Building on Windows - status update

Geert Janssens janssens-geert at
Wed May 7 10:12:36 EDT 2014

Thank you for your feedback.

On Wednesday 07 May 2014 14:18:03 Wm Tarr wrote:
> On 06/05/2014 20:51, Geert Janssens wrote:
> > Continuing the effort to improve the build experience on Windows.
> the README at
> [1]
> doesn't reflect recent changes and presumes reading of this list.
I have been rewriting it this afternoon. A new version should be in the 
repository now :)

> [1] I presume the gnucash repository is preferred over gjanssens now
It is.

> I suggest renaming the existing README and replacing it with something
> along the lines of the basic instructions from Geert's recent
> posting, viz ===
> - Download the bootstrap_win_dev.vbs script. It has some documentation
> at the beginning. Running it is mostly a double-click. This will
> prepare a c:\gcdev directory with the minimal tools required to run
> - Start msys (c:\gcdev\mingw\msys\1.0\msys.bat)
> - cd /c/gcdev/gnucash-on-windows.git
> -
> and if you want to create the windows installer as well:
> -
> ===
> Which should be enough to get most people started if not all the way
> there.  I see some work is being done as I write but my idea is if
> someone uses a browser to get to the www repository and (being a
> sensible citizen) starts with the README things should be fairly self
> contained (i.e. they won't *have* to come back here) from then on.
True. I'm mainly reporting on the list so interested people can follow 
the progress being made. Until recently my commits didn't generate mails 
to the changes and patches mailing lists.

> I think the existing README should be renamed (with an extension
> .old?) rather than replaced entirely as it contains useful pointers
> if one gets stuck and knows what to look for.
It was not renamed but rewritten. I had also added a section pointing 
out known issues with the new build system and possible workarounds. If 
new issues still pop up I intend to update the file. But I would find it 
confusing to keep the old file around because many of the issues in 
there are no longer relevant because parts of the installation process 
have radically changed.

> Other thoughts:
> As things are changing fairly quickly at the moment is the presumption
> in bootstrap_win_dev.vbs
> that I've got both
>   gnucash-on-windows.git
>   gnucash.git
> a good sign that they don't need to be updated?  It isn't as though
> they are particularly large.  At the moment I'm grabbing
> gnucash-on-windows every time I build but leaving gnucash alone as
> that will have changed less and it is the Win bit we're playing with.
>  Good practice or not?
None of the recent changes would require a rerun of 
bootstrap_win_dev.vbs. There may be one change regarding html help but I 
haven't decided on this yet.

There is also no need to grab the two repositories again. Instead you 
can use git to pull in the updates.

You can do this as follows (example is for gnucash-on-windows.git but 
works the same way for gnucash.git):
- Open a Windows Explorer
- Right-click on the gnucash-on-windows.git directory
- Select Git Bash. This will open a command prompt.
- Enter one command: git pull
- Close the command prompt again

This should probably be added in the README file...

> The build is generating a lot of warnings e.g.
>    libtool ... seems to have moved
Those are normal warnings. They appear on all build platforms, not only 
on Windows.

> that the user doesn't really need to see.  I'm probably going to run
> my with output to a file from now on.  Is anyone else
> already doing this?
Whether you wish to see output while building or not is a personal 

I usually run the install command as follows:
./ 2>&1 | tee install.log

This gives me live output and also in the file install.log
If you only want the output in a file you can do instead
./ 2>&1 > tee install.log

> I mentioned this in another message but it looks like both Geert and I
> are running WinXP (SP3 here, I'm presuming the same for G) and it
> looks like we're the only ones with (recent) successful builds so
> far.
> It is up to you, Geert, but it might be of interest to encourage other
> folks attempts regardless of success in a thread to see if non-WinXP
> users are coming across a common set of barriers.
I'm testing on Windows XP SP3 as well indeed.

John Ralls reported on his attempt to build on Windows 7 64-bit. There 
are a few problems on that platform. I have documented these already in 
the updated README file together with manual ways to work around them.

I may be able to incorporate these changes in the scripts directly but 
that needs more testing.


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