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I suggest to merge the (important) content from here with the article on MinGW. Please feel free to help out.


This is about MinGW-w64, MinGW, MSYS, MSYS2 and Qt 5.

Executive Summary

We recommend a MinGW-w64 based distribution with a recent gcc. Starting with Qt 5.0.1 there are also binary installers that ship a Mingw-w64 based toolchain + pre-built Qt libraries. The MinGW-builds repo includes MinGW-w64 toolchains.

Recommended package for 32 bit (also tested in CI system + used by installer for 5.1): http://sourceforge.net/projects/mingwbuilds/files/host-windows/releases/4.8.1/32-bit/threads-posix/dwarf/x32-4.8.1-release-posix-dwarf-rev5.7z/download

Recommended package for 64 bit: http://sourceforge.net/projects/mingwbuilds/files/host-windows/releases/4.8.1/64-bit/threads-posix/seh/x64-4.8.1-release-posix-seh-rev5.7z/download

Community member George Edison has cross-compiled Qt 5.0.1 for Windows using the Mingw-w64 compilers and is hosting the archives here: http://files.quickmediasolutions.com/qt5/

Alternate QT 5.6.0 build by MultipleMonomials because the link above has broken: here. (Compiled with TDM-GCC-64 and cygwin64, no ANGLE) (includes libgcc, winpthread, and libstdc++ DLLs)


The MinGW from http://www.mingw.org/ does only support gcc 32 bit (host and target). The independent minGW-w64 project provides support for 64 bit, and also supports a much larger part of the Windows API. The MinGW-w64 project however does not provide official binary builds: These can be grabbed either from the personal build directories of the developers (the most popular being rubenvb), or from associated but independent projects like tdm-gcc or mingw-builds or msys2.

RubenVB personal builds

"RubenVB personal builds": For 32-bit Windows target targetting Win32/Personal Builds/rubenvb/ and for 64-bit Windows target targetting Win64/Personal Builds/rubenvb/ : Features different packages with cygwin, win32, win64, linux as host. Target is either win32 or win64. Packages are built with every GCC release, experimental and prerelease packages are built on request.


"MinGW-builds": http://sourceforge.net/projects/mingwbuilds/ : a binary package by developer: niXman, lexx83 (Alexpux). Provides both packages with a 32-bit and a 64-bit compiler (Windows host), that can also cross-compile to 32-bit or 64-bit. Packages are available with both "posix" and "win32" threading libraries, for 32 bit also with sjlj or dwarf exception variants. See also MSYS2.


"MSYS2": http://sourceforge.net/projects/msys2/ : MSYS2 (Minimal SYStem 2) is an independent rewrite of MSYS, a (command-line) shell for development usage, and based on modern Cygwin (POSIX compatibility layer) and MinGW-w64 (from "MinGW-builds"), with the aim of better interoperability with native Windows software. It includes: MSYS2-shell and MinGW-w64 Win32 shell & MinGW-w64 Win64 shell. It supports & can work with both 32bit & 64bit multiple toolchains & targets, (for 64bit a 64bit operating system is needed). MSYS2 is a successor of MSYS and MinGW-builds. MSYS2-shell uses "pacman" for downloading packages, and these are GPG signed & verified. Packages are by developer: lexx83 (Alexpux), mingwandroid, niXman. MSYS2 is a complete opensource development environment/shell solution/system. It can obtain related all toolchains & packages from "MinGW-builds" and MSYS2 repo, (and it also obtains related all dependency packages), for compiling/building other software. It can also obtain various tools & language support & compilers, like: perl, python, ruby, openssl, etc. A user has these options to choose from : by using MSYS2-shell & MinGW-w64 Win64 shell, (option-A), either download Qt or QtCreator source from MSYS2 repo and compile/build, or (option-B), a user can get official Qt source or QtCreator source, and then compile/build using mingw-w64 toolchains obtained/available via MSYS2, from the windows Cmd-shell, or (option-C), a user can download pre-built binary files of Qt & QtCreator (dynamic/shared built edition and/or static built edition) inside MSYS2 and run+use them instantly without compiling.

Exception handling: SJLJ, DWARF, and SEH

Some packages like MinGW-builds and TDM-GCC let you choose which exception implementation you want to use. You must ensure you use the same compiler used to build the Qt you use in order to avoid linker errors. If you choose to change the exception handling mechanism, you will need to rebuild all code, mostly because the libgcc shared library name is different between the exception handling settings.

SJLJ (setjmp/longjmp):

  • available for 32 bit and 64 bit
  • not "zero-cost": even if an exception isn't thrown, it incurs a minor performance penalty (~15% in exception heavy code) but sometimes the penalty can be more significant: https://bugreports.qt.io/browse/QTBUG-29653
  • allows exceptions to traverse through e.g. windows callbacks

DWARF (DW2, dwarf-2)

  • available for 32 bit only
  • no permanent runtime overhead
  • needs whole call stack to be dwarf-enabled, which means exceptions cannot be thrown over e.g. Windows system DLLs.

SEH (zero overhead exception)

  • will be available for 64-bit GCC 4.8.
  • rubenvb release is available targetting Win64/Personal Builds/rubenvb/gcc-4.8-release/x86_64-w64-mingw32-gcc-4.8.0-win64_rubenvb.7z/download
  • MinGW-builds release is available

From TDM-GCC readme:

"GCC currently supports two methods of stack frame unwinding: Dwarf-2 (DW2) or SJLJ (setjmp/longjmp). Until recently, only SJLJ has been available for the Windows platform. This affects you, the end user, primarily in programs that throw and catch exceptions. Programs which utilize the DW2 unwind method generally execute more quickly than programs which utilize the SJLJ method, because the DW2 method incurs no runtime overhead until an exception is thrown. However, the DW2 method does incur a size penalty on code that must handle exceptions, and more importantly the DW2 method cannot yet unwind (pass exceptions) through "foreign" stack frames: stack frames compiled by another non-DW2-enabled compiler, such as OS DLLs in a Windows callback.

This means that you should in general choose the SJLJ version of the TDM-GCC builds unless you know you need faster exception-aware programs and can be certain you will never throw an exception through a foreign stack area.

As distributed, the SJLJ and DW2 packages of TDM-GCC can coexist peacefully extracted to the same directory (i.e. any files in common are for all intents and purposes identical), because the driver executables (the ones in the "bin" directory) are suffixed with "-dw2" for the DW2 build, and the libraries and other executables hide in another "-dw2" directory in "lib(exec)/gcc/mingw32". This allows you to use the same single addition to your PATH, and use DW2 exceptions only when you need them by calling "gcc-dw2", etc. If you truly want DW2 exceptions as the default when calling "gcc" (from Makefiles or configury systems, for example), you can rename or copy the suffixed executables to their original names."

DW2 Issues

  • If a library that uses DW2 exception handling (e.g. libgcc_s_dw2-1.dll) is loaded using LoadLibrary and FreeLibrary is not called, the program will crash. See http://comments.gmane.org/gmane.comp.gnu.mingw.user/41724
  • Calling FreeLibrary to unload a dll that links to both dynamic libgcc_s_dw2 and a library that links to static libgcc_s_dw2 results in a crash

GCC Threading model (posix vs win32)

Mingw-Builds (and the experimental rubenvb packages) also let you choose between the threading model internally used by (lib)gcc:

  • posix (built upon MinGW-w64's winpthreads)
    • "an implementation of POSIX threads for win32 is also available under the experimental directory. Its main goal is to support C+11 standard threading, which supports only using POSIX threads at the moment." http://mingw-w64.sourceforge.net/
    • enables C11 library features contained in the headers <thread>, <mutex>, and <future>.
    • Performance degradation in specific scenarios. C11 functionality is significantly slower than native Win32 implementation or even MSVS2012's implementation.
  • win32
    • uses native Win32 threading functions.
    • no C11 <thread>, <mutex>, or <future>
    • best performance

More reading: http://sourceforge.net/mailarchive/message.php?msg_id=28014658

Criteria for original decision on toolchain

Following criteria for selecting the mingw package have been brought up on the mailing list . The comments about mingw-builds, rubenvb might not be up to date any more.

  • Ease of installation
    • rubenvb: different packages (host x target etc) can be confusing. no additional configuration needed when not cross-compiling.
    • mingw-builds: 32 bit binaries do not have prefix, but requires additions to configure / mkspecs (to switch to 64 bit target)
  • Stability/Quality
    • mingw-builds: no issues in latest packages
    • rubenvb: no issues in latest packages
  • most recent compilers (GCC 4.7 preferably, GCC 4.6 if not)
    • mingw-builds: GCC 4.7.2 (and GCC 4.8 prerelease in testing)
    • rubenvb: GCC 4.7.2 (and GCC 4.8 prerelease in unstable) and a 32-bit Clang 3.2 targetting Win32/Personal Builds/rubenvb/clang-3.2-release/
  • working GDB and tested with Creator (with required Python support)
    • mingw-builds: 7.5.1
    • rubenvb: 7.5
  • large file support (aka _FILE_OFFSET_BITS=64)
    • mingw-builds: yes (_FILE_OFFSET_BITS in headers, also e.g. lseek64 symbol defined)
    • rubenvb: yes (_FILE_OFFSET_BITS in headers, also e.g. lseek64 symbol defined)
  • threading
    • mingw-builds: gcc -v says 'posix' or 'win32' depending on which build you download
    • rubenvb: gcc -v says 'win32' . std::thread support in experimental package targetting Win64/Personal Builds/rubenvb/gcc-4.7-experimental-stdthread//Personal Builds/rubenvb/gcc-4.7-experimental-stdthread/
  • zero-overhead exceptions (no SJLJ exceptions)
    • rubenvb: 32-bit GCC dw2 builds provided, and GCC 4.8 prerelease is 64-bit seh.
    • mingw-builds: 32-bit GCC dw2 builds provided, and GCC 4.8 prerelease is 64-bit seh.
  • standard win32 headers, if possible using the Platform SDK headers
    • rubenvb: Win32 API, DirectX (from WINE project), and DDK (from ReactOS project)
    • mingw-builds: Win32 API, DirectX (from WINE project) and DDK (from ReactOS project)
  • large set of included libraries
    • rubenvb: none, only Win32 and GCC libraries provided.
    • mingw-builds: libcharset, libiconv, libksguid, libportabledeviceguids, libsensorsapi, libwindowscodecs, libwinhttp
  • 32 and 64-bit in one package
    • rubenv: 64 bit or 32 bit are seperate packages
    • mingw-builds: both 32 bit and 64 bit host, 32 bit and 64 bit target
  • make with -j support
    • rubenvb: -j seems to work
    • mingw-builds: -j seems to work
    • NOTE: Qt's own "jom" tool can be used to build Qt and CMake "MinGW Makefiles" with much better performance than mingw32-make

MinGW-builds (with OpenSSL, ICU and QtWebKit)


  • The "MinGW-builds" uses toolchains from "MinGW-w64" project.
  • We compile our own OpenSSL and ICU binaries instead of using prebuilt binaries to avoid additional dependencies on the Visual C++ 2008/2010 runtimes


  • Either follow Option-A, or follow Option-B. Don't follow both options at same time (unless you know what you are doing).

Option-A Prerequisites

Option-B Prerequisites

Initial Setup

Either use option-A, or, use option-B. Don't use both options at same time (unless you know what you are doing).

  • Initial stage option-A: Obtain &; Extract MinGW-builds GCC 4.8.2 64-bit to this folder: C:64-4.8.2
  • Initial stage option-B: Obtain MSYS2, install in C:2, then prepare MSYS2 for Qt related build development environment:

Run MSYS2 shell (C:2\msys2_shell.bat). First update msys2 core components (if you have not done it already):

pacman -Sy
pacman —needed -S bash pacman pacman-mirrors msys2-runtime

You must exit out from MSYS2-shell, restart MSYS2-shell, then run below command, to complete rest of other components update:

pacman -Su

Exit out again from MSYS2-shell, restart MSYS2-shell, now you are ready to use this shell, prepare it for building/compiling environment : run below command to load MinGW-w64 SEH (64bit/x86_64) and Dwarf-2 (32bit/i686) posix toolchains, dependencies & other required tools from MSYS2 REPO:

pacman -S base-devel git mercurial cvs wget p7zip
pacman -S perl ruby python2 mingw-w64-i686-toolchain mingw-w64-x86_64-toolchain

Building OpenSSL

Note: If you had installed MSYS2, use pacman to install openssl package and use it to compile Qt. Do the same with ICU libraries

See also Compiling-OpenSSL-with-MinGW


If you are using MSYS, only then run below command. If you are using MSYS2, then do not run below command.

export PATH="/c/Qt/mingw64-4.8.2/bin:$PATH"

If you are using MSYS2, only then run below command. If you are using MSYS, then do not run below command.

export PATH="/c/msys2/mingw64/bin:$PATH"

Run these commands (if you are using either MSYS or MSYS2):

cd /c/Qt/qt5_deps
tar -zxvf openssl-1.0.1e.tar.gz
cd openssl-1.0.1e
./Configure —prefix=/c/Qt/qt5_deps/openssl-1.0.1e/dist no-idea no-mdc2 no-rc5 shared mingw64
make depend && make && make install
cp /c/Qt/qt5_deps/openssl-1.0.1e/dist/bin/*.dll /c/Qt/qt5/qtbase/bin

Building ICU (Unicode support)

See also Compiling-ICU-with-MinGW


If you are using MSYS, only then run below command. If you are using MSYS2, then do not run below command.

export PATH="/c/Qt/mingw64-4.8.2/bin:$PATH"

If you are using MSYS2, only then run below command. If you are using MSYS, then do not run below command.

export PATH="/c/msys2/mingw64/bin:$PATH"

Run these commands (if you are using either MSYS or MSYS2):

cd /c/Qt/qt5_deps
unzip icu4c-52_1-src.zip
cd /c/Qt/qt5_deps/icu/Source
./runConfigureICU MinGW prefix=/c/Qt/qt5_deps/icu/dist
make && make install
cp /c/Qt/qt5_deps/icu/dist/lib/icu*52.dll /c/Qt/Qt5_src/qtbase/bin

Building Qt

  • Note: If you are using the Qt 5 source .tar.gz, you need to do the following for configure.exe to build properly:

' Start a Windows command prompt (Cmd-shell)

cd C:\5_src
if not exist qtbaseitignore type nul>qtbaseitignore
  • Start a Windows command prompt (Cmd-shell), and run/execute below commands:
cd C:\5_src
set INCLUDE=C:5_deps\icu\dist\include;C:5_deps\openssl-1.0.1e\dist\include
set LIB=C:5_deps\icu\dist\lib;C:5_deps\openssl-1.0.1e\dist\lib
set QTDIR=

If you have downloaded perl, ruby, python separately from their official websites & installed in separate folders, then adjust & execute/run below command:

cd C:\5_src
set PATH=%CD%\qtbase\bin;%CD%\gnuwin32\bin;C:\Qt\mingw64-4.8.2\bin;C:\strawberry\perl\bin;C:\Python27;C:\Ruby193
\bin;C:\Qt\qt5_deps\icu\dist\lib;C:\Qt\qt5_deps\openssl-1.0.1e\dist\bin;C:\Program Files (x86)\Git\cmd;%

If you have installed/loaded perl, ruby, python inside MSYS2, using "pacman" command, then adjust & execute/run below command:

cd /c/Qt/Qt5_src
windows2unix() { local pathPcs=() split pathTmp IFS=\;; read -ra split <<< "$*"; for pathTmp in "${split[@],}"; do pathPcs+=( "/${pathTmp//+([:\\])//}" ); done; echo "${pathPcs[*]}"; }; systemrootP=$(windows2unix "$SYSTEMROOT"); export PATH="$PWD/qtbase/bin:$PWD/gnuwin32/bin:/c/msys2/mingw64/bin:/c/msys2/usr/bin:/c/Qt/qt5_deps/icu/dist/lib"

Run below commands, (if you have installed perl, ruby, python from their official sites, or, if you have installed perl, ruby, python via pacman inside MSYS2-shell):


configure -debug-and-release -opensource -confirm-license -platform win32-g++ -developer-build -c++11 -icu
-opengl desktop -openssl -plugin-sql-odbc -nomake tests

mingw32-make -j n

Note: If you want to build using ANGLE instead of desktop OpenGL, remove "-opengl desktop" from configure. Note2: mingw32-make -j n where "n" are the number of cores you have


  • If you run into
…/qtbase/src/3rdparty/angle/src/libGLESv2/Blit.cpp:18:42: fatal error: libGLESv2/shaders/standardvs.h: No
such file or directory
Makefile.Debug:683: recipe for target '.obj/debug_shared/Blit.o' failed
mingw32-make[6]: '''* [.obj/debug_shared/Blit.o] Error 1

or alike see https://bugreports.qt.io/browse/QTBUG-28845



  • This is the set of scripts to build Qt : either with "MinGW-builds" based toolchains under MSYS, or, to build Qt : with

MSYS2 repo (also based on "MinGW-builds") based toolchains under MSYS2.

https://github.com/Alexpux/MINGW-packages (MSYS2 REPO) or, use below simple command inside MSYS2-shell to get+install Qt & QtCreator binary pre-builts, for developing & releasing opensource or closedsource projects:

pacman -S mingw-w64-i686-qt-creator mingw-w64-x86_64-qt-creator

If you also need+want static binary builds, for compiling & releasing opensource projects, then use below command:

pacman -S mingw-w64-i686-qt5-static mingw-w64-x86_64-qt5-static


To build Qt, these are required:

pacman -S base-devel git mercurial cvs wget p7zip

Initial Setup

  • Either use MSYS, or MSYS2. Do not use both, (unless you know what you are doing).
    • If you are going to use MSYS: extract or install MSYS into C:directory
    • If you are going to use MSYS2: extract or install MSYS2 into C:2 directory
  • Prepare MSYS or MSYS2 for development environment: pre-install build related required dependencies & components.
    • See inside MinGW-builds section (in above), on how you can prepare MSYS or MSYS2 for building/compiling.
  • Run MSYS (or MSYS2)
  • run git checkout scripts:
mkdir -p /c/QtSDK
cd /c/QtSDK
git clone https://github.com/Alexpux/Qt-builds.git Qt-build

Building Qt

Now scripts provide building Qt-4.8.4, Qt-5.0.0, Qt-5.0.1, Qt-5.0.2, Qt5 from git with latest release of QtCreator, qbs(from git). Buildinq Qt is simple by run:

./buildall <x32|x64> qt-version=<version>

For example,

./buildall x32 —qt-version=5.0.0

build 32-bit Qt-5.0.0 with QtCreator-2.7.0 and install them into C:/QtSDK/Qt32-5.0.0, Qt dependencies and prerequisites will be installed into C:/QtSDK/ported32.

For building Qt5 from git you need specify branch what you want to build. If you don't specify branch then by default building stable branch.

./buildall x32 —qt-version=git —qt-git-branch=stable

This command download qt5 from git stable branch and try to build 32-bit version of Qt5.

Note: If you want to move Qt directory elsewhere than after moving you need to execute from QTDIR:

qtbinpatcher —nobackups

Other useful options are:

 Use option "-opengl desktop" instead of "-angle" during configure Qt5 sources.
 Tell build script to exclude Qt-Creator from building.
 Tell build script to build qtquickcontrols.
 Build Qt as static libraries. Qt5 now has many issues with static build and now I possible to build it without
Webkit, ANGLE, ICU.
 Build some 3rdparty apps (poppler, cmake) with dependencies

Notes: Do not use (or try to avoid using) different type of toolchains for building different sub-components for the same/main project, when targeted for same platform/OS. If you are using MinGW-w64 based toolchains from MSYS2\mingw32 or MSYS2\mingw64, then for all sub-components build and for main project build, use same MSYS2 toolchains. If you are using MinGW toolchain, then for all of your sub-components & main project build, use same MinGW toolchain. If you are using MinGW-w64 toolchains from "MinGW-builds", then for all sub-components and for main project build, use same MinGW-builds toolchains.

See also

Building_Qt_Desktop_for_Windows_with_MinGW How-to-build-a-static-Qt-for-Windows-MinGW Building-Qt-5-from-Git Buildint static Qt on Windows Building static applications How_to_build_a_static_Qt_version_for_Windows_with_gcc Build_Standalone_Qt_Application_for_Windows How to build a static Qt version for Windows with GCC Setting-up-Qt-on-Ubuntu-in-VirtualBox Building-Qt-Package How_To_Build_Qt_Creator_From_Source Building-Qt-Creator-from-Git Compiling-ICU-with-MinGW Compiling-OpenSSL-with-MinGW MSYS2 Qt_shadow_builds Using Shadow Builds- Windows CE Building_Qt_Desktop_for_Windows_with_MSVC http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms235591(v=VS.80).aspx : How to: Embed a Manifest Inside a C/C+ Application