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CompilationGuide

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MinGW


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Create first version of the MingwCompilationGuide page.

MinGW/FFmpeg installation guide

In order to compile FFmpeg on Windows, you need to install the MinGW environment and a few tools which are strictly required.

The following sections give some indications for installing some of the required components. Note that the only strict requirements for compiling a plain vanilla version of FFmpeg (no external libraries) is MinGW (compilation environment) and git required for downloading and updating the source code.

MinGW

Go to:

http://www.mingw.org/

and look for the "Download" page.

The recommended way to install MinGW/MSys is through the automated installer, mingw-get-inst.exe.

This will download most of the basic core packages. It will usually install in C:\MinGW but you can define the installation path when configuring, note down this path (that we will call as "MinGW path" or $MINGW_PATH later in this guide).

Once you install MinGW you should see in the Windows menu the "MinGW" entry with the option "MinGW shell". Clicking on it it will launch a terminal with a bash shell. This is supposed to be a GNU/Unix environment, and you're supposed to know a bit of UNIX commands for getting through it.

MinGW adopts a mounting mechanism to make Windows dir appear like native UNIX-like paths. Check the output of the mount command, and familiarize yourself with the mapping mechanism. In the rest of the guide, when not explicitely specified, we'll use the UNIX mapped paths.

MinGW installation style

It is a good norm to keep the locally installed packages separated from the MinGW/MSys packages. For this reason we recommend to use /usr/local for locally installed files. That means that packages will be configured with --prefix=/usr/local, for removing the local packages it will be sufficient to erase the /usr/local directory.

This should also avoid conflicts with MinGW/MSys.

Git

Git is the source code control system used by FFmpeg, and you need it for downloading and updating the source code.

The official Git project site is:

http://git-scm.com/

The recommended installation way is through the msysgit project:

http://code.google.com/p/msysgit/

The autoinstaller will create a separate Msys environment for Git. In order to be able to let your MinGW and msysgit coexist on the same system you need some tuning in the Windows environment. Indeed the msysgit installer will modify some of the environment values set by the MinGW install, and you may need to manually ripristinate them.

In particular, you need to:

  • fix the HOME variable, so that it will point to $MINGW_PATH/msys/1.0/home/$USER
  • edit the path, so that the git bin and cmd paths are located after the corresponding MinGW bin directory.

yasm

yasm is a non-strict requirement, it allows for optimized compilation so it is recommended to install it. The easiest way to install it for Windows is by simply downloading the binary provided in:

http://www.tortall.net/projects/yasm/wiki/Download

You'll have to choose between the versions provided (e.g. 32 vs 64 bits), download and install it in /usr/local/bin or in /bin.

Since the name of the binary is usually suffixed with the program version (e.g. it is named "yasm-1.1.0-win32.exe"), you need to create a copy named "yasm", so it can be invoked by using simply "yasm".

Alternatively you may install the source version and compile it.

SDL

SDL is required for ffplay and the SDL output device, the project website can be looked at:

http://www.libsdl.org/

You need the 1.2 version:

http://www.libsdl.org/download-1.2.php

Once you download and extract the source package, configure it with:

$ configure --prefix=/c/mingw

or your configure path, then make and make install. Once installed in the MINGW_PATH, the FFmpeg configure should be able to auto-detect it.

Note that SDL flags, as issued by sdl-config/pkg-config, contain the -mwindows flag which will prevent applications to log on console. As a workaround you'll need to remove that flag, e.g. by editing the sdl-config script or the SDL pkg-config file in lib.

The bug has been reported here:

http://bugzilla.libsdl.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1237

FFmpeg

To configure a basic build you just need to run configure in the FFmpeg source directory.

Once you installed all the necessary packages (MinGW is the only strict requirement for building FFmpeg, git is required for downloading update your FFmpeg source), you need to open a MinGW shell, change directory to where you checked out the FFmpeg sources, and configure and make FFmpeg the usual way.

NOTE: configure is sometimes painfully slow in MinGW.

Be sure to also check the Windows section in the bundled General Documentation section you can find here:

http://ffmpeg.org/general.html

lib.exe

lib.exe is required for creating .dll.a import stub libraries, so that you can link to the DLLs from MSVC (Microsoft Visual Studio compiler, bundled with it).

lib.exe is a Microsoft tool used for creating DLL files. It is bundled togheter with Visual Studio. Microsoft Visual Studio Express download is available for free. Once installed you'll need to add the directory where lib.exe is located to the system Path.

dlltool.exe (which is part of binutils) may be used instead of lib.exe. The downside in this case is that the import libraries break if you use the linker optimization option in MSVC (which is enabled by default).

DirectShow

DirectShow SDK is required for DirectShow capture, supported through the dshow input device. DirectShow support is enabled only through mingw-64 compilation.

For more detailed information related to ?DirectShow check the dshow section in the FFmpeg manual.

OpenAL

Required for acquiring from the audio device using the recently new OpenAL framework:

http://connect.creativelabs.com/openal

Download and install the SDK (the file named like "OpenAL11CoreSDK.zip"), then configure with --enable-openal (you may need to add --extra-cflags and --extra-ldflags for specifying where OpenAL libraries and headers are placed). Note that you may also need to move all the headers in the include dir to a separate "AL" directory, which is where FFmpeg will look for the OpenAL headers.

pkg-config

pkg-config is a program used by many software libraries (FFmpeg included) for determining the compilation flags to use. It is not installed by default by MinGW, so you need to manually install it.

There is also a related MinGW FAQ:

pkg-config can be found at one of these addresses:

At this point you need to install the following packages:

  • GLib (Run-time)
  • gettext-runtime (Run-time)
  • pkg-config (tool)

gettext-runtime contains the intl.dll (GNU Internationalization Library) which is required by pkg-config.

Windows Compilation Tips

  • You may want to use dependency walker for troubleshooting dependency issues:

http://www.dependencywalker.com/

depends.exe is similar in purpose to ldd.

  • Working with a Windows native terminal can be painful, especially if you have a non-US/EN keyboard and you have no means to type special characters like '~'.

autohotkey is a nice FLOSS project which allows to compose shortcuts and do other nifty things:

http://www.autohotkey.com/

More resources

You can find many resources dedicated to FFmpeg in Windows in:

arrozcru.org was the "official" Windows/FFmpeg resource before its dismissal, but you can still find some resources there:

At this address you can find a MinGW environment used for MPlayer: