Building LibreOffice on Windows

Tor Lillqvist tml at
Thu Feb 16 07:13:37 PST 2012

> New to open source and attracted to LibreOffice and I want to start contributing.

Great! Welcome!

> But how does the whole build process work on Windows?

This is a short summary, and I might be missing something. For more
detail, there should be stuff in the wiki. Don't hesitate to ask more
on this list! And as you read the wiki, please fix inconsistencies you
notice, that is why it is a wiki...

First you need to install Cygwin. That is a Linux emulation layer,
kinda like a guest operating system on top of Windows. The build
process is run in Cygwin. The actual compiler and linker used are
unaware of Cygwin, though. You need to add some more Cygwin packages
to the default installation. The wiki hopefully has details.

Then install Microsoft Visual Studio 2008. (The "Express" variant
which doesn't cost anything is supposed to work.) I think Visual
Studio 2010 is not known to work for building LibreOffice.

Then install the WIndows SDK and DirectX SDKs. The most recent ones
should be fine as far as I know, or a bit older ones if you happen to
have them already.

You can install the latest Java JDK, but it is also possble to build
without any Java.

Then clone the source code Git repository (the "core" one). You do
this from the Cygwin shell.

Then you go to the "core" directory (the top of the source code tree)
and run ./ I think that it is supposed to use sane defaults
if you don't enter any command-line options at all, but I must admit I
haven't actually checked... If you intend to work on the code, you
probably want the --enable-debug switch at least.

When the has completed (should take a minute or so), you
can run a "make". That will take quite a lot of time, something like
six hours even on a fast machine, I think.

The end result will be an Windows Installer package for LibreOffice.


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