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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 with Visual C++
Open a Visual Studio Command prompt or the SDK CMD shell.
Using the CMD Shell:
choose the right environment via the setenv command (see setenv /?)
for the full list of options. setenv /xp /x86 /release for example.
Using the Visual Studio command prompt Shell:
Everything is already pre-configured by calling one of the command
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> - 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_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
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, or installation from:
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)
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.
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.