Windows (MSYS2)

Building using MSYS2


The MSYS2 project provides packages for all of the require dependencies to build KiCad. To setup the MSYS2 build environment, download and run the MSYS2 64-bit Installer available from the msys2 home page. After the installer is finished, update to the latest package versions by running the msys2_shell.cmd file located in the MSYS2 install path and running the command pacman -Syu. If the msys2-runtime package is updated, close the shell and run msys2_shell.cmd.


The following commands assume you are building for 64-bit Windows, and that you already have the KiCad source code in a folder called kicad-source in your home directory. See below for changes if you need to build for 32-bit instead. Run mingw64.exe from the MSYS2 install path. At the command prompt run the the following commands:

pacman -S base-devel \
            git \
            mingw-w64-x86_64-cmake \
            mingw-w64-x86_64-doxygen \
            mingw-w64-x86_64-gcc \
            mingw-w64-x86_64-python2 \
            mingw-w64-x86_64-pkg-config \
            mingw-w64-x86_64-swig \
            mingw-w64-x86_64-boost \
            mingw-w64-x86_64-cairo \
            mingw-w64-x86_64-glew \
            mingw-w64-x86_64-curl \
            mingw-w64-x86_64-wxPython \
            mingw-w64-x86_64-wxWidgets \
            mingw-w64-x86_64-toolchain \
            mingw-w64-x86_64-glm \
            mingw-w64-x86_64-oce \
            mingw-w64-x86_64-ngspice \
cd kicad-source
mkdir -p build/release
mkdir build/debug               # Optional for debug build.
cd build/release
cmake -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Release \
        -G "MSYS Makefiles" \
        -DCMAKE_PREFIX_PATH=/mingw64 \
        -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=/mingw64 \
        -DDEFAULT_INSTALL_PATH=/mingw64 \
make -j N install   # Where N is the number of concurrent threads that your system can handle

For 32-bit builds, run mingw32.exe and change x86_64 to i686 in the package names and change the paths in the cmake configuration from /mingw64 to /mingw32.

For debug builds, run the cmake command with -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Debug from the build/debug folder.

MSYS2 with CLion

KiCad in combiation with MSYS2 can be configured to be used with CLion to provide a nice IDE experience.

Toolchain Setup

First you must register MSYS2 as a toolchain, or namely, the compiler.

File > Preferences to open the Settings window.

Navigate to Build, Execution, Development and then the Toolchains page.

Add a new toolchain, and configure it as such

  • Name: MSYS2-MinGW64

  • Environment Path: <your msys2 install folder>\mingw64\

  • CMake: <your msys2 install folder>\mingw64\bin\cmake.exe

All other fields will become automatically populated.

Project Setup

File > Open and select the folder containing the kicad source. CLion may attempt to start CMake generation and fail, this is ok.

Open the Settings window again. Navigate to Build, Execution, Development and then the CMake page. These settings are saved to the project.

You want to create a Debug configuration as such

  • Name: Debug-MSYS2

  • Build-Type: Debug

  • Toolchain: MSYS2-MinGW64

  • CMake options:

-G "MinGW Makefiles"
  • Build-directory: build/debug-msys2

You may now trigger the "Reload CMake Cache" option in CLion to generate the cmake project You should delete the "junk" build folder (usually name cmake-build-debug-xxxx) it may have created in the source before it was changed above. We change the build folder because we have a gitignore for /build

Warning: Receiving warning messages about Boost versions is normal.

Known MSYS2 Build Issues

There are some known issues that are specific to MSYS2. This section provides a list of the currently known issues when building KiCad using MSYS2.

Building with Boost 1.70

There is an issue building KiCad with Boost version 1.70 due to CMake not defining the proper link libraries during configuration. Boost 1.70 can be used but -DBoost_NO_BOOST_CMAKE=ON needs to be added during CMake configuration to insure the link libraries are properly generated.

Building OCE from source

KiCad requires OCE by default, and the version installed by pacman can cause build errors in x86_64 systems as of March 2018. In order to work around this, you can build OCE from source on these systems. Building OCE on Windows requires that you place the source code in a very short directory path, otherwise you will run into errors caused by the maximum path length on Windows. In the example below, the MINGW-packages repository is cloned to /c/mwp, which is equivalent to C:\mwp in Windows path terminology. You may wish to change the destination of the git clone command if you do not want to place it on the root of your C drive, but if you run in to strange compilation errors about missing files, it is probably because your path is too long.

git clone /c/mwp
cd /c/mwp/mingw-w64-oce
makepkg-mingw -is