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This document contains instructions how to build the FreeType library
on non-Unix systems with the help of GNU Make. Note that if you are
running Cygwin or MinGW/MSYS in Windows, you should follow the
instructions in the file `INSTALL.UNIX' instead.
FreeType 2 includes a powerful and flexible build system that allows
you to easily compile it on a great variety of platforms from the
command line. To do so, just follow these simple instructions.
1. Install GNU Make
Because GNU Make is the only Make tool supported to compile
FreeType 2, you should install it on your machine.
The FreeType 2 build system relies on many features special to GNU
Note that make++, a make tool written in Perl, supports enough
features of GNU make to compile FreeType. See
for more information; you need version 2.0 or newer, and you must
pass option `--norc-substitution'.
Make sure that you are invoking GNU Make from the command line, by
typing something like:
make -v
to display its version number.
2. Invoke `make'
Go to the root directory of FreeType 2, then simply invoke GNU
Make from the command line. This will launch the FreeType 2 host
platform detection routines. A summary will be displayed, for
example, on Win32.
FreeType build system -- automatic system detection
The following settings are used:
platform windows
compiler gcc
configuration directory .\builds\windows
configuration rules .\builds\windows\
If this does not correspond to your system or settings please
remove the file '' from this directory then read the
INSTALL file for help.
Otherwise, simply type 'make' again to build the library
or 'make refdoc' to build the API reference (the latter needs
Python >= 3.5).
If the detected settings correspond to your platform and compiler,
skip to step 5. Note that if your platform is completely alien to
the build system, the detected platform will be `ansi'.
3. Configure the build system for a different compiler
If the build system correctly detected your platform, but you want
to use a different compiler than the one specified in the summary
(for most platforms, gcc is the default compiler), invoke GNU Make
make setup <compiler>
to use Visual C++ on Win32, type: `make setup visualc'
to use Borland C++ on Win32, type `make setup bcc32'
to use Watcom C++ on Win32, type `make setup watcom'
to use Intel C++ on Win32, type `make setup intelc'
to use LCC-Win32 on Win32, type: `make setup lcc'
to use Watcom C++ on OS/2, type `make setup watcom'
to use VisualAge C++ on OS/2, type `make setup visualage'
The <compiler> name to use is platform-dependent. The list of
available compilers for your system is available in the file
If you are satisfied by the new configuration summary, skip to
step 5.
4. Configure the build system for an unknown platform/compiler
The auto-detection/setup phase of the build system copies a file
to the current directory under the name `'.
For example, on OS/2+gcc, it would simply copy
`builds/os2/' to `./'.
If for some reason your platform isn't correctly detected, copy
manually the configuration sub-makefile to `./' and go to
step 5.
Note that this file is a sub-Makefile used to specify Make
variables for compiler and linker invocation during the build.
You can easily create your own version from one of the existing
configuration files, then copy it to the current directory under
the name `./'.
5. Build the library
The auto-detection/setup phase should have copied a file in the
current directory, called `./'. This file contains
definitions of various Make variables used to invoke the compiler
and linker during the build. [It has also generated a file called
`ftmodule.h' in the objects directory (which is normally
`<toplevel>/objs/'); please read the file `docs/CUSTOMIZE' for
customization of FreeType.]
To launch the build, simply invoke GNU Make again: The top
Makefile will detect the configuration file and run the build with
Final note
The above instructions build a _statically_ linked library of the
font engine in the `objs' directory. On Windows, you can build a
DLL either with MinGW (within an MSYS shell, following the
instructions in `INSTALL.UNIX'), or you use one of the Visual C++
project files; see the subdirectories of `builds/windows'. For
everything else, you are on your own, and you might follow the
instructions in `INSTALL.ANY' to create your own Makefiles.
Copyright (C) 2003-2020 by
David Turner, Robert Wilhelm, and Werner Lemberg.
This file is part of the FreeType project, and may only be used,
modified, and distributed under the terms of the FreeType project
license, LICENSE.TXT. By continuing to use, modify, or distribute
this file you indicate that you have read the license and understand
and accept it fully.
--- end of INSTALL.GNU ---