Difference between revisions of "Compile on Windows"

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{{docnav|Tracker|CompileOnUnix}}
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|[[Licence|Licence]]
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|[[Compile_on_Linux|Compile on Linux]]
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<!--T:1-->
 
<!--T:1-->
This article explains step by step '''how to compile FreeCAD on Windows'''.
+
This page explains step by step '''how to compile FreeCAD 0.18 or newer on Windows'''. For other platforms see [[Compiling|Compiling]].
 
 
<!--T:74-->
 
See also
 
* [[Compile_on_Windows_with_VS2013|Compile on Windows with Visual Studio 2013]]
 
* [[Compiling_(Speeding_up)|Compiling - Speeding up]]
 
  
 
== Prerequisites == <!--T:2-->
 
== Prerequisites == <!--T:2-->
  
 
<!--T:136-->
 
<!--T:136-->
At first you must install the following required programs ad libraries:
+
Compiling FreeCAD on Windows requires several tools and libraries.
  
 
===Required=== <!--T:100-->
 
===Required=== <!--T:100-->
 +
 +
<!--T:226-->
 +
* A compiler. FreeCAD is tested with Visual Studio (MSVC)—other compilers may work, but instructions for use are not included here. More details in [[#Compiler]], below.
  
 
<!--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 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-->
 +
* [https://cmake.org/download/ CMake] version 3.11.x - 3.18.x. </br>'''Note:''' Usually you cannot use the latest CMake version. Only use a CMake version in the range specified here! </br> ''Hint:'' Choosing the option ''Add CMake to the system PATH for all users'' when installing CMake will make CMake accessible from the Windows command prompt, which can be useful.
 +
 
 +
<!--T:172-->
 +
* LibPack (also called FreeCADLibs). This is a single package containing all of the libraries necessary to compile FreeCAD on Windows. Download the version of the LibPack that corresponds to the version of FreeCAD you want to compile. For FreeCAD 0.18, download the [https://github.com/FreeCAD/FreeCAD-ports-cache/releases/tag/v0.18 LibPack for 0.18] (both 32-bit and 64-bit versions are available). To compile the latest development version 0.19, download the [https://github.com/FreeCAD/FreeCAD/releases/tag/0.19_pre LibPack for 0.19] (64-bit only). Extract the LibPack to a convenient location. (If your computer does not recognize the .7z extension, you should install the program [https://www.7-zip.org 7-zip].) </br> '''Note''': It is highly recommended to compile FreeCAD with the compiler version the LibPack is designed for. For example, you might run into problems compiling FreeCAD 0.18 using MSVC&nbsp;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.
 
* [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-->
+
<!--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 [https://tortoisegit.org/ TortoiseGit] frontend. This frontend integrates directly into 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] is used to generate the FreeCAD Windows installer (FreeCAD 0.17 and earlier used [http://wixtoolset.org/ WiX]).
 +
 
 +
===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 will be downloaded.
 +
# Right-click on this folder in the Windows file explorer and select '''Git Clone''' in the context menu.
 +
# A dialog will appear. In it, enter the URL for the FreeCAD Git repository
 +
 
 +
</translate>
 +
''https://github.com/FreeCAD/FreeCAD.git''
 +
<translate>
 +
 
 +
<!--T:179-->
 +
and click '''OK'''.
 +
 
 +
<!--T:180-->
 +
The latest source code will be downloaded from the FreeCAD Git repository and the folder will be tracked by Git.
 +
 
 +
====Using the command line==== <!--T:117-->
  
 
<!--T:102-->
 
<!--T:102-->
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{{Code|code=
 
{{Code|code=
git clone https://github.com/FreeCAD/FreeCAD.git FreeCAD-code
+
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-->
  
 
<!--T:118-->
 
<!--T:118-->
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, for example gcc via Cygwin or MinGW, it is not tested or covered here.
  
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 individual usage) by downloading the [https://visualstudio.microsoft.com/vs/community/ ''Community'' edition of MS Visual Studio].
  
 
<!--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:''' Although the ''Community'' edition of MSVC is free, to use the IDE for more than a 30-day trial period you must create a Microsoft account. If you will only compile using the command line, you don't need the IDE and thus no Microsoft account.
 +
 
 +
<!--T:184-->
 +
As a 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.
  
===System Path Configuration=== <!--T:5-->
+
===Optional system path configuration=== <!--T:5-->
  
 
<!--T:121-->
 
<!--T:121-->
Inside your system path be sure to set the correct paths to the following programs:
+
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.
* git (not tortoiseGit, but git.exe) This is necessary for Cmake to properly update the "About FreeCAD" information in the version.h file which allows FreeCAD to report the proper version in About FreeCAD from the help menu.
+
 
*Optionally you can include the Libpack in your system path. This is useful if you plan to build multiple configurations/versions of FreeCAD, you will need to copy less files as explained later in the build process.
+
<!--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.
 +
* If you did not use the option to add CMake to the PATH while installing it, add its installation folder
 +
 
 +
<!--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-->
To add to your system path:
+
To add folder paths to the PATH variable:
 +
# In the Windows Start menu Right click on ''Computer'' and choose ''Properties''.
 +
# In the appearing dialog click on ''Advanced system settings''.
 +
# Another dialog will open. Click there in the tab ''Advanced'' on '''Environment Variables'''.
 +
# Again another dialog will open. Select then the variable ''Path'' and click on '''Edit'''.
 +
# And again another dialog will open. Click there on '''New''' and add to path to the folder of Git or the LibPack.
 +
# Finally press '''OK''' and close all dialogs by pressing '''OK''' as well.
  
<!--T:105-->
+
== Configuration == <!--T:6-->
* Start menu → Right click on Computer → Properties → Advanced system settings
 
* Advanced tab → Environment Variables...
 
* Add the PATH/TO/GIT to the '''PATH'''
 
* It should be separated from the others with a semicolon `;`
 
  
== Configuration with CMake == <!--T:6-->
+
<!--T:227-->
 +
Once you have all of the necessary tools, libraries, and FreeCAD source code, you are ready to begin the configuration and compilation process. This process will proceed in five steps:
 +
# Run CMake once to examine your system and begin the configuration progress (this will report that it failed).
 +
# Adjust necessary CMake settings to set the locations of the LibPack and enable Qt5.
 +
# Re-run CMake to finalize the configuration (this time it should succeed).
 +
# Use CMake to generate the Visual Studio build system.
 +
# Use Visual Studio to build FreeCAD.
  
=== CMake === <!--T:52-->
+
===CMake=== <!--T:151-->
  
 
<!--T:123-->
 
<!--T:123-->
The first step to build FreeCAD with CMake is to configure the environment.  
+
First, configure the build environment using CMake:
 +
# Open the CMake GUI
 +
# Specify the source folder of FreeCAD.
 +
# Specify a build folder (do not use the source folder -- CMake will create this folder if it does not exist).
 +
# Click '''Configure'''.
 +
# In the dialog that appears specify the generator you want to use: in most cases you will use the defaults in this dialog. 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 64-bit variant of the LibPack you must also use the x64 compiler.
 +
 
 +
<!--T:76-->
 +
This will begin the configuration and ''will fail'' because of missing settings. This is normal, you have not yet specified the location of the LibPack. However, there are other failures that might occur that require some further action on your part.
  
=== Configure CMake using GUI === <!--T:75-->
+
<!--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:
 +
#  Open the MSVC IDE
 +
#  Use the menu Tools → Get Tools and Features
 +
#  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.
 +
# Install it.
  
<!--T:124-->
+
<!--T:219-->
* Open the CMake GUI
+
If it fails with a message about the wrong Python version or missing Python, then:
* Specify the source folder
+
#  Use the "Search:" box in CMake to search for the string "Python"
* Specify the build folder
+
#  If you see there a path like ''C:/Program Files/Python38/python.exe'', CMake recognized the Python that is already installed on your PC, but that version is not compatible with the LibPack. Since the LibPack includes a compatible version of Python, modify the following Python settings in CMake to its paths (assuming the LibPack is in the folder ''D:\FreeCAD-build\FreeCADLibs_12.4.2_x64_VC17''):
* Click '''Configure'''
+
[[File:CMake_Python_settings.png]]
* 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''. '''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:153-->
This will begin the configuration and will fail because of missing settings. Therefore now:
+
If there is no error about Visual Studio or Python, everything is fine, but CMake does not yet know all necessary settings. Therefore now:
# 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 the location of the LibPack folder you downloaded earlier.  
 
# Search for the variable '''BUILD_QT5''' and enable this option.
 
# Search for the variable '''BUILD_QT5''' and enable this option.
# Click '''Configure''' again
+
# Click '''Configure''' again.
  
 
<!--T:138-->
 
<!--T:138-->
There should now be no errors. If yes, 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 wnat or need to change some options for the build process:
+
There should now be no errors. If you continue to encounter errors that you cannot diagnose, visit the [https://forum.freecadweb.org/viewforum.php?f=4 Install/Compile forum] on the FreeCAD forum website. If CMake proceeded correctly, click on '''Generate'''. After this is done you can close CMake and start the compilation of FreeCAD using Visual Studio. However, for the first compilation keep it open in case 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. (It is in a way like the Linux kernel build.)
+
The CMake build system gives you control over some aspects of the build process. In particular, you can switch on and off some features or modules using CMake variables.
  
 
<!--T:79-->
 
<!--T:79-->
Here is a description for some of these switches:
+
Here is a description of some of these variables:
  
 
<!--T:80-->
 
<!--T:80-->
 
{| class="wikitable" style="text-align:left"
 
{| class="wikitable" style="text-align:left"
|+ Link table
 
 
|-
 
|-
 
! Variable name      !! Description  !! Default
 
! Variable name      !! Description  !! Default
 
|-               
 
|-               
| BUILD_GUI   || Build FreeCAD with all Gui related modules || ON
+
| 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_LIBPACK_BIN_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_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_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
 
|}
 
|}
 
<!--T:12-->
 
If you are building with Qt Creator, jump to
 
[[#Building with Qt Creator|Building with Qt Creator]],
 
otherwise proceed to
 
[[#Building with Visual Studio 9 2008|Building with Visual Studio 9 2008]].
 
  
 
== Building FreeCAD == <!--T:81-->
 
== Building FreeCAD == <!--T:81-->
  
 
<!--T:125-->
 
<!--T:125-->
Depending on your current setup, the process for building FreeCAD will be slightly different. This is due to the differences in available software and software versions for each operating system.
+
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|Building with Qt Creator]], otherwise proceed directly:
 +
 
 +
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<div class="mw-collapsible mw-collapsed toccolours">
 +
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 +
=== Building with Visual Studio 15 (2017) and 16 (2019) === <!--T:154-->
 +
 
 +
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<div class="mw-collapsible-content">
 +
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 +
 
 +
==== Release Build ==== <!--T:220-->
 +
 
 +
<!--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.
 +
# 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. 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]].
 +
 
 +
<!--T:157-->
 +
If you don't get any errors you are done. '''Congratulations!''' You can exit MSVC or keep it open.
 +
 
 +
==== Debug Build ==== <!--T:222-->
 +
 
 +
<!--T:223-->
 +
For a debug build it is necessary that the Python is used that is included in the LibPack. To assure this:
 +
#  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 installed on your PC and not the one of the LibPack. In this case adapt these different Python settings in CMake to this (assuming the LibPack is in the folder ''D:\FreeCAD-build\FreeCADLibs_12.4.2_x64_VC17''):
 +
[[File:CMake_Python_settings.png]]
  
 +
<!--T:224-->
 +
Now
 +
# 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 ''Debug''.
 +
# 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''' in the context menu.
 +
This will now take quite a long time.
 +
If there were no compilation errors, you can start the debug build:
 +
# Right-click on the target '''FreeCADMain''' and then choose '''Set as Startup Project''' in the context menu.
 +
# Finally click in the toolbar on the button with the green triangle named '''Local Windows Debugger'''.
  
<!--T:82-->
+
<!--T:225-->
The following procedure will work for compiling on Windows Vista/7/8, for XP an alternate VS tool set is required for VS 2012 and 2013, which has not been tested successfully with the current Libpacks. To target XP(both x32 and x64) it is recommended to use VS2008 and Libpack FreeCADLibs_11.0_x86_VC9.7z
+
This will start the debug build of FreeCAD and you can use the MSVC IDE to debug it.
  
 +
==== 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].
 
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=== Building with Visual Studio 9 2008 === <!--T:84-->
+
=== Building with Qt Creator (outdated) === <!--T:88-->
 
 
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<!--T:113-->
 
{{Note|Warning|Since early 0.17 cycle Freecad uses c++11 features that are not supported by 2008 version}}
 
 
 
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=== Building with Qt Creator === <!--T:88-->
 
  
 
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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-->
 
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===Command line build=== <!--T:66-->
 +
 +
</translate>
 +
<div class="mw-collapsible-content">
 +
<translate>
  
 +
<!--T:158-->
 +
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'''
 +
# Change to your build folder.
 +
# Execute the command
  
<div class="mw-collapsible mw-collapsed toccolours">
+
</translate>
 +
{{Code|code=msbuild ALL_BUILD.vcxproj /p:Configuration=Release}}
 
<translate>
 
<translate>
  
=== Command line build === <!--T:66-->
+
<!--T:190-->
 +
or
  
 
</translate>
 
</translate>
<div class="mw-collapsible-content">
+
{{Code|code=msbuild INSTALL.vcxproj /p:Configuration=Release}}
 
<translate>
 
<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>
 +
{{Code|code=compile-FC install}}
 +
<translate>
 +
 
 +
<!--T:191-->
 +
Instead of calling '''compile-FC''' with the option ''install'' you can also use ''debug'' or ''release'':
 +
 
 +
<!--T:192-->
 +
''debug'' &nbsp; - compile FreeCAD in debug configuration
 +
 
 +
<!--T:193-->
 +
''release'' - compile FreeCAD in release configuration
 +
 
 +
<!--T:194-->
 +
''install'' &nbsp;&nbsp; - compile FreeCAD in release configuration and create an install setup
  
 
</translate>
 
</translate>
{{Code|code=
 
rem @echo off
 
rem  Build script, uses vcbuild to completetly build FreeCAD
 
 
rem update trunc
 
d:
 
cd "D:\_Projekte\FreeCAD\FreeCAD_0.9"
 
"C:\Program Files (x86)\Subversion\bin\svn.exe" update
 
 
rem  set the aprobiated Variables here or outside in the system
 
 
set PATH=C:\WINDOWS\system32;C:\WINDOWS;C:\WINDOWS\System32\Wbem
 
set INCLUDE=
 
set LIB=
 
 
rem Register VS Build programms
 
call "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 9.0\VC\vcvarsall.bat"
 
 
rem Set Standard include paths
 
set INCLUDE=%INCLUDE%;%FrameworkSDKDir%\include
 
set INCLUDE=%INCLUDE%;C:\Program Files\Microsoft SDKs\Windows\v6.0A\Include
 
 
rem Set lib Pathes
 
set LIB=%LIB%;C:\Program Files\Microsoft SDKs\Windows\v6.0A\Lib
 
set LIB=%LIB%;%PROGRAMFILES%\Microsoft Visual Studio\VC98\Lib
 
 
rem Start the Visuall Studio build process
 
"C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 9.0\VC\vcpackages\vcbuild.exe" "D:\_Projekte\FreeCAD FreeCAD_0.9_build\FreeCAD_trunk.sln" /useenv
 
}}
 
 
</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:
 
There are 2 methods to run the compiled FreeCAD:
# You execute the FreeCAD.exe that you find in your build folder in the subfolder ''bin''
+
 
# You build the target ''INSTALL''
+
<!--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-->
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''.<br>
+
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 FreeCAD 0.19 there is currently only one issue that requires your action:
 
# 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.
 
# 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.
 
  
 
<!--T:142-->
 
<!--T:142-->
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, by using the CMake variable option ''FREECAD_COPY_LIBPACK_BIN_TO_BUILD''.
+
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.
 +
# 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_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.
  
== Building FreeCAD older than version 0.9 == <!--T:67-->
+
<!--T:159-->
 +
For FreeCAD 0.19 using LibPack 12.1.4 and older, there is one issue that requires manual action:
 +
# 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).
 +
# Extract the ZIP-file to this folder.
  
=== Using LibPack === <!--T:68-->
+
<!--T:197-->
 +
This adds the necessary style to make FreeCAD look like a normal Win 10 program. Otherwise it looks like in Windows 98.
  
<!--T:128-->
+
==Updating the build== <!--T:160-->
To make it easier to get FreeCAD compiled, we provide a collection of all
 
needed libraries. It's called the [[Third Party Libraries|LibPack]]. You can find it on the  [http://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=49159 download page] on
 
sourceforge.
 
  
<!--T:26-->
+
<!--T:161-->
You need to set the following environment variables:
+
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
  
<!--T:27-->
+
===Updating the source code=== <!--T:162-->
:'''FREECADLIB''' = "D:\Wherever\LIBPACK"
 
  
<!--T:28-->
+
====Using a frontend==== <!--T:163-->
:'''QTDIR''' = "%FREECADLIB%"
 
  
<!--T:29-->
+
<!--T:164-->
Add "%FREECADLIB%\bin" and "%FREECADLIB%\dll" to the system ''PATH'' variable. Keep in mind that you have to replace "%FREECADLIB%" with the path name, since Windows does not recursively replace environment variables.
+
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]].)
  
==== Directory setup in Visual Studio ==== <!--T:30-->
+
<!--T:198-->
 +
Finally click '''OK'''.
  
<!--T:129-->
+
====Using the command line==== <!--T:165-->
Some search path of Visual Studio need to be set.
 
To change them, use the menu ''Tools→Options→Directory
 
  
===== Includes ===== <!--T:31-->
+
<!--T:166-->
 +
Open a terminal (command prompt) and switch there to your source directory. Then type:
  
<!--T:130-->
+
</translate>
Add the following search path to the include path search list:
+
{{Code|code=
* %FREECADLIB%\include
+
git pull https://github.com/FreeCAD/FreeCAD.git master
* %FREECADLIB%\include\Python
+
}}
* %FREECADLIB%\include\boost
+
<translate>
* %FREECADLIB%\include\xercesc
 
* %FREECADLIB%\include\OpenCascade
 
* %FREECADLIB%\include\OpenCV
 
* %FREECADLIB%\include\Coin
 
* %FREECADLIB%\include\SoQt
 
* %FREECADLIB%\include\QT
 
* %FREECADLIB%\include\QT\Qt3Support
 
* %FREECADLIB%\include\QT\QtCore
 
* %FREECADLIB%\include\QT\QtGui
 
* %FREECADLIB%\include\QT\QtNetwork
 
* %FREECADLIB%\include\QT\QtOpenGL
 
* %FREECADLIB%\include\QT\QtSvg
 
* %FREECADLIB%\include\QT\QtUiTools
 
* %FREECADLIB%\include\QT\QtXml
 
* %FREECADLIB%\include\Gts
 
* %FREECADLIB%\include\zlib
 
  
===== Libs ===== <!--T:32-->
+
<!--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''.
  
<!--T:131-->
+
===Recompilation=== <!--T:168-->
Add the following search path to the lib path search list:
 
* %FREECADLIB%\lib
 
  
===== Executables ===== <!--T:33-->
+
<!--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]].
  
<!--T:132-->
+
==Tools== <!--T:199-->
Add the following search path to the executable path search list:
 
* %FREECADLIB%\bin
 
* TortoiseSVN binary installation directory, usually "C:\Programm Files\TortoiseSVN\bin", this is needed for a distribution build when ''SubWVRev.exe'' is used to extract the version number from Subversion.
 
  
==== Python needed ==== <!--T:34-->
+
<!--T:200-->
 +
In order to join the FreeCAD development you should compile and install the following tools:
  
<!--T:133-->
+
===Qt Designer plugin=== <!--T:201-->
During the compilation some Python scripts get executed. So the Python
 
interpreter has to function on the OS. Use a command box to check it. If
 
the Python library is not properly installed you will get an error message
 
like ''Cannot find python.exe''. If you use the LibPack you can also use the
 
python.exe in the bin directory.
 
  
==== Special for VC8 ==== <!--T:35-->
+
<!--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.
  
<!--T:134-->
+
====Installation==== <!--T:203-->
When building the project with VC8, you have to change the link information for the WildMagic library, since you need a different version for VC6 and VC8. Both versions are supplied in ''LIBPACK/dll''. In the project properties for ''AppMesh'' change the library name for the ''wm.dll'' to the VC8 version. Take care to change it in Debug ''and'' Release configuration.
 
  
=== Compile === <!--T:36-->  
+
<!--T:204-->
 +
To make Qt Designer aware of  the FreeCAD widgets, you must
  
<!--T:37-->
+
<!--T:205-->
After you conform to all prerequisites the compilation is - hopefully - only a mouse click in VC
+
# 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!).
  
=== After Compiling === <!--T:38-->
+
<!--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:135-->
 
To get FreeCAD up and running from the compiler environment you need to copy a few files from the [[Third Party Libraries|LibPack]] to the ''bin'' folder where FreeCAD.exe is installed after a successful build:
 
  
<!--T:39-->
+
<!--T:207-->
* ''python.exe'' and ''python_d.exe'' from ''LIBPACK/bin''
+
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.
* ''python25.dll'' and ''python25_d.dll'' from ''LIBPACK/bin''
 
* ''python25.zip'' from ''LIBPACK/bin''
 
* make a copy of ''Python25.zip'' and rename it to ''Python25_d.zip''
 
* ''QtCore4.dll'' from ''LIBPACK/bin''
 
* ''QtGui4.dll'' from ''LIBPACK/bin''
 
* ''boost_signals-vc80-mt-1_34_1.dll'' from ''LIBPACK/bin''
 
* ''boost_program_options-vc80-mt-1_34_1.dll'' from ''LIBPACK/bin''
 
* ''xerces-c_2_8.dll'' from ''LIBPACK/bin''
 
* ''zlib1.dll'' from ''LIBPACK/bin''
 
* ''coin2.dll'' from ''LIBPACK/bin''
 
* ''soqt1.dll'' from ''LIBPACK/bin''
 
* ''QtOpenGL4.dll'' from ''LIBPACK/bin''
 
* ''QtNetwork4.dll'' from ''LIBPACK/bin''
 
* ''QtSvg4.dll'' from ''LIBPACK/bin''
 
* ''QtXml4.dll'' from ''LIBPACK/bin''
 
  
<!--T:40-->
+
====Compilation==== <!--T:208-->
When using a [[Third Party Libraries|LibPack]] with a Python version older than 2.5 you have to copy two further files:
 
* ''zlib.pyd'' and ''zlib_d.pyd'' from ''LIBPACK/bin/lib''. This is needed by python to open the zipped python library.
 
* ''_sre.pyd'' and ''_sre_d.pyd'' from ''LIBPACK/bin/lib''. This is needed by python for the built in help system.
 
  
<!--T:41-->
+
<!--T:209-->
If you don't get it running due to a Python error it is very likely that one of the ''zlib*.pyd'' files is missing.
+
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:107-->
+
<!--T:210-->
Alternatively, you can copy the whole bin folder of libpack into bin folder of the build. This is easier, but takes time and disk space. This can be substited by making links instead of copying files, see [[CompileOnWindows - Reducing Disk Footprint#avoiding copying any libpack files to launch FreeCAD|CompileOnWindows - Reducing Disk Footprint]].
+
# 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.
  
=== Additional stuff === <!--T:42-->  
+
===Thumbnail Provider=== <!--T:211-->
  
<!--T:43-->
+
<!--T:212-->
If you whant to build the source code documentation you need [http://www.stack.nl/~dimitri/doxygen/ DoxyGen].
+
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.
  
<!--T:44-->
+
====Installation==== <!--T:213-->
To create an intstaller package you need [http://wix.sourceforge.net/ WIX].
 
  
<!--T:45-->
+
<!--T:214-->
During the compilation some Python scripts get executed. So the Python interpreter has to work properly.
+
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:46-->
+
<!--T:215-->
For more details have also a look to ''README.Linux'' in your sources.
+
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.
  
<!--T:47-->
+
====Compilation==== <!--T:216-->
First of all you should build the Qt plugin that provides all custom widgets of FreeCAD we need for the Qt Designer. The sources are located under
 
  
</translate>
+
<!--T:217-->
{{Code|code=
+
To compile the FCStdThumbnail.dll
//src/Tools/plugins/widget//.
+
# Change to the FreeCAD source folder</br>''~\src\Tools\thumbs\ThumbnailProvider''
}}
+
# Open the CMake GUI
<translate>
+
# 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.
  
<!--T:48-->
+
== References == <!--T:115-->
So far we don't provide a makefile -- but calling
 
</translate>
 
{{Code|code=
 
qmake plugin.pro
 
}}
 
  
<translate>
+
<!--T:74-->
<!--T:49-->
+
See also
creates it. Once that's done, calling ''make'' will create the library
+
* [[Compile_on_Windows_with_VS2013|Compile on Windows with Visual Studio 2013]]
 +
* [[Compiling_(Speeding_up)|Compiling - Speeding up]]
  
</translate>
 
{{Code|code=
 
//libFreeCAD_widgets.so//.
 
}}
 
<translate>
 
  
<!--T:50-->
+
<!--T:69-->
To make this library known to your ''Qt Designer'' you have to copy the file to
+
{{Docnav
 
+
|[[Licence|Licence]]
</translate>
+
|[[Compile_on_Linux|Compile on Linux]]
{{Code|code=
 
//$QTDIR/plugin/designer//.
 
 
}}
 
}}
 
<translate>
 
 
== References == <!--T:115-->
 
 
 
<!--T:69-->
 
{{docnav|Tracker|CompileOnUnix}}
 
 
<!--T:110-->
 
{{Userdocnavi}}
 
 
<!--T:111-->
 
[[Category:Developer Documentation]]
 
  
 
</translate>
 
</translate>
{{clear}}
+
{{Userdocnavi{{#translation:}}}}
 +
[[Category:Developer_Documentation{{#translation:}}]]
 +
[[Category:Developer{{#translation:}}]]

Latest revision as of 17:45, 8 January 2021

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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

Compiling FreeCAD on Windows requires several tools and libraries.

Required

  • A compiler. FreeCAD is tested with Visual Studio (MSVC)—other compilers may work, but instructions for use are not included here. More details in #Compiler, below.
  • Git (There are also GUI frontends available for Git, see the next section.)
  • CMake version 3.11.x - 3.18.x.
    Note: Usually you cannot use the latest CMake version. Only use a CMake version in the range specified here!
    Hint: Choosing the option Add CMake to the system PATH for all users when installing CMake will make CMake accessible from the Windows command prompt, which can be useful.
  • LibPack (also called FreeCADLibs). This is a single package containing all of the libraries necessary to compile FreeCAD on Windows. Download the version of the LibPack that corresponds to the version of FreeCAD you want to compile. For FreeCAD 0.18, download the LibPack for 0.18 (both 32-bit and 64-bit versions are available). To compile the latest development version 0.19, download the LibPack for 0.19 (64-bit only). Extract the LibPack to a convenient location. (If your computer does not recognize the .7z extension, you should install the program 7-zip.)
    Note: It is highly recommended to compile FreeCAD with the compiler version the LibPack is designed for. For example, you might run into problems compiling FreeCAD 0.18 using MSVC 15 because the LibPack for 0.18 is designed to be built with MSVC 12.

Optional programs

  • 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 TortoiseGit frontend. This frontend integrates directly into Windows file explorer and has a large user community to get help in case you have problems.

  • NSIS is used to generate the FreeCAD Windows installer (FreeCAD 0.17 and earlier used WiX).

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 will be downloaded.
  2. Right-click on this folder in the Windows file explorer and select Git Clone in the context menu.
  3. A dialog will appear. In it, enter the URL for the FreeCAD Git repository

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

and click OK.

The latest source code will be downloaded from the FreeCAD Git repository and the folder will be 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, for example gcc via Cygwin or MinGW, it is not tested or covered here.

You can get a free version of MSVC (for individual usage) by downloading the Community edition of MS Visual Studio.

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

Note: Although the Community edition of MSVC is free, to use the IDE for more than a 30-day trial period you must create a Microsoft account. If you will only compile using the command line, you don't need the IDE and thus no Microsoft account.

As a 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

Once you have all of the necessary tools, libraries, and FreeCAD source code, you are ready to begin the configuration and compilation process. This process will proceed in five steps:

  1. Run CMake once to examine your system and begin the configuration progress (this will report that it failed).
  2. Adjust necessary CMake settings to set the locations of the LibPack and enable Qt5.
  3. Re-run CMake to finalize the configuration (this time it should succeed).
  4. Use CMake to generate the Visual Studio build system.
  5. Use Visual Studio to build FreeCAD.

CMake

First, configure the build environment using CMake:

  1. Open the CMake GUI
  2. Specify the source folder of FreeCAD.
  3. Specify a build folder (do not use the source folder -- CMake will create this folder if it does not exist).
  4. Click Configure.
  5. In the dialog that appears specify the generator you want to use: in most cases you will use the defaults in this dialog. 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 64-bit variant of the LibPack you must also use the x64 compiler.

This will begin the configuration and will fail because of missing settings. This is normal, you have not yet specified the location of the LibPack. However, there are other failures that might occur that require some further action on your part.

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. Use the "Search:" box in CMake to search for the string "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, but that version is not compatible with the LibPack. Since the LibPack includes a compatible version of Python, modify the following Python settings in CMake to its paths (assuming the LibPack is in the folder D:\FreeCAD-build\FreeCADLibs_12.4.2_x64_VC17):

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. Search in CMake for the variable FREECAD_LIBPACK_DIR and specify the location of the LibPack folder you downloaded earlier.
  2. Search for the variable BUILD_QT5 and enable this option.
  3. Click Configure again.

There should now be no errors. If you continue to encounter errors that you cannot diagnose, visit the Install/Compile forum on the FreeCAD forum website. If CMake proceeded correctly, click on Generate. After this is done you can close CMake and start the compilation of FreeCAD using Visual Studio. However, for the first compilation keep it open in case you want or need to change some options for the build process.

Options for the build process

The CMake build system gives you control over some aspects of the build process. In particular, you can switch on and off some features or modules using CMake variables.

Here is a description of 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 16 (2019)

Release Build

  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.

Debug Build

For a debug build it is necessary that the Python is used that is included in the LibPack. To assure this:

  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 installed on your PC and not the one of the LibPack. In this case adapt these different Python settings in CMake to this (assuming the LibPack is in the folder D:\FreeCAD-build\FreeCADLibs_12.4.2_x64_VC17):

CMake Python settings.png

Now

  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 Debug.
  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 in the context menu.

This will now take quite a long time. If there were no compilation errors, you can start the debug build:

  1. Right-click on the target FreeCADMain and then choose Set as Startup Project in the context menu.
  2. Finally click in the toolbar on the button with the green triangle named Local Windows Debugger.

This will start the debug build of FreeCAD and you can use the MSVC IDE to debug it.

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 using LibPack 12.1.4 and older, there is 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


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