Cross compiling for Windows

James Linder jam at
Mon Sep 24 17:21:56 PDT 2012

On 25/09/2012, at 3:00 AM, macports-users-request at wrote:

>> Sorry for the kind of OT post, but can anyone help me get it straight on how to cross compile something for Windows?
>> I know kind of the last step how to make configure (if there is one) understand that I want to cross compile. I am sucessfully cross compiling for ppc with the old xcode 3.2x stuff but for that everything is pretty much pre set up.
> The main (and almost the only) thing you need to know is to use
>    i386-mingw32-gcc / i386-mingw32-g++
> as the compiler instead of gcc / g++ and you'll get 32-bit windows binaries.
> However, if you want to cross-compile a complex existing project, it
> probably won't work out-of-the-box and you would have to carefully
> modify it. (Cross-compiling for ppc is much easier since Apple
> supported that well, and one is compiling for the same OS.)
> One difference is for example that you cannot just run the newly
> compiled binaries (for windows), but developers may have planted many
> more eastern eggs into the building chain.
> Last time when I wanted to cross-compile my own source code, a very
> small & easy project, I spent a month fighting, just to realize that
> there was a bug in "ld" and upgrading to a newer version in MacPorts
> solved the problem.
>> So what are the steps to cross compile for Windows?
> The question is probably too generic. It all depends on the type of
> project and how it's set up to be built. But if you build manually,
> just using the right compiler (and having the right libraries
> available?) should be sufficient.

I guess the answer also depends on weather you want to be kewl and boast that you cross compiled or just get working stuff.
I run a windoze develepment machine in VBox. That way it is easy to do and you can make use of existing packager tools that are windoze bound.
That said I make the occasional package for win using Qt that lets me do mac/linux/win from the same source, but I do very little win stuff.

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