Building on Windows (older releases)

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This page is archived for historical reasons only. It is no longer maintained and information may not be current.


Documentation windows.png This page describes how to build older (pre-3.x) releases of on Windows.
Documentation note.png Only steps that differ from building a current release are described. For general informations on building on Windows see Development/ Building Guide/Building on Windows.


software requirements

  • Windows
    • XP and Vista are fine
    • Windows 2000 should work
    • Windows 98/ME is not a good idea: Visual Studio Express 2005 cannot be installed on Windows 98, so you'd probably need the full version of Visual Studio 2003 - but Windows 98 is unsupported for 3.0 anyway.
  • C/C++ Compiler:
    • Visual Studio 2003 is the reference compiler for 2.x
    • Visual Studio 2005 Express should work fine
    • Visual Studio 2008 is the reference compiler for 3.x
  • Java
  • some pre-3.x releases optionally require the general polygon clipper library release 2.31. Beginning with the 3.2 codeline, gpc is not needed at all for the build anymore and from this release on, the related configure switch has been removed.
  • Prebuild Mozilla

Installation and Preparation of Build Tools

VisualStudio 2005 Express ( 2.x)

In case you still can find a copy of the 2005 Express compiler setup and it still works it downloads additional content from the Web. You only need to select the Graphical IDE. More can be downloaded later if you want, but for building and debugging OOo you will not need more than the basic package. The download and installation took me roughly 10 minutes and 220 MB on my hard disk. The complete (not Web based) compiler installation set still can be downloaded as an ISO-image (~450 MB) from the Manual Installation site.

Next step when you plan to use the “Express” version is installing the Microsoft Macro Assembler (MASM). MASM is part of the paid version of Visual Studio (so you can skip that part if you are using it) but for the “Express” version you have to download it separately. It's only a very small download. I had a problem with the MASM installer on all machines where I used it: the setup started but then suddenly disappeared from the screen. I found a hanging msiexec.exe in the task manager and had to kill it manually. Fortunately the MASM was obviously installed correctly. It appeared in the “Add and remove software” dialog and the “ml.exe” was installed to “Vc/Bin” folder of VC8.

You also must download and install the Microsoft Windows Platform SDK. The usual instructions recommend to download it from here but I followed the recommendations from the Visual C++ site. There you can find a link (download requires Genuine Windows Validation). WARNING: don't install the new Vista platform SDK that is needed for the 2008 Express compiler (see below), the 2005 Express Compiler does not work with it.

The setup is again web based. You can either user the “Typical” installation or select “Custom” setup and deselect the packages you don't need. You need at least the following packages:

  • Microsoft Windows Core SDK
  • Microsoft Web Workshop (IE) SDK
  • Microsoft Internet Information Server (IIS) SDK
  • Microsoft Data Access Services (MDAC) SDK
  • Microsoft DirectShow SDK
  • Microsoft Windows Installer SDK

You can deselect all 64Bit parts of these packages, all samples, all source code modules and (if you want) every documentation. In total the installation filled 438 MB of my harddisk space (including the documentation, but without all other optional parts).

Warning: the first installation option is called “Register Environment Variables” and it is deselected by default. You shouldn't change this as selecting it will add directories with blanks to your PATH variable. This (or more precisely the quotes surrounding them) will cause troubles in Cygwin (see below). It is also possible that other installed Windows programs (not only Cygwin) can't cope with the changed PATH variable as the installer of the Platform SDK explicitly warns.

The only drawback of not selecting this option is that if you wanted to use the platform SDK for other projects except OOo you would have to take care for the correct environment yourself. The platform SDK creates some start menu entries for shells with a suitable configured environment so that shouldn't be a problem.

There is a library called “libcp.lib” in the “Lib” directory of the SDK; it must be either moved away or renamed. You can read more about this here.

There is another thing you have to change in the Platform SDK: you have to apply a small patch to one of the Platform SDK header files as described here.

Full Builds


configure settings tips

Documentation note.png For older cvs-based releases you have to call configure from the $SRC_ROOT/config_office directory. A top-level makefile script and the script bootstrap that are located in the config_office directory in older releases. This is due to technical reasons: The $SRC_ROOT directory in the cvs tree can only hold directories. On the other hand, the top-level should logically be placed in the top-level directory $SRC_ROOT. The cvs tree holds these files in config_office and configure copies them up. This has been changed on the 3.x code line, as subversion does not have this limitation.
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