Compiling ScummVM/MinGW

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< Compiling ScummVM
Revision as of 02:42, 25 April 2008 by Kirben (talk | contribs) (nasm no longer needs to be copied/renamed.)
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Compiling ScummVM with Minimalist GNU for Windows (MINGW)

MinGW is "a collection of freely available and freely distributable Windows specific header files and import libraries combined with GNU toolsets that allow one to produce native Windows programs that do not rely on any 3rd-party C runtime DLLs".

More information can be found at the MinGW homepage

Things needed

MinGW and MSYS

To download MinGW, visit its download page

Downloading MinGW for the first time can be a daunting task, as there are a lot of packages to download. The ones you need are in the "Current" section (apart from MinGW-5.0.0.exe, which is in the "Proposed" section).

Download the following:

The following are downloaded through the automated installer, but you can install them here to have everything ready:

Note that the above downloads are the current ones, and can change in the future. To get the latest versions (if one of the links above is broken), visit the MinGW download page and download the latest versions there. The latest packages for MinGW (but not MSYS) can be downloaded through the automated installer MinGW-5.0.0.exe.

Check the "Installing MinGW and MSYS" section below for instructions on how to create your ScummVM compilation environment

Libraries needed

You need the latest Development Libraries file for Mingw32.

  • NASM Optional, for faster compile of scalers

You need the latest Win32 binary

  • FLAC. Optional, for FLAC support

You need the 1.1.3 source code, as later versions aren't supported under MinGW.

You need the latest libogg and libvorbis (not vorbis) source code.

  • libmad Optional, for MP3 support

You need the latest libmad source code.

  • zlib. Optional, for compressed saved games.

You need the latest zlib source code.

Installing MinGW and MSYS

Both MinGW and MSYS need to be installed and working to compile ScummVM.

  • First, install MinGW through its automated installer.
  • Then, install MSYS. After installation, a new console window will appear, asking if you wish to proceed with the post install. Answer 'y' to that prompt. You will then be asked if you have MinGW installed. Answer 'y' to that and then type in the path of your MinGW directory using forward slashes (e.g. C:/MinGW). Make sure that there is no "make" utility in the MinGW bin folder, as this will clash with the make utility in MSYS. With the recent packages described in the section above, you shouldn't have that problem.
  • After both MinGW and MSYS are installed correctly, install MSYS DTK

Additional information about MinGW and Windows Vista

In order to get MinGW properly working under Windows Vista, you need to do the following: Go to Control Panel->System, and click on "Advanced System Settings" to the left. Then click on "Environment variables" and on the bottom window ("System variables"), select the "Path" variable and edit it. This variable tells windows where to look for binaries when it can't find them in the current folder. You'll find a lot of directories there separated by semicolons.

Make sure that the MinGW bin directory is included in the path (e.g. C:\MinGW\bin), which should already be included there from the MinGW installer. Also, make sure that the libexec path is included too (e.g. C:\MinGW\libexec\gcc\mingw32\3.4.2), which is needed in Vista to get MinGW properly working

MSYS primer

From the developer's webpage: "MSYS or Minimal SYStem is a POSIX and Bourne shell environment use with MinGW. It provides a hand picked set of tools to allow a typical configuration script with Bourne syntax to execute. This allows most of the GNU packages to create a Makefile just from executing the typical configure script which can then be used to build the package using the native MinGW version of GCC".

For more information, check the MinGW FAQ page

MSYS commands can be confusing for people using Windows, as MSYS emulates a Bourne shell environment, which is found in most Unix/Linux distributions. The available commands can be viewed by typing "help" in the command prompt. Help on a specific command is available by typing "help" followed by the command, e.g. "help alias".

Note that MSYS uses forward slashes between folder names, not backward slashes, as is the case with Windows. Additionally, some special characters like the space need to be escaped with a backward slash("\"). Drives are mounted to folders, so drive "C:" would be under folder "/c". Therefore, to switch to directory:

C:\Program Files\Test Folder

we would switch to:

/c/Program\ Files/Test\ Folder

The basic commands you'll need are:

cd - changes the current drive and directory
pwd - shows the current drive and directory
ls - lists files in a folder
make - makefile, used to compile projects
strip - remove debug information from executable files

Note that if you wish to run a file from the current folder, you need to specify it before the file name, i.e. if you wish to run "test" from the current folder, you should type:


Building the libraries

Now, we need to compile the required libraries and tools.


First of all, we need nasm. So unzip the nasm archive in a directory, and copy both files to MinGW's bin directory. Alternatively, you can include the folder you unzipped the files in your system path. To do this, go to Control Panel->System, Advanced tab->environment variables and edit the "PATH" variable in the system variables list, adding the folder where you placed the aforementioned files. Directories in the system path are split with a semicolon (;), e.g. "C:\MinGW\msys\1.0\bin;C:\MinGW\bin;C:\nasm".

Note that changes to the PATH will be reflected on newly opened command prompts only, so if you got any open already, close them to avoid confusion


SDL is already compiled and needs no further changes, so we can skip the compilation step for it

After extracting the contents of the SDL archive in a folder, copy all the files in the 'include/SDL' folder to MinGW's include folder, copy all the files in the 'lib' folder to MinGW's lib folder and copy all the files in the 'bin' folder to MinGW's bin folder.


Unzip the source code in a folder, open MSYS, go to the zlib folder and issue this command to compile the library:

make -f win32/makefile.gcc

After compilation, copy zlib.h and zconf.h inside MinGW's include folder and libz.a inside MinGW's lib folder

You can do this using Explorer or by typing these commands in MSYS inside the zlib folder:

cp -p libz.a /mingw/lib
cp -p zlib.h zconf.h /mingw/include


libogg should be compiled before libvorbis and libFLAC Unzip the libogg archive in a folder, open MSYS, go to the libogg folder and issue these commands to compile the library:

./configure --disable-shared

To install the library, type:

make install prefix=/mingw


Unzip the libvorbis archive in a folder, open MSYS, go to the libvorbis folder and issue these commands to compile the library:

./configure --disable-shared

To install the library, type:

make install prefix=/mingw


Unzip the libmad archive in a folder, open MSYS, go to the libmad folder and issue these commands to compile the library:

./configure --disable-shared

To install the library, type:

make install prefix=/mingw


Unzip the flac archive in a folder, open MSYS, go to the flac folder and issue these commands to compile the library:

./configure --disable-shared

To install the library, type:

make install prefix=/mingw

Compiling ScummVM

To compile ScummVM, issue the following commands inside the scummvm folder (where Makefile resides):


After compilation, you'll end up with a very big scummvm.exe (around 16MB). This is because debug symbols and information are embedded by default in the exe file, making it very big. To remove all the unneeded debug information from the executable, thus reducing its size by about 12MB, go to the folder where the compiled scummvm.exe file is and run the following command:

strip scummvm.exe

Ready to go!

OK this should be all of it (thankfully), so you should be good to go.