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2.4.5 Windows using MinGW

Written by Eric Sunshine, sunshine@sunshineco.com. Originally written by Philip Wyett, aura.yoda@gmail.com. Last updated 18 May 2012.

These instructions are for building Crystal Space with MinGW, the Minimalist GNU compiler for Windows (see http://www.mingw.org/).

MinGW is a minimalist development environment for native Microsoft Windows applications, and MSYS is a general purpose command line environment.

Necessary Resources

Download the following packages:


Follow these instructions to install the packages which you downloaded. Be sure to install them in the order shown.

Note: If you ever install a new version of MSYS, then you should also re-install the ‘cs-winlibs’ package.

Building Crystal Space

You must configure and build Crystal Space from within the MSYS shell environment. To launch this environment, click on the MSYS icon which the installation procedure placed upon your desktop, or choose the MSYS item from the Programs menu. This will launch a Unix-like shell window into which you type commands.

Crystal Space can be built with either ‘make’ or Jam (see GettingJam). Both tools work equally well. The ‘cs-winlibs’ package contains a pre-built version of Jam which you can invoke simply by typing ‘jam’ at the MSYS command prompt. In the examples below, wherever ‘jam’ is used, you can instead substitute ‘make -k’ if you so desire.

At the shell prompt, go to your ‘CS’ directory with the ‘cd’ command. For example, if Crystal Space resides at ‘C:\work\CS’, invoke the command ‘cd /c/work/CS’. Next, configure and build the project with the following sequence of commands:


If you prefer to build a debug version of Crystal Space, substitute the following commands for those shown above:

./configure --enable-debug

If the Crystal Space source directory is read-only, if it is shared between several developers, or if you simply dislike building a project within its source tree, you can instead configure and build from a different directory. For instance:

mkdir $HOME/builddir
cd $HOME/builddir
/c/work/CS/configure --enable-debug

Finally, if you want to utilize Crystal Space as a software development kit (SDK), you can install it and then clean up the detritus of the build process:

jam install
jam distclean

Additional Build Options

Sometimes it is a good idea to remove all of the built programs and executable files and start from scratch. You can do this with the following commands:

jam clean

Once in a while it is even a good idea to completely clean and re-configure the project. This may be required if you are using the bleeding-edge version of Crystal Space from the SVN repository after some radical change.

jam distclean


If you successfully built Crystal Space, yet find that you can not run the applications from the ‘CS\’ root directory, a possible cause might be that the pathname leading up to the ‘CS\’ directory might have embedded whitespace. For instance, if you installed the project in ‘C:\my stuff\CS’, try renaming the path to ‘C:\my_stuff\CS’ or ‘C:\mystuff\CS’.

// TODO: remove

Blasting the Past

If you were previously using the older, deprecated ‘cs_mingw_0.??.exe’ package which contained the entire MinGW distribution along with other unrelated tools and resources, or the ‘csmingwlibs’ package, it is highly recommended that you first remove the older package, as well as any residual files and resources before installing the newer MinGW, MSYS, and ‘cs-winlibs’ packages. For best results, it would probably be wise to remove the entire old ‘MinGW’ directory (though you may want to make a backup copy of it just in case) and clean your environment variables of any references to the old resource directories.

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