bit building):

nvcc fatal : Visual Studio configuration file 'vsvars32.bat' could not be found for installation at 'C:/Program Files/Microsoft Visual Studio 9.0/VC/bin/../../..'

to solve that problem, you need to copy 'vcvars32.bat' and rename it to 'vsvars32.bat' as follows:

C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 9.0\VC\bin\vcvars32.bat


C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 9.0\Common7\Tools\vsvars32.bat

(this workaround was taken from nvidia dev talk forum:

Fail to start release or builds from buildbot

Usually this means the Install the Visual C++ 2008 Redistributable Package aren't installed in your system. They can be easily found at the Microsoft download center here: 32bit / 64bit (see also the Download Blender page).

If you've got PYTHONPATH environment variable pointing to an older version of Python, it'll lead to Microsoft Visual C++ runtime library failure. If you've got such kind of error message, check on your environment variables.

Missing DLL's With MinGW

If you get a popup when configuring CMake or running SCons that says

libgmp-10.dll not found

This is because the DLL MinGW installs is not in the path, resolve this by adding "C:\MinGW\bin" to you're PATH environment variable.

MinGW & Redistribution

MinGW uses a few DLLs deal with runtime libraries so if you bundle builds for others, copy libgcc*.dll and libstdc++*.dll from MinGW/bin next to your new Blender executable. If you build with OpenMP, libgomp.dll will also be needed. This will make the builds usable even for people who don't have MinGW or PATH setup correctly.

Fail to Initialize with MinGW

If you get this error, installing python may resolve this, even though Blender comes with python.

The application failed to initialize properly (.....)
Click on OK to terminate the application.

Debug Builds

Without MSVC 2008 installed you may get an error like this on launch.

The application failed to initialize properly (0xc9159992).
Click on OK to terminate the application.

This is because python32_d.dll needs MSVC 2008 installed to run. Both the Full version or Express will work.

So even if you build with MinGW or MSVC 2010, to run debug builds you need MSVC 2008.

MSVC Express Has No OpenMP support

If you build with MSVC Express you must disable OpenMP (which will make some parts of Blender not use multiple processors).

  • on SCons disable WITH_BF_OPENMP
  • on CMake disable WITH_OPENMP

SCons Environment Variable problem

If one ore more environment variable contains a value with non-ASCII characters you'll see an error message appear since r34956 (older revision will throw a UnicodeDecodeError exception). It looks like this:

D:\blenderdev\currentsvn>python scons\ BF_CONFIG=graphicall_32b
scons: Reading SConscript files ...
A problem with one or more environment variable was found
Their value contain non-ascii characters. Check the below
list and override them locally to be ASCII-clean by doing
'set VARNAME=cleanvalue' on the command-line prior to
starting the build process:

You don't have to change the main environment, it's enough to override the offending variables for the session. You could create a .bat with the overrides, so it's easy to run it whenever you open a new VS command prompt.

File too big

So far only encountered with MinGW64 & SCons on Windows.

No real solution found yet, but disabling debug builds is a workaround. Here is an example for SCons:

BF_DEBUG = False

If there is more information about this, please update this entry!