Difference between revisions of "Compile on Windows"

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{{docnav|Tracker|CompileOnUnix}}
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{{Docnav
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|[[Bug_Triage|Bug Triage]]
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|[[Compile_on_Linux|Compile on Linux]]
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}}
  
 
<!--T:1-->
 
<!--T:1-->
This page explains step by step '''how to compile FreeCAD 0.18 or newer on Windows'''.
+
This page explains step by step '''how to compile FreeCAD 0.18 or newer on Windows'''. For other platforms see [[Compiling|Compiling]].
 +
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{{TOCright}}
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== Prerequisites == <!--T:2-->
 
== Prerequisites == <!--T:2-->
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<!--T:116-->
 
<!--T:116-->
 
* [http://git-scm.com/ Git] (There are also a GUI frontends available for Git, see the next section.)
 
* [http://git-scm.com/ Git] (There are also a GUI frontends available for Git, see the next section.)
* [http://www.cmake.org/cmake/resources/software.html CMake] version 3.11.x - 3.14.x. '''Note:''' Usually one cannot take the latest CMake version. Therefore only use a CMake version in the range specified on this page!<br>It is recommended to use the option ''Add CMake to the system PATH for all users'' when installing CMake. Then you can later easily access CMake also from the command line/powershell.
+
 
* LibPack (also called FreeCADLibs). This is a set of libraries necessary to compile FreeCAD on Windows. Depending on the FreeCAD version you want to compile, you must download the corresponding LibPack. For example to compile FreeCAD 0.18, download either the 32bit or the 64bit version of the [https://github.com/FreeCAD/FreeCAD-ports-cache/releases/tag/v0.18 LibPack for 0.18], to compile the latest development version 0.19, download the [https://github.com/FreeCAD/FreeCAD/releases/tag/0.19_pre LibPack for 0.19] (there is only a 64bit version).<br>Just download the LibPack, you will unpack and set it up later.<br>'''Note''': It is recommended to use the same compiler ''MS Visual Studio'' (MSVC) version the LibPack is designed for. This assures that the compilation and the execution of the compiled FreeCAD.exe succeeds. So you should for example be able to compile FreeCAD 0.18 using the LibPack for 0.19 and MSVC 15 but you you might get problems compiling FreeCAD 0.18 using the LibPack for 0.18 and MSVC 15 because the LibPack for 0.18 is designed to be built with MSVC&nbsp;12.
+
<!--T:170-->
 +
* [http://www.cmake.org/cmake/resources/software.html CMake] version 3.11.x - 3.17.x. '''Note:''' Usually one cannot take the latest CMake version. Therefore only use a CMake version in the range specified on this page!
 +
 
 +
<!--T:171-->
 +
It is recommended to use the option ''Add CMake to the system PATH for all users'' when installing CMake. Then you can later easily access CMake also from the command line/powershell.
 +
 
 +
<!--T:172-->
 +
* LibPack (also called FreeCADLibs). This is a set of libraries necessary to compile FreeCAD on Windows. Depending on the FreeCAD version you want to compile, you must download the corresponding LibPack. For example to compile FreeCAD 0.18, download either the 32bit or the 64bit version of the [https://github.com/FreeCAD/FreeCAD-ports-cache/releases/tag/v0.18 LibPack for 0.18], to compile the latest development version 0.19, download the [https://github.com/FreeCAD/FreeCAD/releases/tag/0.19_pre LibPack for 0.19] (there is only a 64bit version).
 +
 
 +
<!--T:173-->
 +
Just download the LibPack, you will unpack and set it up later.
 +
 
 +
<!--T:174-->
 +
'''Note''': It is recommended to use the same compiler ''MS Visual Studio'' (MSVC) version the LibPack is designed for. This assures that the compilation and the execution of the compiled FreeCAD.exe succeeds. So you should for example be able to compile FreeCAD 0.18 using the LibPack for 0.19 and MSVC 15 but you you might get problems compiling FreeCAD 0.18 using the LibPack for 0.18 and MSVC 15 because the LibPack for 0.18 is designed to be built with MSVC&nbsp;12.
  
 
===Optional programs=== <!--T:137-->
 
===Optional programs=== <!--T:137-->
* [https://www.python.org/downloads/ Python 3.x]. A separate python installation is not mandatory since the LibPack contains Python. However, to be able to test later your FreeCAD build it is useful to have a standalone Python installation. It is recommended to use not the latest version, but the prior version (e.g. not Python 3.7 but 3.6).
+
 
*  A GUI frontend for Git. There are several frontends available, see [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_Git_GUIs this list]. The main benefit of a frontend is that you don't have to learn the Git commands to get the source code of FreeCAD or to send patches to the GitHub repository of FreeCAD.<br>In the following we describe source code handling using the frontend [https://tortoisegit.org/ TortoiseGit]. This frontend integrates directly to Windows file explorer and has a large user community to get help in case you have problems.  
+
<!--T:175-->
 +
* [https://www.python.org/downloads/ Python 3.x]. A separate python installation is not mandatory since the LibPack contains Python. However, to be able to test later your FreeCAD build it is useful to have a standalone Python installation. It is recommended to use not the latest version, but the prior version (e.g. not Python 3.8 but 3.7).
 +
 
 +
<!--T:176-->
 +
*  A GUI frontend for Git. There are several frontends available, see [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_Git_GUIs this list]. The main benefit of a frontend is that you don't have to learn the Git commands to get the source code of FreeCAD or to send patches to the GitHub repository of FreeCAD.
 +
 
 +
<!--T:177-->
 +
In the following we describe source code handling using the frontend [https://tortoisegit.org/ TortoiseGit]. This frontend integrates directly to Windows file explorer and has a large user community to get help in case you have problems.  
 +
 
 +
<!--T:178-->
 
* [http://sourceforge.net/projects/nsis/ NSIS] This is the program to generate the Windows installer of FreeCAD. (Information: For FreeCAD 0.17 and older the program [http://wixtoolset.org/ WiX] was used to create the installer.)
 
* [http://sourceforge.net/projects/nsis/ NSIS] This is the program to generate the Windows installer of FreeCAD. (Information: For FreeCAD 0.17 and older the program [http://wixtoolset.org/ WiX] was used to create the installer.)
  
===Source Code=== <!--T:98-->
+
===Source code=== <!--T:98-->
  
 +
<!--T:143-->
 
Now you can get the source code of FreeCAD:
 
Now you can get the source code of FreeCAD:
  
====Using the Command Line==== <!--T:117-->
+
====Using a frontend==== <!--T:144-->
 +
 
 +
<!--T:145-->
 +
When using the [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_Git_GUIs Git frontend] TortoiseGit:
 +
# Create a new folder where the source code should be.
 +
# Right-click on this folder in the Windows file explorer and select in the context menu '''Git Clone'''.
 +
# A dialog will appear. Use there as URL for the FreeCAD repository
 +
 
 +
</translate>
 +
''https://github.com/FreeCAD/FreeCAD.git''
 +
<translate>
 +
 
 +
<!--T:179-->
 +
and click '''OK'''.
 +
 
 +
<!--T:180-->
 +
Now the source code is downloaded and its folder becomes a folder tracked by Git.
 +
 
 +
====Using the command line==== <!--T:117-->
  
 
<!--T:102-->
 
<!--T:102-->
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</translate>
 
</translate>
 
{{Code|code=
 
{{Code|code=
git clone https://github.com/FreeCAD/FreeCAD.git FreeCAD-code
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git clone https://github.com/FreeCAD/FreeCAD.git
 
}}
 
}}
 
<translate>
 
<translate>
 
====Using a Frontend====
 
 
When using the Git frontend TortoiseGit:
 
# Create a new folder where the source code should be.
 
# Right-click on this folder in the Windows file explorer and select in the context menu '''Git Clone'''.
 
# A dialog will appear. Use there as URL for the FreeCAD repository<br>''https://github.com/FreeCAD/FreeCAD.git''<br>and Click OK.
 
Now the source code is downloaded and its folder becomes a folder tracked by Git.
 
  
 
===Compiler=== <!--T:71-->
 
===Compiler=== <!--T:71-->
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The default (recommended) compiler is MS Visual Studio (MSVC). Though it may be possible to use other compilers using Cygwin or MinGW gcc it is not tested or ported so far.
 
The default (recommended) compiler is MS Visual Studio (MSVC). Though it may be possible to use other compilers using Cygwin or MinGW gcc it is not tested or ported so far.
  
You can get a free version of MSVC (for OpenSource usage) by downloading the ''Community'' edition of MS Visual Studio. To do so, use this URL<br><nowiki>https://visualstudio.microsoft.com/thank-you-downloading-visual-studio/?sku=Community&rel=xx</nowiki><br>where xx is the version number. So to get MSVC 15 (calso called MSVC 2017), use this URL:<br>https://visualstudio.microsoft.com/thank-you-downloading-visual-studio/?sku=Community&rel=15
+
<!--T:146-->
 +
You can get a free version of MSVC (for OpenSource usage) by downloading the ''Community'' edition of MS Visual Studio. To do so, use this URL
 +
 
 +
<!--T:181-->
 +
<nowiki>https://visualstudio.microsoft.com/thank-you-downloading-visual-studio/?sku=Community&rel=xx</nowiki>
 +
 
 +
<!--T:182-->
 +
where xx is the version number. So to get MSVC 15 (calso called MSVC 2017), use this URL:
 +
 
 +
<!--T:183-->
 +
https://visualstudio.microsoft.com/thank-you-downloading-visual-studio/?sku=Community&rel=15
  
 
<!--T:106-->
 
<!--T:106-->
 
For those who want to avoid installing the huge MSVC for the mere purpose of having a compiler, see [[CompileOnWindows - Reducing Disk Footprint]].
 
For those who want to avoid installing the huge MSVC for the mere purpose of having a compiler, see [[CompileOnWindows - Reducing Disk Footprint]].
  
'''Note:''' Despite that the ''Community'' edition of MSVC is free, you must create a Microsoft account from withing the MSVC IDE that you can use the IDE for more than 30 days. If you will only compile using the command line, you don't need the IDE and thus no Microsoft account.
+
<!--T:147-->
 +
'''Note:''' Despite that the ''Community'' edition of MSVC is free, you must create a Microsoft account from within the MSVC IDE that you can use the IDE for more than 30 days. If you will only compile using the command line, you don't need the IDE and thus no Microsoft account.
 +
 
 +
<!--T:184-->
 +
As free and OpenSource alternative IDE you can use [https://www.kdevelop.org/download KDevelop]. You can use KDevelop to modify and write C++ code but must use the command line to compile.
  
===Optional System Path Configuration=== <!--T:5-->
+
===Optional system path configuration=== <!--T:5-->
  
 
<!--T:121-->
 
<!--T:121-->
 
Optionally you can include the paths to some folders to the system PATH variable. This is helpful if you want to access programs in these folders from the command line/powershell or if you want special programs to be found by the compiler or CMake. Besides this, adding folders to the PATH might be necessary if you did not use the corresponding options when installing the program.
 
Optionally you can include the paths to some folders to the system PATH variable. This is helpful if you want to access programs in these folders from the command line/powershell or if you want special programs to be found by the compiler or CMake. Besides this, adding folders to the PATH might be necessary if you did not use the corresponding options when installing the program.
  
 +
<!--T:148-->
 
* You can include the folder of your LibPack in your system PATH variable. This is useful if you plan to build multiple configurations/versions of FreeCAD.
 
* You can include the folder of your LibPack in your system PATH variable. This is useful if you plan to build multiple configurations/versions of FreeCAD.
* If you did not use the option to add CMake to the PATH while installing it, add its installation folder<br>''C:\Program Files\CMake\bin'' to the PATH.
+
* If you did not use the option to add CMake to the PATH while installing it, add its installation folder
* If you did not use the option to add TortoiseGit to the PATH while installing it, add its installation folder<br>''C:\Program Files\TortoiseGit\bin'' to the PATH.
+
 
 +
<!--T:185-->
 +
''C:\Program Files\CMake\bin'' to the PATH.
 +
* If you did not use the option to add TortoiseGit to the PATH while installing it, add its installation folder
 +
 
 +
<!--T:186-->
 +
''C:\Program Files\TortoiseGit\bin'' to the PATH.
  
 
<!--T:104-->
 
<!--T:104-->
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== Configuration == <!--T:6-->
 
== Configuration == <!--T:6-->
  
===LibPack===
+
===LibPack=== <!--T:149-->
  
 +
<!--T:150-->
 
At first you need to setup a build folder:
 
At first you need to setup a build folder:
 
# Create a new folder where the compiled FreeCAD should be. It is highly recommended that this folder is not inside the source code folder of FreeCAD.
 
# Create a new folder where the compiled FreeCAD should be. It is highly recommended that this folder is not inside the source code folder of FreeCAD.
# Create there a new subfolder for the LibPack. Give it for example the same name like the LibPack.
+
# Create there a new subfolder for the LibPack. '''Note:''' The name of this subfolder must be the same as the LibPack file name. If e.g. the LibPack has the filename ''FreeCADLibs_12.1.4_x64_VC15.7z'', you must name the subfolder ''FreeCADLibs_12.1.4_x64_VC15''.
 
# Extract the LibPack to this subfolder.
 
# Extract the LibPack to this subfolder.
  
===CMake===
+
===CMake=== <!--T:151-->
  
 
<!--T:123-->
 
<!--T:123-->
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# Specify the build folder you just created in the previous step.
 
# Specify the build folder you just created in the previous step.
 
# Click '''Configure'''
 
# Click '''Configure'''
# In the appearing dialog specify the generator according to the one you want to use. For the standard MS Visual Studio use ''Visual Studio xx 2yyy'' where xx is the compiler version ad yyy the year of its release. It is recommended to use the default option ''Use default native compilers''.<br>'''Note:''' It is important to specify the correct bit variant. If you have the 64bit variant of LibPack you must also use the x64 compiler.
+
# In the appearing dialog specify the generator according to the one you want to use. For the standard MS Visual Studio use ''Visual Studio xx 2yyy'' where xx is the compiler version and 2yyy the year of its release. It is recommended to use the default option ''Use default native compilers''.
 +
 
 +
<!--T:187-->
 +
'''Note:''' It is important to specify the correct bit variant. If you have the 64bit variant of LibPack you must also use the x64 compiler.
  
 
<!--T:76-->
 
<!--T:76-->
 
This will begin the configuration and will fail because of missing settings.
 
This will begin the configuration and will fail because of missing settings.
  
 +
<!--T:152-->
 
If it fails with the message that Visual Studio could not be found the CMake support in MSVC is not yet installed. To do this:
 
If it fails with the message that Visual Studio could not be found the CMake support in MSVC is not yet installed. To do this:
 
#  Open the MSVC IDE
 
#  Open the MSVC IDE
#  Use the menu Tools -> Get Tools and Features
+
#  Use the menu Tools Get Tools and Features
 
#  In the ''Workloads'' tab enable ''Desktop development with C++''
 
#  In the ''Workloads'' tab enable ''Desktop development with C++''
 
# On the right side you should now see that the component ''Visual C++ tools for CMake'' will be installed.
 
# On the right side you should now see that the component ''Visual C++ tools for CMake'' will be installed.
 
# Install it.
 
# Install it.
  
If there is no error about Visual Studio, everything is fine, but CMake does not yet know all necessary settings. Therefore now:
+
<!--T:219-->
 +
If it fails with a message about the wrong Python version or missing Python, then:
 +
#  Search in the CMake GUI for "Python"
 +
#  If you see there a path like ''C:/Program Files/Python38/python.exe'', CMake recognized the Python that is already installed on your PC. Since the Python installation is important for different programs on your PC you should keep it as it is and adapt only the 4 different Python settings in CMake to these paths (assuming the LibPack is in the folder ''D:\FreeCAD-build\FreeCADLibs_12.3.2_x64_VC15''):
 +
[[File:CMake_Python_settings.png]]
 +
 
 +
<!--T:153-->
 +
If there is no error about Visual Studio or Python, everything is fine, but CMake does not yet know all necessary settings. Therefore now:
 
# Assure that the search option ''Advanced'' is checked.
 
# Assure that the search option ''Advanced'' is checked.
 
# Search in CMake for the variable '''FREECAD_LIBPACK_DIR''' and specify there the correct location to the LibPack folder.
 
# Search in CMake for the variable '''FREECAD_LIBPACK_DIR''' and specify there the correct location to the LibPack folder.
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There should now be no errors. If so, click on '''Generate'''. After this is done you could close CMake and continue to start the compilation of FreeCAD. However, for the first compilation keep it open for the case that you want or need to change some options for the build process:
 
There should now be no errors. If so, click on '''Generate'''. After this is done you could close CMake and continue to start the compilation of FreeCAD. However, for the first compilation keep it open for the case that you want or need to change some options for the build process:
  
=== Options for the Build Process === <!--T:77-->
+
=== Options for the build process === <!--T:77-->
  
 
<!--T:78-->
 
<!--T:78-->
The CMake build system gives you the flexibility over the build process. That means you can switch on and off some features or modules by CMake variables. (It is in a way like the Linux kernel build.)
+
The CMake build system gives you the flexibility over the build process. That means you can switch on and off some features or modules by CMake variables.
  
 
<!--T:79-->
 
<!--T:79-->
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! Variable name      !! Description  !! Default
 
! Variable name      !! Description  !! Default
 
|-               
 
|-               
| BUILD_XXX  || Build FreeCAD with the component XXX. If you don't want/need to compile e.g. the workbench ''OpenSCAD'', disable the variable ''BUILD_OPENSCAD''. FreeCAD will then not have this workbench.<br>'''Note:''' Some components are required for other components. If you for example uncheck ''BUILD_ROBOT'' CMake will inform you that then the component ''Path'' cannot be compiled correctly. Therefore check the CMake output after you changed a BUILD_XXX option! || depends
+
| BUILD_XXX  || Build FreeCAD with the component XXX. If you don't want/need to compile e.g. the workbench ''OpenSCAD'', disable the variable ''BUILD_OPENSCAD''. FreeCAD will then not have this workbench.
 +
 
 +
<!--T:188-->
 +
'''Note:''' Some components are required for other components. If you for example uncheck ''BUILD_ROBOT'' CMake will inform you that then the component ''Path'' cannot be compiled correctly. Therefore check the CMake output after you changed a BUILD_XXX option! || depends
 
|-               
 
|-               
 
| CMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX  || The output folder when building the target ''INSTALL'', see also section [[#Running and installing FreeCAD|Running and installing FreeCAD]] || Windows' default program installation folder
 
| CMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX  || The output folder when building the target ''INSTALL'', see also section [[#Running and installing FreeCAD|Running and installing FreeCAD]] || Windows' default program installation folder
 
|-               
 
|-               
| FREECAD_COPY_DEPEND_DIRS_TO_BUILD || Copies the LibPack libraries needed to execute the FreeCAD.exe to the build folder. See also section [[#Running and installing FreeCAD|Running and installing FreeCAD]]. || OFF
+
| FREECAD_COPY_DEPEND_DIRS_TO_BUILD || Copies depending libraries needed to execute the FreeCAD.exe to the build folder. See also section [[#Running and installing FreeCAD|Running and installing FreeCAD]].</br> '''Note:''' the options FREECAD_COPY_XXX only appear if the libraries were not already copied. So when you change to another LibPack version, it is important to delete all folders in your build folder, except of the LibPack folder. In CMake delete the cache and start as if you compile for the first time and you will get the FREECAD_COPY_XXX options. || OFF
 
|-               
 
|-               
 
| FREECAD_COPY_LIBPACK_BIN_TO_BUILD || Copies the LibPack binaries needed to execute the FreeCAD.exe to the build folder. See also section [[#Running and installing FreeCAD|Running and installing FreeCAD]]. || OFF
 
| FREECAD_COPY_LIBPACK_BIN_TO_BUILD || Copies the LibPack binaries needed to execute the FreeCAD.exe to the build folder. See also section [[#Running and installing FreeCAD|Running and installing FreeCAD]]. || OFF
 
|-               
 
|-               
| FREECAD_LIBPACK_USE || Switch the usage of the FreeCAD LibPack on or off  || ON      
+
| FREECAD_COPY_PLUGINS_BIN_TO_BUILD|| Copies Qt's plugin files needed to execute the FreeCAD.exe to the build folder. See also section [[#Running and installing FreeCAD|Running and installing FreeCAD]]. || OFF
 +
|-             
 +
| FREECAD_LIBPACK_USE || Switch the usage of the FreeCAD LibPack on or off  || ON
 
|-               
 
|-               
 
| FREECAD_LIBPACK_DIR || Directory where the LibPack is || FreeCAD's source code folder
 
| FREECAD_LIBPACK_DIR || Directory where the LibPack is || FreeCAD's source code folder
 +
|-             
 +
| FREECAD_RELEASE_PDB || Create debug libraries also for release builds || ON
 
|}
 
|}
  
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<translate>
  
=== Building with Visual Studio 15 2017 ===
+
=== Building with Visual Studio 15 2017, and Visual Studio 16 2019=== <!--T:154-->
  
 
</translate>
 
</translate>
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<translate>
 
<translate>
  
 +
<!--T:155-->
 
# Start the Visual Studio IDE. This can either be done by pressing the button ''Open Project'' in the CMake GUI or by double-clicking on the file ''FreeCAD.sln'' that you find in your build folder.
 
# Start the Visual Studio IDE. This can either be done by pressing the button ''Open Project'' in the CMake GUI or by double-clicking on the file ''FreeCAD.sln'' that you find in your build folder.
 
# In the toolbar of the MSVC IDE assure that you use for the first compilation ''Release''.
 
# In the toolbar of the MSVC IDE assure that you use for the first compilation ''Release''.
# There is a window called ''Solution'' explorer. it lists all possible compilation targets.<br>To start a full compilation, right-click on the target ''ALL_BUILD'' and then choose '''Build'''.
+
# There is a window called ''Solution Explorer''. It lists all possible compilation targets.
This will now take quiet a long time.
 
  
 +
<!--T:189-->
 +
To start a full compilation, right-click on the target '''ALL_BUILD''' and then choose '''Build'''.
 +
This will now take quite a long time.
 +
 +
<!--T:156-->
 
To compile a ready-to use FreeCAD, compile the target ''INSTALL'', see section [[#Running and installing FreeCAD|Running and installing FreeCAD]].
 
To compile a ready-to use FreeCAD, compile the target ''INSTALL'', see section [[#Running and installing FreeCAD|Running and installing FreeCAD]].
  
 +
<!--T:157-->
 
If you don't get any errors you are done. '''Congratulations!''' You can exit MSVC or keep it open.
 
If you don't get any errors you are done. '''Congratulations!''' You can exit MSVC or keep it open.
 +
 +
==== Video Resource ==== <!--T:218-->
 +
An English language tutorial that begins with configuration in CMake Gui and continues to the `Build` command in Visual Studio 16 2019 is available unlisted on YouTube at [https://youtu.be/s4pHvlDOSZQ Tutorial: Build FreeCAD from source on Windows 10].
 
</translate>
 
</translate>
 
</div>
 
</div>
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<translate>
 
<translate>
  
=== Building with Qt Creator === <!--T:88-->
+
=== Building with Qt Creator (outdated) === <!--T:88-->
  
 
</translate>
 
</translate>
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*** Uncheck: Always deploy project before running it
 
*** Uncheck: Always deploy project before running it
  
==== Import project and Build ==== <!--T:62-->
+
====Import project and building==== <!--T:62-->
  
 
<!--T:127-->
 
<!--T:127-->
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<translate>
 
<translate>
  
=== Command line build === <!--T:66-->
+
===Command line build=== <!--T:66-->
  
 
</translate>
 
</translate>
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<translate>
 
<translate>
  
 +
<!--T:158-->
 
The steps how to compile from the command line depends on the compiler. For MSVC 2017 the steps are:
 
The steps how to compile from the command line depends on the compiler. For MSVC 2017 the steps are:
# In Windows' start menu go to {{MenuCommand|Visual Studio 2017->Visual Studio Tools}} and choose '''Developer Command Prompt for VS 2017'''
+
# In Windows' start menu go to {{MenuCommand|Visual Studio 2017 Visual Studio Tools}} and choose '''Developer Command Prompt for VS 2017'''
 
# Change to your build folder.
 
# Change to your build folder.
# Execute the command {{Code|code=msbuild ALL_BUILD.vcxproj /p:Configuration=Release}} or {{Code|code=msbuild INSTALL.vcxproj /p:Configuration=Release}}
+
# Execute the command
 +
 
 +
</translate>
 +
{{Code|code=msbuild ALL_BUILD.vcxproj /p:Configuration=Release}}
 +
<translate>
 +
 
 +
<!--T:190-->
 +
or
 +
 
 +
</translate>
 +
{{Code|code=msbuild INSTALL.vcxproj /p:Configuration=Release}}
 +
<translate>
  
 
<!--T:114-->
 
<!--T:114-->
Here an example how to build FreeCAD from the Command line:
+
These steps can also be automaized. Here is for example a solution for MSVC 2017:
 +
# Download the script [https://forum.freecadweb.org/download/file.php?id=92135 compile-FC.txt].
 +
# Rename it to ''compile-FC.bat''
 +
# In Winddows' file explorer Shift+Right-click on your build folder and use from the context menu ''Command prompt here''.
 +
# Execute the command
  
 
</translate>
 
</translate>
{{Code|code=
+
{{Code|code=compile-FC install}}
@echo off
+
<translate>
echo -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
+
 
echo Usage: compile-FC debug/release/install
+
<!--T:191-->
echo  debug - compile FreeCAD with MSVC 2017 in debug configuration
+
Instead of calling '''compile-FC''' with the option ''install'' you can also use ''debug'' or ''release'':
echo  release - compile FreeCAD in release configuration
+
 
echo  install - compile FreeCAD in release configuration and create an install setup
+
<!--T:192-->
echo -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
+
''debug'' &nbsp; - compile FreeCAD in debug configuration
 +
 
 +
<!--T:193-->
 +
''release'' - compile FreeCAD in release configuration
  
if [%1]==[] (
+
<!--T:194-->
echo ERROR: no options.
+
''install'' &nbsp;&nbsp; - compile FreeCAD in release configuration and create an install setup
echo Exiting now.
 
goto :eof
 
)
 
REM Save path
 
set CALLED_FROM=%CD%
 
REM load the MSVC build variables
 
cd /D "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio\2017"
 
cd /D "Community\Common7\Tools\"
 
Call "VsDevCmd.bat"
 
REM go back to the dir where the script was called from
 
cd /D %CALLED_FROM%
 
REM start the compilation
 
if "%1%" == "debug" (
 
msbuild ALL_BUILD.vcxproj /p:Configuration=Debug
 
)
 
if "%1%" == "release" (
 
msbuild ALL_BUILD.vcxproj /p:Configuration=Release
 
)
 
if "%1%" == "install" (
 
msbuild INSTALL.vcxproj /p:Configuration=Release
 
)
 
:eof
 
  
}}
+
</translate>
 
</div>
 
</div>
 
</div>
 
</div>
 
<translate>
 
<translate>
  
== Running and Installing FreeCAD == <!--T:139-->
+
==Running and installing FreeCAD== <!--T:139-->
  
 
<!--T:140-->
 
<!--T:140-->
There are 2 methods to run the compiled FreeCAD:<br>''Method 1'': You execute the FreeCAD.exe that you find in your build folder in the subfolder ''bin''<br>''Method 2'': You build the target ''INSTALL''
+
There are 2 methods to run the compiled FreeCAD:
 +
 
 +
<!--T:195-->
 +
''Method 1'': You execute the FreeCAD.exe that you find in your build folder in the subfolder ''bin''
 +
 
 +
<!--T:196-->
 +
''Method 2'': You build the target ''INSTALL''
  
 
<!--T:141-->
 
<!--T:141-->
Line 323: Line 414:
 
For Method 1 you need to put the libraries into the ''bin'' folder of your build folder (where the FreeCAD.exe is). This can easily be done:
 
For Method 1 you need to put the libraries into the ''bin'' folder of your build folder (where the FreeCAD.exe is). This can easily be done:
 
# Open the CMake GUI.
 
# Open the CMake GUI.
# Search there for the variable option ''FREECAD_COPY_DEPEND_DIRS_TO_BUILD'' and check it.
+
# Search there for the variable option ''FREECAD_COPY_DEPEND_DIRS_TO_BUILD'' and check it. If there is no such option, the libraries were already copied, see the [[#Options_for_the_build_process|description of the options]].
 
# Search there for the variable option ''FREECAD_COPY_LIBPACK_BIN_TO_BUILD'' and check it.
 
# Search there for the variable option ''FREECAD_COPY_LIBPACK_BIN_TO_BUILD'' and check it.
 +
# Search there for the variable option ''FREECAD_COPY_PLUGINS_BIN_TO_BUILD'' and check it.
 
# Click on '''Configure'''. At the end of the configuration CMake will automatically copy the necessary libraries from the LibPack folder.
 
# Click on '''Configure'''. At the end of the configuration CMake will automatically copy the necessary libraries from the LibPack folder.
  
 +
<!--T:159-->
 
For FreeCAD 0.19 there is currently only one issue that requires manual action:
 
For FreeCAD 0.19 there is currently only one issue that requires manual action:
 
# Download the file [https://forum.freecadweb.org/download/file.php?id=90273 qwindowsvistastyle.zip] from the FreeCAD forum.
 
# Download the file [https://forum.freecadweb.org/download/file.php?id=90273 qwindowsvistastyle.zip] from the FreeCAD forum.
 
# Create a new subfolder named ''styles'' in the ''bin'' folder (where the FreeCAD.exe is).
 
# Create a new subfolder named ''styles'' in the ''bin'' folder (where the FreeCAD.exe is).
# Extract the ZIP-file to this folder. <br>This adds the necessary style to make FreeCAD look like a normal Win 10 program. Otherwise it looks like in Windows 98.
+
# Extract the ZIP-file to this folder.
 +
 
 +
<!--T:197-->
 +
This adds the necessary style to make FreeCAD look like a normal Win 10 program. Otherwise it looks like in Windows 98.
 +
 
 +
==Updating the build== <!--T:160-->
 +
 
 +
<!--T:161-->
 +
FreeCAD is very actively developed. Therefore its source code changes almost daily. New features are added and bugs are fixed. To benefit from these source code changes, you must rebuild your FreeCAD. This is done in two steps:
 +
# Updating the source code
 +
# Recompilation
 +
 
 +
===Updating the source code=== <!--T:162-->
 +
 
 +
====Using a frontend==== <!--T:163-->
 +
 
 +
<!--T:164-->
 +
When using the [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_Git_GUIs Git frontend] TortoiseGit:
 +
# Right-click on your FreeCAD source code folder in the Windows file explorer and select in the context menu '''Pull'''.
 +
# A dialog will appear. Select there what development branch you want to get. '''master''' is the main branch. Therefore use this unless you want to compile a special new feature from a branch that has not yet been merged to ''master''. (For more about Git branches, see [[Source_code_management#Git_development_process|Git development process]].)
 +
 
 +
<!--T:198-->
 +
Finally click '''OK'''.
 +
 
 +
====Using the command line==== <!--T:165-->
 +
 
 +
<!--T:166-->
 +
Open a terminal (command prompt) and switch there to your source directory. Then type:
 +
 
 +
</translate>
 +
{{Code|code=
 +
git pull https://github.com/FreeCAD/FreeCAD.git master
 +
}}
 +
<translate>
 +
 
 +
<!--T:167-->
 +
where ''master'' the the name of the main development branch. If you want to get code from another branch, use its name instead of ''master''.
 +
 
 +
===Recompilation=== <!--T:168-->
 +
 
 +
<!--T:169-->
 +
# Open the MSVC IDE by double-clicking either on the file ''FreeCAD.sln'' or on the file ''ALL_BUILD.vcxproj'' in your build folder.
 +
# Continue with step 2 from section [[#Building_with_Visual_Studio_15_2017|Building with Visual Studio 15 2017]].
 +
 
 +
==Tools== <!--T:199-->
 +
 
 +
<!--T:200-->
 +
In order to join the FreeCAD development you should compile and install the following tools:
 +
 
 +
===Qt Designer plugin=== <!--T:201-->
 +
 
 +
<!--T:202-->
 +
FreeCAD uses [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qt_(software) Qt] as toolkit for its user interface. All dialogs are setup in UI-files that can be edited using the program [https://doc.qt.io/qt-5/qtdesigner-manual.html Qt Designer] that is part of any Qt installation and also included in the LibPack. FreeCAD has its own set of Qt widgets to provide special features like adding a unit to input fields and to set preferences properties.
 +
 
 +
====Installation==== <!--T:203-->
 +
 
 +
<!--T:204-->
 +
To make Qt Designer aware of  the FreeCAD widgets, you must
 +
 
 +
<!--T:205-->
 +
# Download [https://forum.freecadweb.org/download/file.php?id=124239 this ZIP] file. (Compiled using Qt 5.12, see [[#Compilation|below]].)
 +
# Extract the DLL file in the ZIP and copy it
 +
* If you use the LibPack: to the folder</br>''~\FreeCADLibs_12.1.4_x64_VC15\bin\designer''</br>Since there will only be a ''bin'' folder and you must first create the ''designer'' subfolder.
 +
* If you have a full Qt installation: you can choose between the folder</br>''C:\Qt\Qt5.12.5\5.12.5\msvc2017_64\plugins\designer''</br>or</br>''C:\Qt\Qt5.12.5\5.12.5\msvc2017_64\bin\designer''</br>(adapt the paths to your installation!).
 +
 
 +
<!--T:206-->
 +
(Re)Start Qt Designer and check its menu {{MenuCommand|Help → Plugins}}. If the plugin '''FreeCAD_widgets.dll''' is listed as being loaded, you can now design and change FreeCAD's .ui files. If not, you must [[#Compilation|compile]] the DLL by yourself.
 +
 
 +
 
 +
<!--T:207-->
 +
If you prefer using [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qt_Creator Qt Creator] instead of Qt Designer, the DLL must be placed in this folder:</br>''C:\Qt\Qt5.12.5\Tools\QtCreator\bin\plugins\designer''</br>(Re)Start Qt Creator, switch to the mode '''Design''' and then check the menu {{MenuCommand|Tools → Form Editor → About Qt Designer Plugins}}. If the plugin '''FreeCAD_widgets.dll''' is listed as being loaded, you can now design and change FreeCAD's .ui files. If not, you must [[#Compilation|compile]] the DLL by yourself.
 +
 
 +
====Compilation==== <!--T:208-->
 +
 
 +
<!--T:209-->
 +
The DLL cannot be loaded as plugin if  it was compiled using another Qt version than the one your Qt Designer/Qt Creator is based on. In this case you must compile the DLL by yourself. This is done the following way:
 +
 
 +
<!--T:210-->
 +
# Change to the FreeCAD source folder</br>''~\src\Tools\plugins\widget''
 +
# Open a MSVC x64 command prompt using the Windows Start menu and change within it to the above folder. It is important that it is the x64 version of the MSVC command prompt!
 +
# Execute this command {{Code|code=qmake -t vclib plugin.pro}}If qmake could not be found, use the full path to it, e.g. for the LibPack it should be this one (adapt it to your installation):</br>''D:\FreeCAD-build\FreeCADLibs_12.1.4_x64_VC15\bin\qmake -t vclib plugin.pro''</br>for a full Qt installation it is</br>''C:\Qt\Qt5.12.5\5.12.5\msvc2017_64\bin\qmake -t vclib plugin.pro''</br> (adapt the paths to your installation!)
 +
# The call of ''qmake'' created the file '''FreeCAD_widgets.vcxproj''' in the folder ''~\src\Tools\plugins\widget''. Double-click on it and the MSVC IDE will open.
 +
# In the toolbar of the MSVC IDE assure that you use the compilation target ''Release''.
 +
# There is a window called ''Solution Explorer''. Right-click there on '''FreeCAD_widgets''' and then choose '''Build'''.
 +
# As result you should now have a '''FreeCAD_widgets.dll''' in the folder ''~\src\Tools\plugins\widget\release'' that you can install as plugin as described above.
 +
 
 +
===Thumbnail Provider=== <!--T:211-->
 +
 
 +
<!--T:212-->
 +
FreeCAD has the feature to provide preview thumbnails for *.FCStd files. That means that in the Windows file explorer *.FCStd files are shown with a screenshot of the model it contains. To provide this feature, FreeCAD needs to have the file '''FCStdThumbnail.dll''' installed to Windows.
 +
 
 +
====Installation==== <!--T:213-->
 +
 
 +
<!--T:214-->
 +
The DLL is installed this way:
 +
# Download [https://forum.freecadweb.org/download/file.php?id=13404 this ZIP file] and extract it.
 +
# Open a Windows command prompt with administrator privileges (these privileges are a requirement).
 +
# Change to the folder where the DLL is.
 +
# Execute this command {{Code|code=regsvr32 FCStdThumbnail.dll}}
 +
 
 +
<!--T:215-->
 +
So check if it works, assure that in FreeCAD the preferences option '''[[Preferences_Editor#Document|Save thumbnail into project file when saving document]]''' is enabled and save a model. Then view in Windows Explorer the folder of the saved model using a symbol view. You should now see a screenshot of the model in the folder view.
 +
 
 +
====Compilation==== <!--T:216-->
 +
 
 +
<!--T:217-->
 +
To compile the FCStdThumbnail.dll
 +
# Change to the FreeCAD source folder</br>''~\src\Tools\thumbs\ThumbnailProvider''
 +
# Open the CMake GUI
 +
# Specify there as source folder the one you are currently in.
 +
# Use the same folder as build folder.
 +
# Click '''Configure'''
 +
# In the appearing dialog, specify the generator according to the one you want to use. For the standard MS Visual Studio use ''Visual Studio xx 2yyy'' where xx is the compiler version and 2yyy the year of its release. It is recommended to use the default option ''Use default native compilers''.</br>'''Note:''' It is important to specify the correct bit variant. If you have the 64bit variant of LibPack you must also use the x64 compiler.
 +
# Click on '''Generate'''.
 +
# You should now have the file '''ALL_BUILD.vcxproj''' in the folder ''~\src\Tools\thumbs\ThumbnailProvider''. Double-click on it and the MSVC IDE will open.
 +
# In the toolbar of the MSVC IDE assure that you use the compilation target ''Release''.
 +
# There is a window called ''Solution Explorer''. Right-click there on '''ALL_BUILD''' and then choose '''Build'''.
 +
# As result you should now have a '''FCStdThumbnail.dll''' in the folder ''~\src\Tools\thumbs\ThumbnailProvider\release'' that you can install as described above.
  
 
== References == <!--T:115-->
 
== References == <!--T:115-->
Line 340: Line 550:
  
 
<!--T:69-->
 
<!--T:69-->
{{docnav|Tracker|CompileOnUnix}}
+
{{Docnav
 
+
|[[Bug_Triage|Bug Triage]]
<!--T:110-->
+
|[[Compile_on_Linux|Compile on Linux]]
{{Userdocnavi}}
+
}}
 
 
<!--T:111-->
 
[[Category:Developer Documentation]]
 
  
 
</translate>
 
</translate>
{{clear}}
+
{{Userdocnavi{{#translation:}}}}
 +
[[Category:Developer_Documentation{{#translation:}}]]
 +
[[Category:Developer{{#translation:}}]]

Latest revision as of 22:23, 8 September 2020

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This page explains step by step how to compile FreeCAD 0.18 or newer on Windows. For other platforms see Compiling.

Prerequisites

At first you must install the following required programs ad libraries:

Required

  • Git (There are also a GUI frontends available for Git, see the next section.)
  • CMake version 3.11.x - 3.17.x. Note: Usually one cannot take the latest CMake version. Therefore only use a CMake version in the range specified on this page!

It is recommended to use the option Add CMake to the system PATH for all users when installing CMake. Then you can later easily access CMake also from the command line/powershell.

  • LibPack (also called FreeCADLibs). This is a set of libraries necessary to compile FreeCAD on Windows. Depending on the FreeCAD version you want to compile, you must download the corresponding LibPack. For example to compile FreeCAD 0.18, download either the 32bit or the 64bit version of the LibPack for 0.18, to compile the latest development version 0.19, download the LibPack for 0.19 (there is only a 64bit version).

Just download the LibPack, you will unpack and set it up later.

Note: It is recommended to use the same compiler MS Visual Studio (MSVC) version the LibPack is designed for. This assures that the compilation and the execution of the compiled FreeCAD.exe succeeds. So you should for example be able to compile FreeCAD 0.18 using the LibPack for 0.19 and MSVC 15 but you you might get problems compiling FreeCAD 0.18 using the LibPack for 0.18 and MSVC 15 because the LibPack for 0.18 is designed to be built with MSVC 12.

Optional programs

  • Python 3.x. A separate python installation is not mandatory since the LibPack contains Python. However, to be able to test later your FreeCAD build it is useful to have a standalone Python installation. It is recommended to use not the latest version, but the prior version (e.g. not Python 3.8 but 3.7).
  • A GUI frontend for Git. There are several frontends available, see this list. The main benefit of a frontend is that you don't have to learn the Git commands to get the source code of FreeCAD or to send patches to the GitHub repository of FreeCAD.

In the following we describe source code handling using the frontend TortoiseGit. This frontend integrates directly to Windows file explorer and has a large user community to get help in case you have problems.

  • NSIS This is the program to generate the Windows installer of FreeCAD. (Information: For FreeCAD 0.17 and older the program WiX was used to create the installer.)

Source code

Now you can get the source code of FreeCAD:

Using a frontend

When using the Git frontend TortoiseGit:

  1. Create a new folder where the source code should be.
  2. Right-click on this folder in the Windows file explorer and select in the context menu Git Clone.
  3. A dialog will appear. Use there as URL for the FreeCAD repository

https://github.com/FreeCAD/FreeCAD.git

and click OK.

Now the source code is downloaded and its folder becomes a folder tracked by Git.

Using the command line

To create a local tracking branch and download the source code, open a terminal (command prompt) and switch there to the directory you want the source, then type:

git clone https://github.com/FreeCAD/FreeCAD.git

Compiler

The default (recommended) compiler is MS Visual Studio (MSVC). Though it may be possible to use other compilers using Cygwin or MinGW gcc it is not tested or ported so far.

You can get a free version of MSVC (for OpenSource usage) by downloading the Community edition of MS Visual Studio. To do so, use this URL

https://visualstudio.microsoft.com/thank-you-downloading-visual-studio/?sku=Community&rel=xx

where xx is the version number. So to get MSVC 15 (calso called MSVC 2017), use this URL:

https://visualstudio.microsoft.com/thank-you-downloading-visual-studio/?sku=Community&rel=15

For those who want to avoid installing the huge MSVC for the mere purpose of having a compiler, see CompileOnWindows - Reducing Disk Footprint.

Note: Despite that the Community edition of MSVC is free, you must create a Microsoft account from within the MSVC IDE that you can use the IDE for more than 30 days. If you will only compile using the command line, you don't need the IDE and thus no Microsoft account.

As free and OpenSource alternative IDE you can use KDevelop. You can use KDevelop to modify and write C++ code but must use the command line to compile.

Optional system path configuration

Optionally you can include the paths to some folders to the system PATH variable. This is helpful if you want to access programs in these folders from the command line/powershell or if you want special programs to be found by the compiler or CMake. Besides this, adding folders to the PATH might be necessary if you did not use the corresponding options when installing the program.

  • You can include the folder of your LibPack in your system PATH variable. This is useful if you plan to build multiple configurations/versions of FreeCAD.
  • If you did not use the option to add CMake to the PATH while installing it, add its installation folder

C:\Program Files\CMake\bin to the PATH.

  • If you did not use the option to add TortoiseGit to the PATH while installing it, add its installation folder

C:\Program Files\TortoiseGit\bin to the PATH.

To add folder paths to the PATH variable:

  1. In the Windows Start menu Right click on Computer and choose Properties.
  2. In the appearing dialog click on Advanced system settings.
  3. Another dialog will open. Click there in the tab Advanced on Environment Variables.
  4. Again another dialog will open. Select then the variable Path and click on Edit.
  5. And again another dialog will open. Click there on New and add to path to the folder of Git or the LibPack.
  6. Finally press OK and close all dialogs by pressing OK as well.

Configuration

LibPack

At first you need to setup a build folder:

  1. Create a new folder where the compiled FreeCAD should be. It is highly recommended that this folder is not inside the source code folder of FreeCAD.
  2. Create there a new subfolder for the LibPack. Note: The name of this subfolder must be the same as the LibPack file name. If e.g. the LibPack has the filename FreeCADLibs_12.1.4_x64_VC15.7z, you must name the subfolder FreeCADLibs_12.1.4_x64_VC15.
  3. Extract the LibPack to this subfolder.

CMake

Now you need to configure the build environment using CMake:

  1. Open the CMake GUI
  2. Specify there the source folder of FreeCAD
  3. Specify the build folder you just created in the previous step.
  4. Click Configure
  5. In the appearing dialog specify the generator according to the one you want to use. For the standard MS Visual Studio use Visual Studio xx 2yyy where xx is the compiler version and 2yyy the year of its release. It is recommended to use the default option Use default native compilers.

Note: It is important to specify the correct bit variant. If you have the 64bit variant of LibPack you must also use the x64 compiler.

This will begin the configuration and will fail because of missing settings.

If it fails with the message that Visual Studio could not be found the CMake support in MSVC is not yet installed. To do this:

  1. Open the MSVC IDE
  2. Use the menu Tools → Get Tools and Features
  3. In the Workloads tab enable Desktop development with C++
  4. On the right side you should now see that the component Visual C++ tools for CMake will be installed.
  5. Install it.

If it fails with a message about the wrong Python version or missing Python, then:

  1. Search in the CMake GUI for "Python"
  2. If you see there a path like C:/Program Files/Python38/python.exe, CMake recognized the Python that is already installed on your PC. Since the Python installation is important for different programs on your PC you should keep it as it is and adapt only the 4 different Python settings in CMake to these paths (assuming the LibPack is in the folder D:\FreeCAD-build\FreeCADLibs_12.3.2_x64_VC15):

CMake Python settings.png

If there is no error about Visual Studio or Python, everything is fine, but CMake does not yet know all necessary settings. Therefore now:

  1. Assure that the search option Advanced is checked.
  2. Search in CMake for the variable FREECAD_LIBPACK_DIR and specify there the correct location to the LibPack folder.
  3. Search for the variable BUILD_QT5 and enable this option.
  4. Click Configure again

There should now be no errors. If so, click on Generate. After this is done you could close CMake and continue to start the compilation of FreeCAD. However, for the first compilation keep it open for the case that you want or need to change some options for the build process:

Options for the build process

The CMake build system gives you the flexibility over the build process. That means you can switch on and off some features or modules by CMake variables.

Here is a description for some of these variables:

Variable name Description Default
BUILD_XXX Build FreeCAD with the component XXX. If you don't want/need to compile e.g. the workbench OpenSCAD, disable the variable BUILD_OPENSCAD. FreeCAD will then not have this workbench.

Note: Some components are required for other components. If you for example uncheck BUILD_ROBOT CMake will inform you that then the component Path cannot be compiled correctly. Therefore check the CMake output after you changed a BUILD_XXX option! || depends

CMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX The output folder when building the target INSTALL, see also section Running and installing FreeCAD Windows' default program installation folder
FREECAD_COPY_DEPEND_DIRS_TO_BUILD Copies depending libraries needed to execute the FreeCAD.exe to the build folder. See also section Running and installing FreeCAD.
Note: the options FREECAD_COPY_XXX only appear if the libraries were not already copied. So when you change to another LibPack version, it is important to delete all folders in your build folder, except of the LibPack folder. In CMake delete the cache and start as if you compile for the first time and you will get the FREECAD_COPY_XXX options.
OFF
FREECAD_COPY_LIBPACK_BIN_TO_BUILD Copies the LibPack binaries needed to execute the FreeCAD.exe to the build folder. See also section Running and installing FreeCAD. OFF
FREECAD_COPY_PLUGINS_BIN_TO_BUILD Copies Qt's plugin files needed to execute the FreeCAD.exe to the build folder. See also section Running and installing FreeCAD. OFF
FREECAD_LIBPACK_USE Switch the usage of the FreeCAD LibPack on or off ON
FREECAD_LIBPACK_DIR Directory where the LibPack is FreeCAD's source code folder
FREECAD_RELEASE_PDB Create debug libraries also for release builds ON

Building FreeCAD

Depending on your compiler, the process for building FreeCAD will be slightly different. In the following sections you known workflows are described. If you are building with Qt Creator, jump to Building with Qt Creator, otherwise proceed directly:

Building with Visual Studio 15 2017, and Visual Studio 16 2019

  1. Start the Visual Studio IDE. This can either be done by pressing the button Open Project in the CMake GUI or by double-clicking on the file FreeCAD.sln that you find in your build folder.
  2. In the toolbar of the MSVC IDE assure that you use for the first compilation Release.
  3. There is a window called Solution Explorer. It lists all possible compilation targets.

To start a full compilation, right-click on the target ALL_BUILD and then choose Build. This will now take quite a long time.

To compile a ready-to use FreeCAD, compile the target INSTALL, see section Running and installing FreeCAD.

If you don't get any errors you are done. Congratulations! You can exit MSVC or keep it open.

Video Resource

An English language tutorial that begins with configuration in CMake Gui and continues to the `Build` command in Visual Studio 16 2019 is available unlisted on YouTube at Tutorial: Build FreeCAD from source on Windows 10.

Building with Visual Studio 12 2013

Make sure to specify Visual Studio 12 x64(or the alternate C-Compiler you are using) as the generator in CMake before you continue.

  • Start Visual Studio 12 2013 by clicking on the desktop icon created at installation.
  • Open the project by:

File → Open → Project/Solution

  • Open FreeCAD_Trunk.sln from the build folder CMake created
  • Switch the Solutions Configuration drop down at the top to Release X64

This may take a while depending on your sytem

  • Build → Build Solution
  • This will take a long time...

If you don't get any errors you are done. Exit Visual Studio and start FreeCAD by double clicking the FreeCAD icon in the bin folder of the build directory.

Building with Qt Creator (outdated)

Installation and configuration of Qt Creator

  • Download and install Qt Creator
  • Tools → Options → Text Editor → Behavior tab:
    • File Encodings → Default Encodings:
    • Set to: ISO-8859-1 /...csISOLatin1 (Certain characters create errors/warnings with Qt Creator if left set to UTF-8. This seems to fix it.)
  • Tools → Options → Build & Run:
    • CMake tab
      • Fill Executable box with path to cmake.exe
    • Kits tab
      • Name: MSVC 2008
      • Compiler: Microsoft Visual C++ Compiler 9.0 (x86)
      • Debugger: Auto detected...
      • Qt version: None
    • General tab
      • Uncheck: Always build project before deploying it
      • Uncheck: Always deploy project before running it

Import project and building

  • File → Open File or Project
  • Open CMakeLists.txt which is in the top level of the source
  • This will start CMake
  • Choose build directory and click next
  • Set generator to NMake Generator (MSVC 2008)
  • Click Run CMake. Follow the instructions depicted above to configure CMake to your liking.

Now FreeCAD can be built

  • Build → Build All
  • This will take a long time...

Once complete, it can be run: There are 2 green triangles at the bottom left. One is debug. The other is run. Pick whichever you want.

Command line build

The steps how to compile from the command line depends on the compiler. For MSVC 2017 the steps are:

  1. In Windows' start menu go to Visual Studio 2017 → Visual Studio Tools and choose Developer Command Prompt for VS 2017
  2. Change to your build folder.
  3. Execute the command
msbuild ALL_BUILD.vcxproj /p:Configuration=Release

or

msbuild INSTALL.vcxproj /p:Configuration=Release

These steps can also be automaized. Here is for example a solution for MSVC 2017:

  1. Download the script compile-FC.txt.
  2. Rename it to compile-FC.bat
  3. In Winddows' file explorer Shift+Right-click on your build folder and use from the context menu Command prompt here.
  4. Execute the command
compile-FC install

Instead of calling compile-FC with the option install you can also use debug or release:

debug   - compile FreeCAD in debug configuration

release - compile FreeCAD in release configuration

install    - compile FreeCAD in release configuration and create an install setup

Running and installing FreeCAD

There are 2 methods to run the compiled FreeCAD:

Method 1: You execute the FreeCAD.exe that you find in your build folder in the subfolder bin

Method 2: You build the target INSTALL

Method 2 is the simpler one because it automatically assures that all libraries needed to run the FreeCAD.exe are in the correct folder. The FreeCAD.exe and the libraries will be output in the folder you specified in the CMake variable CMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX.

For Method 1 you need to put the libraries into the bin folder of your build folder (where the FreeCAD.exe is). This can easily be done:

  1. Open the CMake GUI.
  2. Search there for the variable option FREECAD_COPY_DEPEND_DIRS_TO_BUILD and check it. If there is no such option, the libraries were already copied, see the description of the options.
  3. Search there for the variable option FREECAD_COPY_LIBPACK_BIN_TO_BUILD and check it.
  4. Search there for the variable option FREECAD_COPY_PLUGINS_BIN_TO_BUILD and check it.
  5. Click on Configure. At the end of the configuration CMake will automatically copy the necessary libraries from the LibPack folder.

For FreeCAD 0.19 there is currently only one issue that requires manual action:

  1. Download the file qwindowsvistastyle.zip from the FreeCAD forum.
  2. Create a new subfolder named styles in the bin folder (where the FreeCAD.exe is).
  3. Extract the ZIP-file to this folder.

This adds the necessary style to make FreeCAD look like a normal Win 10 program. Otherwise it looks like in Windows 98.

Updating the build

FreeCAD is very actively developed. Therefore its source code changes almost daily. New features are added and bugs are fixed. To benefit from these source code changes, you must rebuild your FreeCAD. This is done in two steps:

  1. Updating the source code
  2. Recompilation

Updating the source code

Using a frontend

When using the Git frontend TortoiseGit:

  1. Right-click on your FreeCAD source code folder in the Windows file explorer and select in the context menu Pull.
  2. A dialog will appear. Select there what development branch you want to get. master is the main branch. Therefore use this unless you want to compile a special new feature from a branch that has not yet been merged to master. (For more about Git branches, see Git development process.)

Finally click OK.

Using the command line

Open a terminal (command prompt) and switch there to your source directory. Then type:

git pull https://github.com/FreeCAD/FreeCAD.git master

where master the the name of the main development branch. If you want to get code from another branch, use its name instead of master.

Recompilation

  1. Open the MSVC IDE by double-clicking either on the file FreeCAD.sln or on the file ALL_BUILD.vcxproj in your build folder.
  2. Continue with step 2 from section Building with Visual Studio 15 2017.

Tools

In order to join the FreeCAD development you should compile and install the following tools:

Qt Designer plugin

FreeCAD uses Qt as toolkit for its user interface. All dialogs are setup in UI-files that can be edited using the program Qt Designer that is part of any Qt installation and also included in the LibPack. FreeCAD has its own set of Qt widgets to provide special features like adding a unit to input fields and to set preferences properties.

Installation

To make Qt Designer aware of the FreeCAD widgets, you must

  1. Download this ZIP file. (Compiled using Qt 5.12, see below.)
  2. Extract the DLL file in the ZIP and copy it
  • If you use the LibPack: to the folder
    ~\FreeCADLibs_12.1.4_x64_VC15\bin\designer
    Since there will only be a bin folder and you must first create the designer subfolder.
  • If you have a full Qt installation: you can choose between the folder
    C:\Qt\Qt5.12.5\5.12.5\msvc2017_64\plugins\designer
    or
    C:\Qt\Qt5.12.5\5.12.5\msvc2017_64\bin\designer
    (adapt the paths to your installation!).

(Re)Start Qt Designer and check its menu Help → Plugins. If the plugin FreeCAD_widgets.dll is listed as being loaded, you can now design and change FreeCAD's .ui files. If not, you must compile the DLL by yourself.


If you prefer using Qt Creator instead of Qt Designer, the DLL must be placed in this folder:
C:\Qt\Qt5.12.5\Tools\QtCreator\bin\plugins\designer
(Re)Start Qt Creator, switch to the mode Design and then check the menu Tools → Form Editor → About Qt Designer Plugins. If the plugin FreeCAD_widgets.dll is listed as being loaded, you can now design and change FreeCAD's .ui files. If not, you must compile the DLL by yourself.

Compilation

The DLL cannot be loaded as plugin if it was compiled using another Qt version than the one your Qt Designer/Qt Creator is based on. In this case you must compile the DLL by yourself. This is done the following way:

  1. Change to the FreeCAD source folder
    ~\src\Tools\plugins\widget
  2. Open a MSVC x64 command prompt using the Windows Start menu and change within it to the above folder. It is important that it is the x64 version of the MSVC command prompt!
  3. Execute this command
    qmake -t vclib plugin.pro
    
    If qmake could not be found, use the full path to it, e.g. for the LibPack it should be this one (adapt it to your installation):
    D:\FreeCAD-build\FreeCADLibs_12.1.4_x64_VC15\bin\qmake -t vclib plugin.pro
    for a full Qt installation it is
    C:\Qt\Qt5.12.5\5.12.5\msvc2017_64\bin\qmake -t vclib plugin.pro
    (adapt the paths to your installation!)
  4. The call of qmake created the file FreeCAD_widgets.vcxproj in the folder ~\src\Tools\plugins\widget. Double-click on it and the MSVC IDE will open.
  5. In the toolbar of the MSVC IDE assure that you use the compilation target Release.
  6. There is a window called Solution Explorer. Right-click there on FreeCAD_widgets and then choose Build.
  7. As result you should now have a FreeCAD_widgets.dll in the folder ~\src\Tools\plugins\widget\release that you can install as plugin as described above.

Thumbnail Provider

FreeCAD has the feature to provide preview thumbnails for *.FCStd files. That means that in the Windows file explorer *.FCStd files are shown with a screenshot of the model it contains. To provide this feature, FreeCAD needs to have the file FCStdThumbnail.dll installed to Windows.

Installation

The DLL is installed this way:

  1. Download this ZIP file and extract it.
  2. Open a Windows command prompt with administrator privileges (these privileges are a requirement).
  3. Change to the folder where the DLL is.
  4. Execute this command
    regsvr32 FCStdThumbnail.dll
    

So check if it works, assure that in FreeCAD the preferences option Save thumbnail into project file when saving document is enabled and save a model. Then view in Windows Explorer the folder of the saved model using a symbol view. You should now see a screenshot of the model in the folder view.

Compilation

To compile the FCStdThumbnail.dll

  1. Change to the FreeCAD source folder
    ~\src\Tools\thumbs\ThumbnailProvider
  2. Open the CMake GUI
  3. Specify there as source folder the one you are currently in.
  4. Use the same folder as build folder.
  5. Click Configure
  6. In the appearing dialog, specify the generator according to the one you want to use. For the standard MS Visual Studio use Visual Studio xx 2yyy where xx is the compiler version and 2yyy the year of its release. It is recommended to use the default option Use default native compilers.
    Note: It is important to specify the correct bit variant. If you have the 64bit variant of LibPack you must also use the x64 compiler.
  7. Click on Generate.
  8. You should now have the file ALL_BUILD.vcxproj in the folder ~\src\Tools\thumbs\ThumbnailProvider. Double-click on it and the MSVC IDE will open.
  9. In the toolbar of the MSVC IDE assure that you use the compilation target Release.
  10. There is a window called Solution Explorer. Right-click there on ALL_BUILD and then choose Build.
  11. As result you should now have a FCStdThumbnail.dll in the folder ~\src\Tools\thumbs\ThumbnailProvider\release that you can install as described above.

References

See also