Even though Python is an interpreted language, you may need to install Windows C++ compilers in some cases. Unlike Linux, compilers for Windows are not included by default in the OS.

For example, you will need to use them if you wish to:

Microsoft provides official C++ compilers called Visual C++, you can find them bundled with Visual Studio or, for some versions, in standalone distributions. Some alternative compilers exist like MinGW, but incompatibilities may occur with a CPython official distribution that is built with Microsoft Visual C++.

The compiler's architecture must be the same as Python's (for example: if you use Python 64bit, you have to use an x64 compiler).

Which Microsoft Visual C++ compiler to use with a specific Python version ?

Each Python version uses a specific compiler version (e.g. CPython 2.7 uses Visual C++ 9.0, CPython 3.3 uses Visual C++ 10.0, etc). So, you need to install the compiler version that corresponds to your Python version :

Visual C++

CPython

14.0

3.5, 3.6

10.0

3.3, 3.4

9.0

2.6, 2.7, 3.0, 3.1, 3.2

Compilers Installation and configuration

Compatible architectures are specified for each compiler in brackets.

/!\ Before do anything, install or upgrade the Setuptools Python package. It contain compatibility improvements and add automatic use of compilers:

pip install --upgrade setuptools

Microsoft Visual C++ 14.0 standalone: Visual C++ Build Tools 2015 (x86, x64, ARM)

This is a standalone version of Visual C++ 14.0 compiler, you don't need to install Visual Studio 2015.

Microsoft Visual C++ 14.0 with Visual Studio 2015 (x86, x64, ARM)

Visual Studio 2015 contains Visual C++ 14.0 compiler. Distutils will automatically detect the compiler and use it.

Microsoft Visual C++ 10.0 standalone: Windows SDK 7.1 (x86, x64, ia64)

This is a standalone version of Visual C++ 10.0 compiler, you don't need to install Visual Studio 2010.

Microsoft Visual C++ 10.0 with Visual Studio 2010 (x86, x64, ia64)

Visual Studio 2010 contains Visual C++ 10.0 compiler. Distutils will automatically detect the compiler and use it. The Express edition of Visual Studio 2010 only bundles a compiler for x86.

Microsoft Visual C++ 9.0 standalone: Visual C++ Compiler for Python 2.7 (x86, x64)

This is a standalone version of Visual C++ 9.0 compiler, you don't need to install Visual Studio 2008.

{i} Even though this package's name refers to Python 2.7 specifically, you can use it with all Python versions that use Visual C++ 9.0.

Microsoft Visual C++ 9.0 standalone: Windows SDK 7.0 (x86, x64, ia64)

This is a standalone version of Visual C++ 9.0 compiler, you don't need to install Visual Studio 2008.

/!\ The use of Microsoft Visual C++ Compiler for Python 2.7 is recommended (If you don't need to compile for ia64). See the previous paragraph to install it.

Microsoft Visual C++ 9.0 standalone: Windows SDK 6.1 (x86, x64, ia64)

This is a standalone version of Visual C++ 9.0 compiler, you don't need to install Visual Studio 2008.

/!\ Windows SDK 6.1 was upgraded by Microsoft to Windows SDK 7.0. See the previous paragraph to install it.

Microsoft Visual C++ 9.0 with Visual Studio 2008 (x86, x64, ia64)

Visual Studio 2008 contains Visual C++ 9.0 compiler. Distutils will automatically detect the compiler and use it. The Express edition of Visual Studio 2008 only bundles a compiler for x86.

GCC - MinGW (x86)

GCC adapted for Windows

MinGW is an alternative C++ compiler that works with all Python versions.

From http://www.mingw.org/:

MinGW, a contraction of "Minimalist GNU for Windows", is a minimalist development environment for native Microsoft Windows applications.

MinGW provides a complete Open Source programming tool set which is suitable for the development of native MS-Windows applications, and which do not depend on any 3rd-party C-Runtime DLLs. (It does depend on a number of DLLs provided by Microsoft themselves, as components of the operating system; most notable among these is MSVCRT.DLL, the Microsoft C runtime library. Additionally, threaded applications must ship with a freely distributable thread support DLL, provided as part of MinGW itself).

MinGW compilers provide access to the functionality of the Microsoft C runtime and some language-specific runtimes. MinGW, being Minimalist, does not, and never will, attempt to provide a POSIX runtime environment for POSIX application deployment on MS-Windows. If you want POSIX application deployment on this platform, please consider Cygwin instead.

Primarily intended for use by developers working on the native MS-Windows platform, but also available for cross-hosted use, (see note below -- you may need to follow the "read more" link to see it), MinGW includes:

   1 [build]
   2 compiler=mingw32
   3 
   4 [build_ext]
   5 compiler=mingw32

GCC - MSYS2

GCC for Windows with Extras

MSYS2 combines Cygwin (or at least a Cygwin fork) with MinGW - it has a Linux like command line package installer (for non-python things, this is good) named "pacman" ported from Arch Linux. It contains a 4 flavors of Python for Windows: MSYS2 (Cygwin-like) Python 3, MSYS2 (Cygwin-like) Python 2, MinGW (Stand Alone Windows) Python 3, and MinGW (Stand Alone Windows) Python 2. Similarly it has MSYS2 (Cygwin-like) and MinGW flavors of GCC. You can rebuild Python and Python modules using the appropriate gcc.

MSYS description From the MinGW Wiki

MSYS (Minimal SYStem) is a collection of GNU utilities such as bash, make, gawk and grep to allow building of applications and programs which depend on traditionally UNIX tools to be present. It is intended to supplement MinGW and the deficiencies of the cmd shell.

An example would be building a library that uses the autotools build system. Users will typically run "./configure" then "make" to build it. The configure shell script requires a shell script interpreter which is not present on Windows systems, but provided by MSYS.

MSYS2 description From the QT Wiki

MSYS2 (Minimal SYStem 2) is an independent rewrite of MSYS, a (command-line) shell for development usage, and based on modern Cygwin (POSIX compatibility layer) and MinGW-w64 (from "MinGW-builds"), with the aim of better interoperability with native Windows software. It includes: MSYS2-shell and MinGW-w64 Win32 shell & MinGW-w64 Win64 shell. It supports & can work with both 32bit & 64bit multiple toolchains & targets, (for 64bit a 64bit operating system is needed). MSYS2 is a successor of MSYS and MinGW-builds. MSYS2-shell uses "pacman" for downloading packages from repo, and these are GPG signed & verified.

Cygwin description from Wikipedia

Cygwin is a Unix-like environment and command-line interface for Microsoft Windows. Cygwin provides native integration of Windows-based applications, data, and other system resources with applications, software tools, and data of the Unix-like environment. Thus it is possible to launch Windows applications from the Cygwin environment, as well as to use Cygwin tools and applications within the Windows operating context.

Cygwin consists of two parts: a dynamic-link library (DLL) as an API compatibility layer providing a substantial part of the POSIX API functionality, and an extensive collection of software tools and applications that provide a Unix-like look and feel.

Cygwin was originally developed by Cygnus Solutions, which was later acquired by Red Hat. It is free and open source software, released under the GNU Lesser General Public License version 3. Today it is maintained by employees of Red Hat, NetApp and many other volunteers.

More MSYS2 Links

Links

WindowsCompilers (last edited 2017-02-17 15:30:27 by BrianFennell)

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