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I've downloaded GCC 4.5.1 and do not now what to do next. I've found inside the Install directory instructions how to configure, build and install but still cannot do much with this. May someone step by step write down how am I suppose to go through this process? For example, they saying something like this:

    % mkdir objdir 
    % cd objdir 
    % srcdir/configure [options] [target]   

and I do understand that first line asks to create an directory and second asks to go into this but what about third one and how am I suppose to execute this? Am I suppose to go to source directory and type configure + options + target?

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2 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

You don't install gcc like this. You use "Cygwin" or "MSYS" for this purpose (compiling). Cygwin is like a.... linux-windows combination? One should read the documentation. In a nutshell: You get a bash, gcc and other stuff, but it is SLOW.

MSYS is much better on the other hand. It provides a win32 binary of gcc and all the development tools. http://www.mingw.org/wiki/MSYS

If you just want to develop, you should choose a package like this:
codeblocks-10.05mingw-setup.exe << This one.

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+1 but I disagree about cygwin being SLOW. It's only slightly slower than native apps in my experience. –  Nifle Oct 3 '10 at 9:10
Thanks it works. I wonder why is it that it is so difficult to create something in this day and age with would have user friendly interface and would be pleasure to install? Why in order to do something as trivial as installation of well known product I have to as for advice on forums? This is bad. Anyway thank you for your help. –  There is nothing we can do Oct 3 '10 at 9:12
@A-ha: It's not like its difficult. It's more like... the people who make these applications are ... not really human. Okay, they are..but.. like.. "How comes people can't install this application from source? Even my grandma can fix compile errors.."... and ..this describes the most of them (respect for the exceptions) pretty well I guess. –  Shiki Oct 3 '10 at 10:40
@Nifle - I don't know.. I mean.. it was much slower at me. Maybe it varies from PC to PC.. then sorry. Basically all I saw on the internetz was "Its slow". On the other hand, MSYS been always good for me. That's why I wrote that..and sorry if its not entirely true. –  Shiki Oct 3 '10 at 10:41
@everyone: seriously, someone asks "how to install something" and you answer with: hey, donwload the source code, set up a complete Unix environment on Windows, and just compile that beast! What on earth were you people smoking? There's enough binary GCC distribution channels to not have to go through that... –  rubenvb Jun 18 '11 at 9:23
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GCC for Windows is provided by two projects currently. They both provide a very own implementation of the Windows SDK (headers and libraries) which is necessary because GCC does not work with Visual Studio files.

  1. The older mingw.org, which @Mat already pointed you to. They provide only a 32-bit compiler, and the latest version is GCC 4.5 as of the time of this writing. See here for the downloads you need:

    • Binutils is the linker and resource compiler etc.
    • GCC is the compiler, and is split in core and language packages
    • GDB is the debugger.
    • runtime library is required only for mingw.org
    • You might need to download mingw32-make seperately.
    • For support, you can try (don't expect friendly replies) mingw-users@lists.sourceforge.net
  2. The newer mingw-w64, which as the name predicts, also provides a 64-bit variant. I use it and build toolchains with their CRT. Personal and auto builds are found under "Toolchains targetting Win32/64" here. They also provide Linux to Windows cross-compilers. I suggest you try a personal build first, they are more complete. Try mine (rubenvb) for GCC 4.6, or use sezero's for GCC 4.4 and 4.5. Both of us provide 32-bit and 64-bit native toolchains. These packages include everything listed above. For support, send an email to mingw-w64-public@lists.sourceforge.net or the forum via sourceforge.net.

Both projects have their files listed on sourceforge, and all you have to do is either run the installer (in case of mingw.org) or download a suitable zipped package and extract it (in the case of mingw-w64).

There are a lot of "non-official" toolchain builders, one of the most popular is TDM-GCC. They may use patches that break binary compatibility with official/unpatched toolchains, so be careful using them. It's best to use the official releases (or in the case of mingw-w64, the Personal builds are easier to get started with).

Re the other answer: Cygwin/MSYS != gcc. Using GCC does not require the other. Plain users shouldn't be coimpiling GCC. That process is waaay to involved and time-consuming. Enough binary distributions floating around...

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What's the difference between the "v1.0", "trunk" and "ddk" snapshot packages? –  Nate C-K Jul 12 '11 at 13:32
v1.0 is the "release" branch, trunk is recommended by the developers (fastest fixes, some features/fixes aren't in the 1.0 branch). ddk is the MinGW-w64 Driver Development Kit. –  rubenvb Jul 12 '11 at 13:42
Thanks! I just tried this distro (the 4.6 version under "Toolchains targeting Win32/64" that you recommended) and it worked great. –  Nate C-K Jul 12 '11 at 15:12
@Nate C-K: glad to hear it! –  rubenvb Jul 12 '11 at 15:15
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