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How to compile VLC media player for Windows.

Building Methods

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

Method Documentation Notes
Cross-compile with Mingw on Linux This page Preferred method (uses cross compilation). On Windows, you should do it in a virtual machine.
Native compilation with MSYS+MINGW Win32CompileMSYSNew Native compilation method. MSYS is a minimal build environment to compile Unixish projects under Microsoft Windows.
Native compilation with cygwin Win32CompileCygwinNew Build using cygwin as your compile environment. Error prone, and slow.

Obtaining the toolchain

Each build method requires its own toolchain:


You will also need:

  • lua5.1
  • all autotools: libtool, automake, autoconf, autopoint, make, gettext
  • pkg-config
  • git
  • subversion
  • cmake, cvs if you want to rebuild contribs
  • zip [for creating .zip package], p7zip [for .7z package], nsis [for .exe auto-installer].

Get the source code

$ git clone git://

Prepare 3rd party libraries

Before compiling VLC, you need lots of other libraries. Here is how to get them:

 $ mkdir -p contrib/win32
 $ cd contrib/win32
 $ ../bootstrap --host=i586-mingw32msvc
 $ make prebuilt

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

 $ mkdir -p contrib/win32
 $ cd contrib/win32
 $ ../bootstrap --host=i586-mingw32msvc
 $ make fetch
 $ make

Linux 64bits

If you are on linux 64bits, you MUST remove some files:

 $ rm -f ../i586-mingw32msvc/bin/moc ../i586-mingw32msvc/bin/uic ../i586-mingw32msvc/bin/rcc

And install your qt4-tools.

Fix your contrib path

If your Mingw prefix is not i586-mingw32msvc (you are NOT on Debian or Ubuntu), create a symlink to contribs:

 $ ln -sf ../i586-mingw32msvc ../i486-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

Use the standard configuration:

$ ../extras/package/win32/ --host=i586-mingw32msvc

NB: use YOUR Xcompiling prefix here, like i486-mingw32

Alternatively, you can run configure manually:

$ ../configure --host=i586-mingw32msvc

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 (might be package-win32-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!