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Building with Visual C++, prerequisites
This document describes how to compile, build and install curl and libcurl
from sources using the Visual C++ build tool. To build with VC++, you will
of course have to first install VC++. The minimum required version of
VC is 6 (part of Visual Studio 6). However using a more recent version is
strongly recommended.
VC++ is also part of the Windows Platform SDK. You do not have to install
the full Visual Studio or Visual C++ if all you want is to build curl.
The latest Platform SDK can be downloaded freely from:
If you are building with VC6 then you will also need the February 2003
Edition of the Platform SDK which can be downloaded from:
If you wish to support zlib, openssl, c-ares, ssh2, you will have to download
them separately and copy them to the deps directory as shown below:
| |_winbuild
|_ lib
|_ include
|_ bin
It is also possible to create the deps directory in some other random
places and tell the Makefile its location using the WITH_DEVEL option.
Building straight from git
When you check out code git and build it, as opposed from a released source
code archive, you need to first run the "buildconf.bat" batch file (present
in the source code root directory) to set things up.
Building with Visual C++
Open a Visual Studio Command prompt:
Using the 'Developer Command Prompt for VS <version>' menu entry:
where version is the Visual Studio version. The developer prompt at default
uses the x86 mode. It is required to call Vcvarsall.bat to setup the prompt
for the machine type you want, using Vcvarsall.bat.
This type of command prompt may not exist in all Visual Studio versions.
For more information, check:
Using the 'VS <version> <platform> <type> Command Prompt' menu entry:
where version is the Visual Studio version, platform is e.g. x64
and type Native of Cross platform build. This type of command prompt
may not exist in all Visual Studio versions.
See also:
Once you are in the console, go to the winbuild directory in the Curl
cd curl-src\winbuild
Then you can call nmake /f with the desired options (see below).
The builds will be in the top src directory, builds\ directory, in
a directory named using the options given to the nmake call.
nmake /f mode=<static or dll> <options>
where <options> is one or many of:
VC=<6,7,8,9,10,11,12,14,15> - VC versions
WITH_DEVEL=<path> - Paths for the development files (SSL, zlib, etc.)
Defaults to sibbling directory deps: ../deps
Libraries can be fetched at
Uncompress them into the deps folder.
WITH_SSL=<dll or static> - Enable OpenSSL support, DLL or static
WITH_NGHTTP2=<dll or static> - Enable HTTP/2 support, DLL or static
WITH_MBEDTLS=<dll or static> - Enable mbedTLS support, DLL or static
WITH_CARES=<dll or static> - Enable c-ares support, DLL or static
WITH_ZLIB=<dll or static> - Enable zlib support, DLL or static
WITH_SSH2=<dll or static> - Enable libSSH2 support, DLL or static
WITH_PREFIX=<dir> - Where to install the build
ENABLE_SSPI=<yes or no> - Enable SSPI support, defaults to yes
ENABLE_IPV6=<yes or no> - Enable IPv6, defaults to yes
ENABLE_IDN=<yes or no> - Enable use of Windows IDN APIs, defaults to yes
Requires Windows Vista or later
ENABLE_WINSSL=<yes or no> - Enable native Windows SSL support, defaults to yes
GEN_PDB=<yes or no> - Generate Program Database (debug symbols for release build)
DEBUG=<yes or no> - Debug builds
MACHINE=<x86 or x64> - Target architecture (default is x86)
CARES_PATH=<path to cares> - Custom path for c-ares
MBEDTLS_PATH=<path to mbedTLS> - Custom path for mbedTLS
NGHTTP2_PATH=<path to HTTP/2> - Custom path for nghttp2
SSH2_PATH=<path to libSSH2> - Custom path for libSSH2
SSL_PATH=<path to OpenSSL> - Custom path for OpenSSL
ZLIB_PATH=<path to zlib> - Custom path for zlib
Static linking of Microsoft's C RunTime (CRT):
If you are using mode=static nmake will create and link to the static build of
libcurl but *not* the static CRT. If you must you can force nmake to link in
the static CRT by passing RTLIBCFG=static. Typically you shouldn't use that
option, and nmake will default to the DLL CRT. RTLIBCFG is rarely used and
therefore rarely tested. When passing RTLIBCFG for a configuration that was
already built but not with that option, or if the option was specified
differently, you must destroy the build directory containing the configuration
so that nmake can build it from scratch.
Building your own application with a static libcurl
When building an application that uses the static libcurl library on Windows,
you must define CURL_STATICLIB. Otherwise the linker will look for dynamic
import symbols.
Legacy Windows and SSL
When you build curl using the build files in this directory the default SSL
backend will be WinSSL (Windows SSPI, more specifically Schannel), the native
SSL library that comes with the Windows OS. WinSSL in Windows <= XP is not able
to connect to servers that no longer support the legacy handshakes and
algorithms used by those versions. If you will be using curl in one of those
earlier versions of Windows you should choose another SSL backend like OpenSSL.