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Large executables

Reasons for 'large' objects, libraries and executables

Debugging Information

The most common reason why executables are larger than expected is that they include debugging information, which is generated when source files are compiled with the "-g" option to GCC. Even when your own source files are compiled without debugging information, libraries linked with your executable may have been compiled with "-g" (possibly including system libraries that are distributed with MinGW).

Compile with gcj

When you first download and install the MinGW Java compiler (gcc-java), you may find that when you try to compile a Java program with gcj, you get an error saying "cannot find -liconv". This is because gcj automatically attempts to link your program with libiconv, which is not distributed with MinGW and must be downloaded and installed separately. To get your Java program to compile, download libiconv from http://gnuwin32.sourceforge.net/packages/libiconv.htm. You want "Binaries" and "Developer files". Unzip both downloaded files to your MinGW directory.

MSYS with MinGW


  • Can I mix MSYS executables and other executables?
    • NO! Avoid that at all costs.
      • You may install the MinGW and MSYS packages anywhere on your filesystem, even nesting one within the other (creating a "mingw" subdirectory beneath your "msys" directory, for instance). However, it is important to remember that NO executables other than what ships with MSYS should be placed in the MSYS " bin" subdirectory. Therefore, do not attempt to "merge" the two packages.

Older versions


  • Can I use older versions?
    • It's highly recommended that you use the latest version of MinGW. Older versions may have more bugs and can be more difficult to install or use than the latest version. Please be sure that you have downloaded and are working with the latest version, especially if you are having any difficulties with installation or use. If you are not sure of your version, you can type gcc -v to find out what you are using.



  • Using WinZip, the files contained in my tar file are converted from LF to CR/LF. How can I avoid this?
    • Make sure that you first uncheck the "TAR file smart CR/LF conversion" checkbox found in the Configuration -> Miscellaneous tab of the Options menu of ~WinZip

Ask for help

Asking for Help

  • I can't find the answer to my question here; what can I do now?
    • The MinGW Project operates a mailing list, to which you are encouraged to subscribe:
      • The MinGW-Users List for questions related to using, installing or configuring the MinGW distributed tool sets; this list is also now the preferred forum for discussion of MSYS issues, (but please be advised that it does not offer support for the products of the renegade mingw-w64 and MSYS2 projects, neither of which is affiliated with MinGW.org).

MinGW cross compiler for Linux build environment

If you're currently interested in a working MinGW cross compiler for Linux, check out the following project:
MinGW cross compiling environment. They have their own mailing list with support for this project (and are separate from the MinGW project and its mailing lists). They use makefiles to build a MinGW cross-compiler and several useful libraries. The makefiles are similar to the BSD ports project and even resemble the Arch build scripts in some ways.

Rest of page updated to current status, as of 15-September-2008.

Previous content of this page was confused, misleading and obsolete. Nevertheless, if you wish to refer to this older content, you may find it here.

pthreads library

Pthreads is part of POSIX and Windows isn't a POSIX system. However, there is a third party library on sourceware.org named pthreads-win32. Sourceware.org provides its own lists and MinGW does not support it but you are free to use it with MinGW at your own risk.


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