gtkmm on Microsoft Windows

The old page has moved to Attic/GtkmmOnWindows. It describes gtkmm 2.x, but still contains valuable information. It shows how to use gtkmm with both MinGW and Visual Studio.

As of this writing, gtkmm 3.x has no official installer for Windows. If you plan on using MinGW for development, MSYS2 has prebuilt binaries of version 3.16 (both i686/32-bit and x86_64/64-bit). The binaries were built using MinGW-w64 (which, despite the name, can generate both 32-bit and 64-bit code) - you will need to use either the same compiler, or one that generates code that is binary compatible with MinGW-w64 output.

Setting up everything with MSYS2

Install MSYS2, preferably to a path without spaces (note that either version of MSYS2 can be used to create both kinds of binaries - i686 and x86_64).

Follow the instructions on the MSYS2 website to update the base system.

The installer should have created 3 shortcuts:

  • "MSYS2 Shell" is a generic shell, with compiler paths not set up;
  • "MinGW-w64 Win32 Shell" is a shell with paths set up for i686 compilation;
  • "MinGW-w64 Win64 Shell" is a shell with paths set up for x86_64 compilation.

The compilers are not installed by default.

To install the one targeting i686:

pacman -S mingw-w64-i686-gcc

To install the one targeting x86_64:

pacman -S mingw-w64-x86_64-gcc

Similarly, you need to install the gtkmm libs:

pacman -S mingw-w64-i686-gtkmm3


pacman -S mingw-w64-x86_64-gtkmm3

You will probably also want pkg-config:

pacman -S pkg-config

Use some simple code to test that everything works, e.g.:

#include <gtkmm.h>

int main(int argc, char** argv)
        auto app = Gtk::Application::create(argc, argv);
        Gtk::Window window;
        return app->run(window);

You will need to compile using a relatively new standard (-std=c++11 should work, but feel free to use anything newer).

If compiling manually, you might prefer to generate the correct compiler and linker flags with pkg-config gtkmm-3.0 --cflags --libs. If g++ generates warnings for the gtkmm headers that you don't want to see, replace the "-I" in the flags with "-isystem " (note the space).

For example:

g++ -std=c++11 foo.cpp $(pkg-config gtkmm-3.0 --cflags --libs | sed 's/ -I/ -isystem /g')

To be able to start, the created executable will need several DLLs to either be accessible through the PATH or be located in the same folder as the exe. All of these should be available in C:\msysXX\mingw32\bin or C:\msysXX\mingw64\bin (assuming MSYS2 was installed to C:\msysXX).

If the system complains about missing entry points for some DLLs, putting those DLLs next to the exe should solve the problem (currently zlib1.dll and libfreetype-6.dll seem to need this).

Projects/gtkmm/MSWindows (last edited 2015-08-12 16:33:31 by RudolfWalterKissSzakacs)