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WARNING: This page is deprecated, for updated instructions please follow:

This page will help you to compile VLC media player for Windows.

Building Methods

If you want to build VLC from source, you have several choices:

Method Documentation Notes
MinGW on Linux Obtaining the toolchain Preferred method involving cross-compilation from Linux. On computers running Microsoft Windows, a virtual machine is necessary to run Linux.
MSYS+MinGW on Windows Compile with MSys Native compilation method. MSYS is a minimal build environment to compile Unix-style projects directly on Microsoft Windows. This is not officially supported by VideoLAN. Best of luck.
Cygwin on Windows Compile with Cygwin Cygwin method. Cygwin emulates a POSIX environment to compile on Microsoft Windows. This is error-prone and slow and therefore not recommended.

Obtaining the cross-compilation toolchain

All this howto is focused on Debian/Ubuntu. For other distribution, please find the related package names, but they should be very similar.

Ubuntu 14.04 is too old to compile VLC.

Host triplet

A number of commands below include the toolchain identifier, called the host triplet.

This value is essential: it instructs the build system to use the correct toolchain and compile the program for Windows. Without the value, the build system will perform a native compilation for Linux (or whatever your computer runs). With an incorrect value, the build will fail.

The exact value depends on your installation of the toolchain.

Notably on Debian/Ubuntu, these values must be used:

  • i686-w64-mingw32 for Windows 32-bits, using the Mingw-w64 toolchain
  • x86_64-w64-mingw32 for Windows 64-bits, using the Mingw-w64 toolchain

Please make sure that you replace the keywords HOST-TRIPLET with either i686-w64-mingw32 or x86_64-w64-mingw32 adapted to your target Windows version (32-bit or 64-bit, respectively)

Compiler and binary toolchain


To compile VLC for Windows (32-bits or 64-bits), the Mingw-w64 toolchain is required:

For the 32-bit version, run this:

# apt-get install gcc-mingw-w64-i686 g++-mingw-w64-i686 mingw-w64-tools

For the 64-bit version, this becomes:

# apt-get install gcc-mingw-w64-x86-64 g++-mingw-w64-x86-64 mingw-w64-tools

NB: you need mingw-w64 version 5.0.1 to compile it.

Development tools

You will also need:

  • lua (5.2)
  • all autotools: libtool, automake, autoconf, autopoint, make, gettext, pkg-config
  • qt4-dev-tools, qt5-default (or qt4-default if qt plugin build fails)
  • git, subversion cmake, cvs if you want to rebuild contribs
  • wine-dev for creating Win32 packages
  • zip [for creating .zip package], p7zip [for .7z package], nsis [for .exe auto-installer], bzip2 [for 'make prebuild]


# apt-get install lua5.2 libtool automake autoconf autopoint make gettext pkg-config
# apt-get install qt4-dev-tools qt5-default git subversion cmake cvs 
# apt-get install wine64-development-tools libwine-dev zip p7zip nsis bzip2
# apt-get install yasm ragel ant default-jdk protobuf-compiler dos2unix

Get the source code

$ git clone vlc

See Git for more information.

Go into the VLC directory

$ cd vlc

Prepare 3rd party libraries

VLC depends on a sizable number of third party libraries. Before compiling VLC, you need to obtain compiled versions of those. There are two ways to achieve that:

  • The prebuilt approach is much faster and easier, but only works with a narrow set of VLC versions.
  • The manual build approach takes a lot of time and disk space, and somewhat error-prone.

Please note that the prebuilt library versions are intended for the latest current stable release of VLC. It is not compatible with old VLC versions, nor with newer or future versions.

At the time of writing (late 2016), the prebuilt libraries work with VLC 2.2.x only. To compile the VLC 3.0.x development branch, DO NOT USE the prebuilt libraries.

Prebuilt (fast)

 $ mkdir -p contrib/win32
 $ cd contrib/win32
 $ ../bootstrap --host=HOST-TRIPLET
 $ make prebuilt

Manually built (slow)

Or, if you want to compile the contribs yourself and are feeling adventurous and have lots of time to burn:

 # apt-get install subversion yasm cvs cmake ragel autopoint
 $ mkdir -p contrib/win32
 $ cd contrib/win32
 $ ../bootstrap --host=HOST-TRIPLET
 $ make fetch
 $ make

Linux 64-bit

If you are on Linux 64-bit, you SHOULD remove some files, or install the lib32 packages (ia32-libs, multilibs, etc...)

 $ rm -f ../i686-w64-mingw32/bin/moc ../i686-w64-mingw32/bin/uic ../i686-w64-mingw32/bin/rcc

Fix your contrib path

If your host triplet is not i686-w64-mingw32 (you are not compiling for Debian or Ubuntu), create a symlink to contribs:

$ ln -sf 'HOST-TRIPLET' ../i686-w64-mingw32

Notice that there is no ../ before the host triplet. This is intentional, and if done properly, you should see a functioning symbolic link created in the parent directory (try ls -l .. and you should see i686-w64-mingw32 -> x86_64-w64-mingw32/).

Go Back

Go back to the VLC source directory:

 $ cd -

Configuring the build


First, prepare the tree:

 $ ./bootstrap


Then you can to configure the build with the ./configure script.

Create a subfolder:

 $ mkdir win32 && cd win32

Set your PKG_CONFIG_LIBDIR (Adapt the path to reflect your local setup)

 $ export PKG_CONFIG_LIBDIR=$HOME/vlc/contrib/HOST-TRIPLET/lib/pkgconfig
 $ export PKG_CONFIG_PATH_CUSTOM=$PKG_CONFIG_LIBDIR (for Archlinux only)

Execute the build configuration script:

$ ../extras/package/win32/ --host=HOST-TRIPLET --build=x86_64-pc-linux-gnu

N.B.: Use the host and build tuples respectively corresponding to your cross-compilation toolchain and build system respectively. The example above assumes you are compiling for Windows OS and Intel 686 architecture, and the build system is GNU/Linux OS and x86 64-bits architecture. See above for list of common values.

Also, if you have a problem here (such as an error about Library dvdread), see the Talk page.

Alternatively, you can run configure manually:

$ ../configure --host=HOST-TRIPLET --build=x86_64-pc-linux-gnu

See '../configure --help' for more information.

Building VLC

Once configured, to build VLC, just run:

 $ make

Packaging VLC

Once the compilation is done, you can build self-contained VLC packages with the following make rules:

Command Description
make package-win-common Creates a subdirectory named vlc-x.x.x with all the binaries. You can run VLC directly from this directory.
make package-win-strip Same as above but will create 'stripped' binaries (that is, smallest size, unusable with a debugger).
make package-win32-7zip Same as above but will package the directory in a 7z file.
make package-win32-zip Same as above but will package the directory in a zip file.
make package-win32 Same as above but will also create an auto-installer package. You must have NSIS installed in its default location for this to work.

Well done—you're ready to use VLC!

Extra information

Static compilation of plugins

You might want to use the following script to enforce static compilation. Run as root, and use at your own risk.

 # This script enforces statically linking of libgcc, libstdc++-6, and libpthread,
 # without needing to rebuild gcc and mingw-w64 from scratch.
 # -static-libgcc -static-libstdc++ flags can not be used in a libtool build system,
 # as libtool removes flags that it doesn't understand.
 move() {
     [ -f $1 ] || return 1
     mkdir -p old/
     mv -v $* old/
     return 0
 for x in i686 x86_64
     library_path_list=`$x-w64-mingw32-gcc -v /dev/null 2>&1 | grep ^LIBRARY_PATH|cut -d= -f2|sort|uniq`
     for i in $library_path_list
         cd $i
         move libstdc++-6.dll libstdc++.dll.a libgcc_s.a libgcc_s_sjlj-1.dll && ln -s libgcc_eh.a libgcc_s.a
         move libpthread.dll.a libwinpthread.dll.a
         move libwinpthread-1.dll
         [ -d ../bin ] && cd ../bin && move libwinpthread-1.dll
 exit 0


Up to versions 2.0.x, VLC was compiled with the older mingw32 toolchain, which only supports 32-bits Windows. If you have problems with mingw-w64, you can try mingw32 instead:

  • Debian/Ubuntu: run apt-get install gcc-mingw32 mingw32-binutils. Note that at least version 3.17 of Mingw32 is required, which Debian does not provide. You may obtain mingw32-runtime-3.17 here.
  • Gentoo users can emerge crossdev && crossdev mingw32
  • ArchLinux users can pacman -S mingw32-gcc
  • Fedora users should read Win32Compile Under Fedora
  • Other Linux systems may attempt