Revision of Getting Started from 2010, September 2 - 03:00

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This page will guide you through a typical, one size fits all, installation of MinGW. If you are new to MinGW, you may wish to refer to the MinGW page to learn which packages are required, and which tools are used to perform which tasks. For more advanced installation instructions, refer to HOWTO Install the MinGW (GCC) Compiler Suite. There is also some introductory information for users who are new to MinGW.

MinGW Installation Notes

MinGW may have problems with paths containing spaces, and if not, usually other programs used with MinGW will experience problems with such paths. Thus, we strongly recommend that you do not install MinGW in any location with spaces in the path name reference; i.e. you should avoid installing into any subdirectory of "Program Files" or "My Documents", or the like.

No version numbering convention exists for MinGW as a whole. Each package has its own version number, and the installer version number does not necessarily reflect the version number of any individual package which it installs.

Automated Installer

The recommended tool for automated installation is mingw-get; although currently designated 'alpha', this is already capable of installing GCC 4.5 and the basic (optional) MSYS shell environment recommended to support it. (Do note, however, that since it is still under development, we may ask you to manually perform some follow-up actions, which you might rightfully expect the installer to complete for you; eventually it will, but in the meantime, please bear with us).

Download the mingw-get installer and extract the files to the C:\MinGW directory using a program that can extract zip files. Recent versions of Windows may support this directly from the Windows Explorer; alternatively you may use a program such as 7-Zip.

Add C:\MinGW\bin; to the PATH environment variable by opening the System control panel, going to the Advanced tab, and clicking the Environment Variables button. If you currently have a Command Prompt window open, it will not recognize the change to the environment variables; you will need to open a new Command Prompt window to get the new PATH.

At the Command Prompt, type the command

mingw-get install gcc

to download and install the C compiler, and its requisite support packages; (mingwrt, w32api and binutils, for those interested).Additionally, you can specify any or all of the following additional packages:

  • g++ (C++ compiler)
  • fortran (Fortran 90/95 compiler)
  • ada (Ada compiler)
  • java (Java compiler)
  • objc (Objective-C compiler)
  • mingw32-make (GNU make)
  • gdb (GNU debugger)
  • msys-base (MSYS shell environment)

For example, the command

mingw-get install gcc g++ mingw32-make

will install the C compiler, C++ compiler, and make utility.You can install more additional packages at any time. For example, the command

mingw-get install fortran gdb

will add the Fortran 90/95 compiler and debugger to the existing installation.If you choose to also install 'msys-base', note that its default installation path is 'C:\MSYS\1.0', and the easiest way to start the shell is by running the msys.bat file found in that directory. You may also wish to run the command


within the MSYS shell, the first time you start it. (This is a temporary measure, to establish bindings between your MinGW and MSYS installations; it will become unnecessary, when a post-install scripting capability is added to mingw-get).

The mingw-get release notes contain more detailed information about the configuration and use of the mingw-get installer. GCC documentation, make documentation, and GDB documentation are available online.

Manual Installation

As an alternative to the automated installer, you may install MinGW by manually downloading and extracting individual components. Please refer to the release notes for detailed notes, including known issues.

Before proceeding, you are encouraged to also consult the release notes for each individual package; links to these will be found adjacent to each package file entry, on the MinGW Download Page.

Download at least the following (or newer) packages from the MinGW Download Page; where two or more component packages are indicated, you need both / all of them. (Note that the package links provided here refer to current releases at the time of writing; these links may not necessarily be updated immediately, when new releases become available):

These are the minimum requirements for a working MinGW GCC toolchain for C.

Optionally you may want to add any of the following additional languages; (for each which you choose to install, you need both the bin and the dll component packages):

  • gcc-g++ (bin and dll) for C++
  • gcc-objc (bin and dll) for Objective C
  • gcc-gfortran (bin and dll) for Fortran 90/95
  • gcc-java (not yet available) for Java
  • gcc-ada (bin and dll) for Ada

Note that the GCC versions of these files must match the GCC version of the gcc-core installed.

Optionally you may want to add any of the following additional utilities:

You may also want the following additional features:

You will also need a program that can extract .tar.gz and .tar.lzma files, such as 7-Zip or command-line tar, gzip, and lzma tools. A basic standalone tar program bsdtar that includes gz and lzma support is available from the MinGW project.

Create a directory (e.g. C:\MinGW), download all packages to C:\MinGW, extract the files from each package, and add C:\MinGW\bin; to your PATH environment variable:


C:\Documents and Settings\Owner>cd /d c:\ 
C:\>md MinGW
C:\>cd MinGW

Download all packages to C:\MinGW

C:\MinGW>7z x binutils-2.20.51-1-mingw32-bin.tar.lzma
C:\MinGW>7z x binutils-2.20.51-1-mingw32-bin.tar
C:\MinGW>7z x mingwrt-3.18-mingw32-dev.tar.gz
C:\MinGW>7z x mingwrt-3.18-mingw32-dev.tar
C:\MinGW>7z x mingwrt-3.18-mingw32-dll.tar.gz
C:\MinGW>7z x mingwrt-3.18-mingw32-dll.tar
C:\MinGW>7z x w32api-3.15-1-mingw32-dev.tar.lzma
C:\MinGW>7z x w32api-3.15-1-mingw32-dev.tar
C:\MinGW>7z x mpc-0.8.1-1-mingw32-dev.tar.lzma
C:\MinGW>7z x mpc-0.8.1-1-mingw32-dev.tar
C:\MinGW>7z x libmpc-0.8.1-1-mingw32-dll-2.tar.lzma
C:\MinGW>7z x libmpc-0.8.1-1-mingw32-dll-2.tar
C:\MinGW>7z x mpfr-2.4.1-1-mingw32-dev.tar.lzma
C:\MinGW>7z x mpfr-2.4.1-1-mingw32-dev.tar
C:\MinGW>7z x libmpfr-2.4.1-1-mingw32-dll-1.tar.lzma
C:\MinGW>7z x libmpfr-2.4.1-1-mingw32-dll-1.tar
C:\MinGW>7z x gmp-5.0.1-1-mingw32-dev.tar.lzma
C:\MinGW>7z x gmp-5.0.1-1-mingw32-dev.tar
C:\MinGW>7z x libgmp-5.0.1-1-mingw32-dll-10.tar.lzma
C:\MinGW>7z x libgmp-5.0.1-1-mingw32-dll-10.tar
C:\MinGW>7z x pthreads-w32-2.8.0-3-mingw32-dev.tar.lzma
C:\MinGW>7z x pthreads-w32-2.8.0-3-mingw32-dev.tar
C:\MinGW>7z x libgomp-4.5.0-1-mingw32-dll-1.tar.lzma
C:\MinGW>7z x libgomp-4.5.0-1-mingw32-dll-1.tar
C:\MinGW>7z x libssp-4.5.0-1-mingw32-dll-0.tar.lzma
C:\MinGW>7z x libssp-4.5.0-1-mingw32-dll-0.tar
C:\MinGW>7z x gcc-core-4.5.0-1-mingw32-bin.tar.lzma
C:\MinGW>7z x gcc-core-4.5.0-1-mingw32-bin.tar
C:\MinGW>7z x libgcc-4.5.0-1-mingw32-dll-1.tar.lzma
C:\MinGW>7z x libgcc-4.5.0-1-mingw32-dll-1.tar
C:\MinGW>set path=C:\MinGW\bin;%path%

The whole C:\MinGW subtree is fully relocatable which means there can be several different versions of the MinGW toolchain installed in parallel, e.g. in directories C:\MinGW-3.4.5 and C:\MinGW-4.5.0. Switching between these is merely a matter of renaming directories, assuming C:\MinGW\bin; has been added to the path. You can permanently add C:\MinGW\bin; to the path by opening the System control panel, going to the Advanced tab, and clicking the Environment Variables button.

Updating single packages (e.g. when there is a new version of the w32api) can be done by copying the new package to C:\MinGW and unpacking as above to overwrite the older version. This manual update also works with an initial automated install.

Re: Getting Started


Re: Getting Started

I was trying to install the mingw in the order of files that is above (binutils, mingw-runtime, w32api...) and when I was trying to install the gcc core, appeared a message asking me about overwrite a file called "libiberty" (I don't remember in this moment the extension). What libiberty is the correct to leave, the first or the libiberty that is in the gcc core?

Re: Getting Started

earnie's picture

It doesn't matter which one you keep. The libiberty.a file is an artifact of both binutils and gcc with the unfortunate side affect of the file being installed with the ``make install command which is the real error here. The two packages should never install the file but the way the iberty library is packaged within both with a separate ``make install' command allows this to happen. The iberty library is packaged with each because of both the GPL and the GNU Coding Standard.

MinGW 5.1.6 Error: mismatched long filename


MinGW-5.1.6.exe, binutils-2.20-1-mingw32-bin.tar.gz, mingwrt-3.16-mingw32-dev.tar.gz, mingwrt-3.16-mingw32-dll.tar.gz, w32api-3.14-mingw32-dev.tar.gz, make-3.81-20090914-mingw32-bin.tar.gz from, and

gcc-core-4.4.2.tar.gz, gcc-g++-4.4.2.tar.gz, gcc-fortran-4.4.2.tar.gz, gcc-ada-4.4.2.tar.gz, gcc-java-4.4.2.tar.gz, gcc-objc-4.4.2.tar.gz from mirror ftp

2)-----------modify mingw.ini like this:-------------


















3)-----------------------install mingw 5.1.6---------------------------

disconnect->run mingw.exe->"download and install"->"current"->"full"->c:\mingw

it start correctly but, there's always an error message while extracting gcc-g++-4.4.2.tar.gz :

Writing gcc-4.4.2/libstdc++-v3/testsuite/26_numerics/adjacent_difference/

tgz_extract: mismatched long filename

Error: Failure reading from tarball.

my OS: windowsxp sp3

file system: ntfs

Re: MinGW 5.1.6 Error: mismatched long filename

keith's picture

Please read the article again.

You cannot use MinGW-5.1.6.exe to install any version of GCC later than 3.4.5. Neither can you gerrymander it, to build from sources downloaded from any repository other than our own SF distribution; it requires the pre-built binary package files, which we provide.

What you are trying to do is both unsupported and impossible, with the deprecated installer package you are trying to use.

Re: Getting Started

I notice that someone has very helpfully updated this page according to information from the "release notes". Could someone add a link to the release notes on this page? That would also be very helpful. Also, does one need to install both the "bin" and "dll" versions of the packages, or just one of them? In either case, it would be very helpful to disambiguate the commas to either "and" or "or", or if punctuation is preferred, "&" or "/". Thanks!

Re: Getting Started

The release note for MinGW GCC 4.4.0 can be found here.

Re: Getting Started

After reading all the comments so I could complete the installation, thanks!

Re: Getting Started

very use full article thanks alot and thats so nice

Re: Getting Started


This may be a trivial problem but in spite of updating the path variable (c:\MinGW\bin), gcc/g77/etc. does not work from command line. It works fine in the c:\MinGW\bin directory as well as on my other computer. I am not sure what the problem could be. Any suggestions?

With kind regards,

Re: Getting Started


I just installed and had exactly the same problem.
It's not that obvious, you need to set the mount
point of the MinGW directory in the Msys environment.

as a start, just try coping /etc/fstab.sample to /etc/fstab and
restarting the msys..



Re: Getting Started

Hi guys.

Will mingw work on future versions of windows?

I'm upgrading to Vista in a short time and i want to know how much 'upgrading' will make me suffer.

My guess is that you guys at Mingw should develop a new version for Vista?

Or is it just the same? What about the Win32 Api? There are surely additions with newer versions of windows.



Re: Getting Started

keith's picture

I find it really insulting, when someone says "you guys should...".

This is an Open Source project, developed by volunteers in their spare time. You have no right to tell me what I should, or should not do with my spare time. Why should I, rather than you do that?

AFAIK, MinGW already does work with Vista, but why don't you just try it, and see; then contribute on the basis of your experience, either in the form of patches, or failing that, bug reports?

Re: Getting Started

Please include the gdb package in the automatic installer.

I need advice on how to install gdb manually. I have two download files:



I plan to use the .tar.gz2 download for the installation and your instructions for that seem clear enough. Is the patch file required for this installation? That is, do I need to apply the patch file to the extracted content from the .tar.gz2 archive or is the patch file only used with the src download?


Re: Getting Started

keith's picture

GDB is an entirely separate product from GCC. It is not a prerequisite for running GCC, as are the majority of other packages which are installed by MinGW-5.x, and hence it is not imperative that MinGW-5.x should install it. However, the same argument for exclusion could be applied, in the case of mingw32-make, which is included; conversely, the inclusion of mingw32-make sets a precedent for the possible inclusion of GDB. Ultimately, the decision on that is down to the package maintainer; since MinGW-5.x is currently unmaintained, don't expect it to happen any time soon.

mingw-get, when it eventually becomes available, will install any package -- and optionally all of them -- which is distributed by the MinGW Project.

I'm confused by your reference to gdb-6.8-mingw-3.tar.gz2, for there is no such thing as gz2 compression; it is either bz2 or gz. In this case, I assume you mean the binary release file gdb-6.8-mingw-3.tar.bz2, rather than the source tarball, gdb-6.8-mingw-3-src.tar.gz.

The gdb-6.8-mingw-3-patch file, to which you refer, (and by which I assume you mean gdb-6.8-mingw-3.patch), details the source code changes to mainline gdb-6.8 sources, which were applied to achieve this gdb-6.8-mingw-3 release candidate, (which strictly, should be called gdb-6.8-mingw32-3). They are of interest only to those integrating mingw32 support into mainline GDB; you do not need them, if your only interest is in deployment of gdb-6.8-mingw-3.tar.bz2. (It isn't immediately obvious if these patches have already been incorporated into the local sources, gdb-6.8-mingw-3-src.tar.gz -- I am not the maintainer of this package -- but the naming convention would suggest that they have).

Re: Getting Started

I agree it would be convenient to include gdb. how many programmers are there who want to install a compiler and don't want to also install the debugger?

at the least, it would be useful to just outline the basic steps to install gdb. I downloaded the same files as darrenleeweber and had the same questions-- minGW's default installation (at least with g++ alone) does not include bzip2, nor are there any instructions on how to install these packages. here's what I did after downloading the binary gdb distro. I haven't used gsb before so I can't guarantee this approach works properly, but fyi:
1. download the bzip2 executable from, rename to "bzip.exe" and put in a path folder (e.g. c:\minGW\bin). in the following, I assume you use c:\minGW as the base minGW folder
2. if you don't have it, install winzip or 7-zip
3. unpack the tarball: C:\MinGW> bzip2 -d C:\MinGW\gdb-6.8-mingw-3.tar.bz2
4. using winzip or 7-zip, unpack the resulting gdb-6.8-mingw-3.tar file to folder "gdb-6.8-mingw-3". I did not try to, and do not recommend you try to, extract into the current directory, since it could overwrite some of your shared libs etc that are being used for the rest of your minGW platform.
5. copy gdb.exe into C:\MinGW\bin. one possible problem with this is that gdb.exe might not be consistent with the versions of libs and other shared files in the minGW platform you have installed. It seemed to work for me using minGW 4.4.

Re: Getting Started

Keith, g++ link worked. Thanks for your time.

Re: Getting Started

It would be nice if the automated installer gets updated and restructured a little bit... I know, there is no time, but the installation process could be a little easier. It would be great if one could choose a major version instead of previous, current, candidate.... I mean candidate what? Then the mingw project has a lot of extra utilities that could be bundled with the download as well, like gdb or msys! yes very nice utilities! It would break the confusion between all the different download packages one has at sourceforge, since there is no real documentation about what belongs to what and which package is stable.

Re: Getting Started

keith's picture

What you describe is very much what we hope to provide, with the `mingw-get' package currently under development; however, there is currently no forecast as to when this may become available.

Re: Getting Started

which environment is used to let GCC find the include and library in? There are 2 reasons I do this:

1. I do not like to install some c-lib to my MINGW directory, because I don't use it frequently. I can delete them easily - is there any other method do something like "make uninstall"?

2. I do like to install 3rd-part lib into /local, which is h:\mingw\msys\local, to make my MINGW clean and small

and on windows, I have tried 2 types(let's think "lib" is used to search libaray files)

[code, which is added in a batch file ]

set lib=h:\mingw\msys\local\lib;%lib%

set include=h:\mingw\msys\local\include;%include%



[code, which is added into profile or typed in msys]

set LIB=/h/mingw/msys/local/lib:$LIB

set INCLUDE=/h/mingw/msys/local/include:$INCLUDE


but none works. I have always to add


-I/h/mingw/msys/local/include -L/h/mingw/msys/local/lib


to the gcc command-line by hand. That make me tired.

So is there any hints to set the environment automatically everytime to save my time?


Re: Getting Started

keith's picture

See IncludePathHOWTO and SpecsFileHOWTO, (and do heed my comment following the latter).

Re: Getting Started

The G++ download is dead...

Re: Getting Started

The gcc-g++ download link works OK for me.

Re: Getting Started

SourceForge self-extractor:

  • Extracting gcc-g++-3.4.5-20060117-3.tar.gz
  • untgz::extract -d 'C:\add\MinGW' -z 'C:\add\gcc-g++-3.4.5-20060117-3.tar.gz'
  • tgz_extract: bad header checksum
  • Error: Failure reading from tarball.

Re: Getting Started

I had the same problem.

Manually downloading the file made the install successful.

Re: Getting Started, gcc-g++...tar.gz

I have the same problem, the gcc-g++-3.4.5-20060117-3.tar.gz does not install
I cannot open it like the other files with winzip

Re: Getting Started, gcc-g++...tar.gz

SourceF@#$e is acting up. It looks like its sending people to this URL to download the g++:

Just take the leading dot out and drop it in the same dir as your MinGW install and you should be good to go.

Re: Getting Started, gcc-g++...tar.gz

Since the mirror is missing in the link for gcc-g++-3.4.5-20060117-3.tar.gz, entering the following worked for me:
I just put the user_mirror=superb-west (which I noticed for other packages).

Re: Getting Started, gcc-g++...tar.gz

keith's picture

That doesn't work, for me -- it just jumps to the top level `files' page.

The correct format for the direct link is actually:


If you don't have a favourite mirror, or you don't know its name, please choose one from the list here, (or use `osdn', for SourceForge's master repository, which might help to annoy them into fixing their bug a bit quicker).

Re: Getting Started, gcc-g++...tar.gz

Those links work perfect for me, I have downloaded and uncompressed the files succesfully,


Re: Getting Started, gcc-g++...tar.gz


I can´t download the g++ files. Link broken.

What can I do?

Re: Getting Started, gcc-g++...tar.gz

keith's picture

Duh? What about reading the comments above, which tell you exactly that?

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