MXE (M cross environment) is a Makefile that compiles a cross compiler and cross compiles many free libraries such as SDL and Qt. Thus, it provides a nice cross compiling environment for various target platforms, which

Supported Toolchains

Runtime Host Triplet Packages
Static Shared*
MinGW-w64 i686-w64-mingw32 99% (339/341) 62% (211/341)
x86_64-w64-mingw32 91% (311/341) 61% (209/341)

These numbers were last updated on October 13, 2014. You can see the current status by executing make build-matrix.html in the MXE directory.

* Shared support in MXE was just added in early February, 2014. These numbers are expected to rise significantly.


Cross compiling 4tH:


and running it:



Step 1: Requirements and Download

First, you should ensure that your system meets MXE's requirements. You will almost certainly have to install some stuff.

When everything is fine, download the current version:

git clone

If you don't mind installing it in your home directory, just skip the following step and go straight to step 3.

MXE builds and installs everything under the same top-level directory and is not relocatable after the first packages are built.

Due to limitations of GNU Make, the path of MXE is not allowed to contain any whitespace characters.

Step 2: System-wide Installation (optional)

Now you should save any previous installation of the MXE. Assuming you've installed it under /opt/mxe (any other directory will do as well), you should execute the following commands:

mv /opt/mxe /opt/mxe.old

Then you need to transfer the entire directory to its definitive location. We will assume again you use /opt/mxe, but feel free to use any other directory if you like.

mv mxe /opt/mxe

We're almost done. Just change to your newly created directory and get going:

cd /opt/mxe

Step 3: Build MXE

Enter the directory where you've downloaded MXE. Now it depends on what you actually want – or need.

If you choose to enter:


you're in for a long wait, because it compiles a lot of packages. On the other hand it doesn't require any intervention, so you're free to do whatever you like – like watch a movie or go for a night on the town. When it's done you'll find that you've installed a very capable Win32 cross compiler onto your system.

If you only need the most basic tools you can also use:

make gcc

and add any additional packages you need later on. You can also supply a host of packages on the command line, e.g.:

make gtk lua libidn

Targets can also be specified on the command line. By default, only i686-w64-mingw32.static is built, but you can build your toolchain(s) of choice with:

make MXE_TARGETS='x86_64-w64-mingw32.static i686-w64-mingw32.static'

or by adjusting the MXE_TARGETS variable in

You'll always end up with a consistent cross compiling environment.

If you have trouble here, please feel free to contact the mxe team through the issue tracker or mailing list.

After you're done it just needs a little post-installation.

Step 4: Environment Variables

Edit your .bashrc script in order to change $PATH:

export PATH=/where MXE is installed/usr/bin:$PATH

You may be tempted to also add $(TARGET)/bin to your path. You never want to do this, the executables and scripts in there will cause conflicts with your native toolchain.

In case you are using custom $PKG_CONFIG_PATH entries, you can add separate entries for cross builds:

export PKG_CONFIG_PATH="entries for native builds"
export PKG_CONFIG_PATH_i686_w64_mingw32_static="entries for MXE builds"

Remember to use i686-w64-mingw32.static-pkg-config instead of pkg-config for cross builds. The Autotools do that automatically for you.

Note that any other compiler related environment variables (like $CC, $LDFLAGS, etc.) may spoil your compiling pleasure, so be sure to delete or disable those.

For the most isolated and repeatable environment, use a white-list approach:

unset `env | \
    grep -vi '^EDITOR=\|^HOME=\|^LANG=\|MXE\|^PATH=' | \
    grep -vi 'PKG_CONFIG\|PROXY\|^PS1=\|^TERM=' | \
    cut -d '=' -f1 | tr '\n' ' '`

Congratulations! You're ready to cross compile anything you like.

Step 5a: Cross compile your Project (Autotools)

If you use the Autotools, all you have to do is:

./configure --host=i686-w64-mingw32.static

If you build a library, you might also want to enforce a static build:

./configure --host=i686-w64-mingw32.static --enable-static --disable-shared

Don't worry about a warning like this:

configure: WARNING: If you wanted to set the --build type, don't use --host.
If a cross compiler is detected then cross compile mode will be used.

Everything will be just fine.

Step 5b: Cross compile your Project (CMake)

If you have a CMake project, you can use the provided toolchain file:

cmake ... -DCMAKE_TOOLCHAIN_FILE=/where MXE is installed/usr/i686-w64-mingw32.static/share/cmake/mxe-conf.cmake

Step 5c: Cross compile your Project (Qt)

If you have a Qt application, all you have to do is:

/where MXE is installed/usr/i686-w64-mingw32.static/qt/bin/qmake

Note that Qt 4 is in the "qt" subdirectory. Qt 5 is in the "qt5" subdirectory and its qmake can be invoked similarly.

If you are using Qt plugins such as the svg or ico image handlers, you should also have a look at the Qt documentation about static plugins.

Note the sql drivers (-qt-sql-*) and the image handlers for jpeg, tiff, gif and mng are built-in, not plugins.

Step 5d: Cross compile your Project (Makefile)

If you have a handwritten Makefile, you probably will have to make a few adjustments to it:


You may have to add a few others, depending on your project.

Then, all you have to do is:

make CROSS=i686-w64-mingw32.static-

That's it!

Step 5e: Cross compile your Project (OSG)

Using static OpenSceneGraph libraries requires a few changes to your source. The graphics subsystem and all plugins required by your application must be referenced explicitly. Use a code block like the following:


Look at examples/osgstaticviewer/osgstaticviewer.cpp in the OpenSceneGraph source distribution for an example. This example can be compiled with the following command:

i686-w64-mingw32.static-g++ \
    -o osgstaticviewer.exe examples/osgstaticviewer/osgstaticviewer.cpp \
    `i686-w64-mingw32.static-pkg-config --cflags openscenegraph-osgViewer openscenegraph-osgPlugins` \
    `i686-w64-mingw32.static-pkg-config --libs openscenegraph-osgViewer openscenegraph-osgPlugins`

The i686-w64-mingw32.static-pkg-config command from MXE will automatically add -DOSG_LIBRARY_STATIC to your compiler flags.

Further Steps

If you need further assistance, feel free to join the mailing list where you'll get in touch with the MXE developers and other users.


To obtain the current version, run:

git clone

To retrieve updates, run:

git pull

You can also browse the web repository.

In addition, feel free to join the mailing list and to propose new packages.


MXE requires a recent Unix system where all components as stated in the table below are installed. It also needs roughly 2 GiB of RAM to link gcc and at least 700 MB of disk space per target (counted with only gcc built).

Detailed instructions are available for:

Autoconf ≥ 2.68
Automake ≥ 1.11.3
CMake ≥ 2.8.0
Flex ≥ 2.5.31
GCC (gcc, g++)
Git ≥ 1.7
GNU Coreutils
GNU Gettext
GNU gperf
GNU Make ≥ 3.81
Intltool ≥ 0.40
LibC for 32-bit
libffi ≥ 3.0.0
Libtool ≥ 2.2
OpenSSL-dev ≥ 1.01
p7zip (7-Zip)
Perl XML::Parser
Pkg-config ≥ 0.16
SCons ≥ 0.98
XZ Utils
zlib ≥ 1.20

Debian and derivatives

apt-get install \
    autoconf automake autopoint bash bison bzip2 cmake flex \
    gettext git g++ gperf intltool libffi-dev libgdk-pixbuf2.0-dev \
    libtool libltdl-dev libssl-dev libxml-parser-perl make openssl \
    p7zip-full patch perl pkg-config python ruby scons sed \
    unzip wget xz-utils

On 64-bit Debian, install also:

apt-get install g++-multilib libc6-dev-i386

On Debian Jessie (8) or Ubuntu Utopic (14.10) or later, install also:

apt-get install libtool-bin

Only the latest Debian stable series is supported.


yum install \
    autoconf automake bash bison bzip2 cmake flex gcc-c++ \
    gdk-pixbuf2-devel gettext git gperf intltool make sed libffi-devel \
    libtool openssl-devel p7zip patch perl pkgconfig \
    python ruby scons unzip wget xz

On 64-bit Fedora, there are issues without a 32-bit compiler.


pkg_add -r \
    automake autoconf bash bison cmake coreutils flex \
    gdk-pixbuf2 gettext git glib20 gmake gperf gsed intltool libffi \
    libtool openssl p5-XML-Parser p7zip patch perl \
    pkgconf python ruby scons unzip wget

Ensure that /usr/local/bin precedes /usr/bin in your $PATH:

For C style shells, edit .cshrc

setenv PATH /usr/local/bin:$PATH

For Bourne shells, edit .profile

export PATH = /usr/local/bin:$PATH

On 64-bit FreeBSD, there are issues without a 32-bit compiler.

N.B. FreeBSD is no longer fully supported

to build the remainder of MXE, run:

gmake EXCLUDE_PKGS='gtksourceviewmm2 ocaml% openexr pcl qtbase'

to see a list of all dependent downstream packages that will be excluded, run:

gmake show-downstream-deps-'gtksourceviewmm2 ocaml% openexr \
                            pcl qtbase'


pacman-g2 -S \
    autoconf automake bash bzip2 bison cmake flex gcc \
    gdk-pixbuf2 gettext git gperf intltool make sed libffi libtool \
    openssl patch perl perl-xml-parser pkgconfig python \
    ruby scons unzip wget xz xz-lzma

On 64-bit Frugalware, there are issues without a 32-bit compiler.


emerge \
    sys-devel/autoconf sys-devel/automake app-shells/bash \
    sys-devel/bison app-arch/bzip2 dev-util/cmake \
    sys-devel/flex sys-devel/gcc sys-devel/gettext \
    dev-vcs/git dev-util/gperf dev-util/intltool \
    sys-devel/make sys-apps/sed dev-libs/libffi \
    sys-devel/libtool dev-libs/openssl app-arch/p7zip \
    sys-devel/patch dev-lang/perl dev-perl/XML-Parser \
    dev-util/pkgconfig dev-lang/python dev-lang/ruby \
    dev-util/scons app-arch/unzip net-misc/wget \
    app-arch/xz-utils x11-libs/gdk-pixbuf

Mac OS X

Install the latest Xcode

Method 1 - MacPorts

Install MacPorts, then run:

sudo port install \
    autoconf automake bison cmake coreutils flex gettext \
    gdk-pixbuf2 glib2 gsed intltool libffi libtool openssl \
    p5-xml-parser p7zip scons wget xz
Method 2 - Rudix

Install Rudix, then run:

sudo rudix install \
    autoconf automake cmake coreutils gettext glib intltool \
    libtool p7zip scons sed wget xz

Note: gdk-pixbuf2 is not installed in method 2, so you can not build gtk3. Other packages may be missing on Rudix - please open an issue if you find any.

Method 3 - Homebrew

Install Homebrew, then run:

brew install \
    autoconf automake cmake coreutils gdk-pixbuf gettext \
    gnu-sed intltool libtool p7zip wget xz

Some formulae are keg-only and will need brew link to be found.

Genral Notes

You may be prompted to install a java runtime - this is not required.

Mac OS X versions ≤ 10.9 are no longer tested.

Certain packages have open issues on OS X

to build the remainder of MXE, run:

make EXCLUDE_PKGS='nsis ocaml%'

to see a list of all dependent downstream packages that will be excluded, run:

make show-downstream-deps-'nsis ocaml%'


zypper install -R \
    autoconf automake bash bison bzip2 cmake flex gcc-c++ \
    gdk-pixbuf-devel gettext-tools git gperf intltool libffi-devel libtool \
    make openssl libopenssl-devel p7zip patch perl \
    perl-XML-Parser pkg-config python ruby scons sed unzip \
    wget xz

On 64-bit openSUSE, install also:

zypper install -R \
    gcc-32bit glibc-devel-32bit libgcc46-32bit \
    libgomp46-32bit libstdc++46-devel-32bit

Issues without a 32-bit compiler

Certain packages contain native tools that are currently 32-bit only. In order to build these on a 64-bit system, multi-lib support must be enabled in the compiler toolchain. However, not all operating systems support this.

To build the remainder of MXE, specify the affected packages to exclude:

make EXCLUDE_PKGS='ocaml%'


All build commands also download the packages if necessary.

In a BSD userland, substitute "make" with "gmake" as all commands are based on GNU Make.

build all packages, non-parallel
make gcc
build a minimal useful set of packages, i.e. the cross compilers and the most basic packages, non-parallel
make foo bar
build packages "foo", "bar" and their dependencies, non-parallel
the package list can also be set in
LOCAL_PKG_LIST := foo bar
.DEFAULT local-pkg-list:
local-pkg-list: $(LOCAL_PKG_LIST)
so a call to make will only build those packages (and their dependencies, of course)
make foo bar --touch
mark packages "foo" and "bar" as up-to-date after a trivial change in one of their dependencies (short option "-t")
make foo bar --jobs=4 JOBS=2
build packages "foo", "bar" and their dependencies, where up to 4 packages are built in parallel (short option "-j 4"), each with up to 2 compiler processes running in parallel
the JOBS variable can also be defined in and defaults to the number of CPUs up to a max of 6 to prevent runaway system load with diminishing returns - see the GNU Make manual for more details on parallel execution
make --jobs=4 --keep-going
build all packages with 4 inter-package parallel jobs and continue as much as possible after an error (short option "-j 4 -k")
make EXCLUDE_PKGS='foo bar'
build all packages excluding foo, bar, and all downstream packages that depend on them - mostly used when there are known issues
make check-requirements
check most of the requirements if necessary – executed automatically before building packages
make download
download all packages, non-parallel, such that subsequent builds work without internet access
make download-foo download-bar
download packages "foo", "bar" and their dependencies, non-parallel
make download-foo download-bar -j 4
download packages "foo", "bar" and their dependencies, where up to 4 packages are downloaded in parallel
make download-only-foo download-only-bar
download packages "foo", "bar", without their dependencies, non-parallel
make clean
remove all package builds – use with caution!
make clean-junk
remove all unused files, including unused package files, temporary folders, and logs
make clean-pkg
remove all unused package files, handy after a successful update
make show-deps-foo
print a list of upstream dependencies and downstream dependents
make show-downstream-deps-foo
print a list of downstream dependents suitable for usage in shell scripts
make show-upstream-deps-foo
print a list of upstream dependencies suitable for usage in shell scripts
make build-matrix.html
generate a report of what packages are supported on what targets to build-matrix.html
make update
for internal use only! – update the version numbers of all packages, download the new versions and note their checksums
make update UPDATE_DRYRUN=true
for internal use only! – show list of update candidates without downloading
make update-package-foo
for internal use only! – update the version numbers of package foo, download the new version and note its checksum
make update-checksum-foo
for internal use only! – download package foo and update its checksum
make cleanup-style
for internal use only! – cleanup coding style

List of Packages

See something missing? Feel free to create a new package.

a52dec a52dec (aka. liba52)
agg Anti-Grain Geometry
alure alure
apr APR
apr-util APR-util
armadillo Armadillo C++ linear algebra library
aspell Aspell
assimp Assimp Open Asset Import Library
atk ATK
atkmm ATKmm
aubio aubio
db Oracle Berkeley DB
bfd Binary File Descriptor library
binutils GNU Binutils
blas blas
boost Boost C++ Library
box2d Box2D
bullet Bullet physics, version 2
bzip2 bzip2
cairo cairo
cairomm cairomm
cblas cblas
ccfits CCfits
cegui Crazy Eddie’s GUI System (CEGUI)
cfitsio cfitsio
cgal cgal
check check
chipmunk Chipmunk Physics
chromaprint Chromaprint
cloog CLooG Code Generator
cimg CImg Library
cmake cmake
cminpack cminpack
coin Coin3D
cppunit CppUnit
crystalhd Broadcom Crystal HD Headers
cunit cunit
curl cURL
dbus dbus
dcmtk DCMTK
devil DevIL
dlfcn-win32 POSIX dlfcn wrapper for Windows
eigen eigen
exiv2 Exiv2
expat Expat XML Parser
faad2 faad2
fdk-aac FDK-AAC
ffmpeg ffmpeg
fftw fftw
file file
flac FLAC
flann FLANN
fltk FLTK
fontconfig fontconfig
freeglut freeglut
freeimage FreeImage
freetds FreeTDS
freetype freetype
freetype-bootstrap freetype (without harfbuzz)
fribidi FriBidi
ftgl ftgl
gc gc
gcc GCC
gd GD (without support for xpm)
gdal GDAL
gdb gdb
gdk-pixbuf GDK-pixbuf
gendef gendef
geos GEOS
gettext gettext
giflib giflib
glew GLEW
glfw2 GLFW 2.x
glfw3 GLFW 3.x
glib GLib
glibmm GLibmm
gmp GMP
gnutls GnuTLS
graphicsmagick GraphicsMagick
gsl GSL
gsoap gSOAP
gst-plugins-base gst-plugins-base
gst-plugins-good gst-plugins-good
gstreamer gstreamer
gta gta
gtk2 GTK+
gtk3 GTK+
gtkglarea GtkGLArea
gtkglext GtkGLExt
gtkglextmm GtkGLExtmm
gtkimageview GtkImageView
gtkmm2 GTKMM
gtkmm3 GTKMM
gtksourceview GTKSourceView
gtksourceviewmm2 GtkSourceViewmm
guile GNU Guile
harfbuzz HarfBuzz
hdf4 HDF4
hdf5 HDF5
hunspell Hunspell
icu4c ICU4C
id3lib id3lib
ilmbase IlmBase
imagemagick ImageMagick
isl Integer Set Library
itk Insight Segmentation and Registration Toolkit (ITK)
jack JACK Audio Connection Kit
jansson Jansson
jasper JasPer
jpeg jpeg
json-c json-c
json_spirit json_spirit
jsoncpp jsoncpp
lame lame
lapack lapack
lcms lcms
lcms1 lcms1
lensfun lensfun
levmar levmar
libaacs libaacs
libarchive Libarchive
libass libass
libbluray libbluray
libbs2b Bauer Stereophonic-to-Binaural library
libcaca libcaca
libcdio Libcdio
libcdio-paranoia Libcdio-paranoia
libcomm14cux libcomm14cux
libcroco Libcroco
libdca libdca (formerly libdts)
libdnet libdnet
libdvbpsi libdvbpsi
libdvdcss libdvdcss
libdvdnav libdvdnav
libdvdread libdvdread
libepoxy libepoxy
libevent libevent
libf2c libf2c
libffi libffi
libftdi LibFTDI
libftdi1 LibFTDI1
libgcrypt libgcrypt
libgda libgda
libgdamm libgdamm
libgee libgee
libgeotiff GeoTiff
libgit2 libgit2
libglade glade
libgnurx libgnurx
libgpg_error libgpg-error
libgsasl Libgsasl
libgsf libgsf
libharu libharu
libiberty libiberty
libical libical
libiconv libiconv
libidn Libidn
libircclient libircclient
libjpeg-turbo libjpeg-turbo
liblaxjson liblaxjson
liblo liblo
liblqr-1 liblqr-1
libltdl GNU Libtool Library (libltdl)
libmad libmad
libmicrohttpd GNU Libmicrohttpd
libmikmod libMikMod
libmng libmng
libmodplug libmodplug
libmpcdec libmpcdec
libmysqlclient libmysqlclient
libntlm Libntlm
liboauth liboauth
libodbc++ libodbc++
liboil liboil
libpano13 libpano13
libpaper libpaper
libplist libplist
libpng libpng
librsvg librsvg
librtmp librtmp
libsamplerate libsamplerate
libshout libshout
libsigc++ libsigc++
libsndfile libsndfile
libssh2 libssh2
libsvm libsvm
libtool GNU Libtool
libtorrent-rasterbar libtorrent-rasterbar
libunistring libunistring
libusb LibUsb
libusb1 LibUsb-1.0
libvpx vpx
libwebp libwebp
libwebsockets libwebsockets
libxml++ libxml2
libxml2 libxml2
libxslt libxslt
libzip libzip
llvm llvm
log4cxx log4cxx
lua Lua
luabind Luabind
luajit LuaJIT
lzo lzo
matio matio
mdbtools mdbtools
minizip minizip
mingw-w64 MinGW-w64 Runtime
mman-win32 MMA-Win32
mpfr mpfr
mpg123 mpg123
muparser muParser
muparserx muParserX
mxml Mini-XML
ncurses Ncurses
netcdf NetCDF
netpbm Netpbm
nettle nettle
nlopt NLopt
nsis NSIS
ocaml-cairo cairo-ocaml
ocaml-camlimages camlimages
ocaml-core ocaml
ocaml-findlib findlib
ocaml-flexdll flexdll
ocaml-lablgl lablgl
ocaml-lablgtk2 lablgtk2
ocaml-native ocaml
ocaml-xml-light xml-light
oce Open CASCADE Community Edition
ogg OGG
old old
openal openal
openblas OpenBLAS
opencore-amr opencore-amr
opencsg opencsg
opencv OpenCV
openexr OpenEXR
openjpeg OpenJPEG
openmp-validation OpenMP Validation Suite
openscenegraph OpenSceneGraph
openssl openssl
opus opus
opusfile opusfile
ossim OSSIM
pango Pango
pangomm Pangomm
pcl PCL (Point Cloud Library)
pcre PCRE
pdcurses PDcurses
pdflib_lite PDFlib Lite
pfstools pfstools
physfs physfs
picomodel picomodel
pire PIRE
pixman pixman
pkgconf pkgconf
plib Plib
plibc Plibc
plotmm PlotMM
plotutils plotutils
poco POCO C++ Libraries
polarssl Polar SSL Library
poppler poppler
popt popt
portablexdr PortableXDR
portaudio portaudio
portmidi portmidi
postgresql PostgreSQL
primesieve Primesieve
proj proj
protobuf protobuf
pthreads POSIX Threads
qdbm QDBM
qhttpengine qhttpengine
qjson QJson
qscintilla2 QScintilla2
qt Qt
qt3d Qt
qt5 Qt
qtactiveqt Qt
qtbase Qt
qtconnectivity Qt
qtdeclarative Qt
qtenginio Qt
qtgraphicaleffects Qt
qtimageformats Qt
qtlocation Qt
qtmultimedia Qt
qtquick1 Qt
qtquickcontrols Qt
qtscript Qt
qtsensors Qt
qtserialport Qt
qtserialport_qt4 Qt
qtservice Qt Solutions
qtsvg Qt
qtsystems Qt
qttools Qt
qttranslations Qt
qtwebchannel Qt
qtwebengine Qt
qtwebkit Qt
qtwebsockets Qt
qtwinextras Qt
qtxlsxwriter QtXlsxWriter
qtxmlpatterns Qt
qwt Qwt
qwt_qt4 Qwt-qt4
qwtplot3d QwtPlot3D
readline Readline
rubberband Rubberband
rucksack rucksack
sdl SDL
sdl_gfx SDL_gfx
sdl_image SDL_image
sdl_mixer SDL_mixer
sdl_net SDL_net
sdl_pango SDL_Pango
sdl_rwhttp SDL_rwhttp
sdl_sound SDL_sound
sdl_ttf SDL_ttf
sdl2 SDL2
sdl2_gfx SDL2_gfx
sdl2_image SDL2_image
sdl2_mixer SDL2_mixer
sdl2_net sdl2_net
sdl2_ttf SDL2_ttf
sfml SFML
smpeg smpeg
smpeg2 smpeg
sox SoX
speex Speex
speexdsp SpeexDSP
sqlite SQLite
suitesparse SuiteSparse
t4k_common t4k_common
taglib TagLib
tclap tclap
teem Teem
termcap Termcap
theora Theora
tiff LibTIFF
tinyxml tinyxml
tinyxml2 tinyxml2
tre TRE
twolame TwoLAME
ucl UCL
unrtf unRTF
upx UPX
vamp-plugin-sdk Vamp Plugins SDK
vcdimager vcdimager
vidstab vid.stab video stablizer
vigra vigra
vmime VMime
vo-aacenc VO-AACENC
vo-amrwbenc VO-AMRWBENC
vorbis Vorbis
vtk vtk
vtk6 VTK6
wavpack WavPack
wget wget
widl Wine IDL Compiler
winpcap WinPcap
wt Wt
wxwidgets wxWidgets
x264 x264
xapian-core Xapian-Core
xerces Xerces-C++
xine-lib xine-lib
xmlrpc-c xmlrpc-c
xmlwrapp xmlwrapp
xorg-macros utility macros
xvidcore xvidcore
xz XZ
yasm Yasm
zlib zlib
zziplib ZZIPlib

Guidelines for Creating Packages

  1. The package should be a free software library that is really used by one of your applications. Please also review our legal notes.

    BTW, we're always curious about the applications people are porting. We maintain a list of projects which use MXE. No matter whether your project is free or proprietary – as long as it has its own website, we'd be happy to link to it.

    Also, feel free to link to us. :-)

  2. Grep through the src/*.mk files to find a project that is most similar to yours. (Really, grep is your friend here.)

    For instance, when adding a GNU library, you should take a package like or as the base of your work. When using a SourceForge project, you could start with a copy of And so on.

    The GNU Make Standard Library is also available (though it should be unnecessary for most packages).

  3. Adjust the comments, fill in the $(PKG)_* fields.

    To fill the $(PKG)_CHECKSUM field, use a command such as (for file

    make update-checksum-gettext


    openssl sha256 pkg/gettext-x.y.z.tar.gz

    if you have already downloaded the package.

    Be especially careful with the $(PKG)_DEPS section. The easiest way to get the dependencies right is to start with a minimal setup. That is, initialize MXE with make gcc only, then check whether your package builds successfully.

    Always list the dependency on gcc explicitly:

    $(PKG)_DEPS     := gcc ...

    Things not to do:

    • do not run target executables with Wine, as Wine is not guaranteed to be installed. Instead build the needed tool natively or (if it is too huge to build one more time) add to MXE's dependencies. This policy is forced by setting WINEPREFIX to an empty directory, which breaks Wine;
    • do not download anything while building, as all files downloaded should be verified by checksums. Instead create a package which installs the needed file. This policy is forced on Linux by LD_PRELOAD trick, breaking network functions.
  4. Add your package to the list of packages.

    Each package gets its own table row element with table cells specifying your package name, official name and website:

        <td class="package">gettext</td>
        <td class="website"><a href="">gettext</a></td>

    Always look for the SSL version of a website, that is, prefer https:// URLs over http:// URLs.

  5. Write your $(PKG)_BUILD. If your library has a ./configure script, enable/disable all dependency libraries explicitly via "--enable-*" and "--disable-*" options.

  6. You might also have to provide a patch for it. In that case, have a look at other patches such as sdl2-2-libtool.patch. In particular, each patch file should be named as:


    and should start with:

    This file is part of MXE.
    See index.html for further information.
    This patch has been taken from:

    where the URL points to the bugtracker entry, mailing list entry or website you took the patch from.

    If you created the patch yourself, please offer it to the upstream project first, and point to that URL, using the same wording: "This patch has been taken from:".

    Depending on the feedback you get from the upstream project, you might want to improve your patch.

  7. If you find some time, please provide a minimal test program for it. It should be simple, stand alone and should work unmodified for many (all?) future versions of the library. Test programs are named as:


    depending on whether it is a C or C++ library. To get a clue, please have a look at existing test programs such as sdl-test.c.

    At the very end of your *.mk file you should build the test program in a generic way, using strict compiler flags. The last few lines of will give you a clue.

  8. You could also try to provide a $(PKG)_UPDATE section. However, that requires some experience and "feeling" for it. So it is perfectly okay if you leave a placeholder:

    define $(PKG)_UPDATE
        echo 'TODO: write update script for $(PKG).' >&2;
        echo $($(PKG)_VERSION)

    We'll fill that in for you. It's a funny exercise.

  9. Check that you don't have "dirty stuff" in your *.mk files, such as TAB characters or trailing spaces at lines endings. Run:

    make cleanup-style

    to remove these. Have a look at random *.mk files to get a feeling for the coding style.

    The same holds for your test program.

    However, patch files should always appear in the same coding style as the files they are patching.

    When patching sources with crlf line endings, the patch file itself should also have the same eol style. Use the convention of naming the file as *crlf.patch to instruct git not to normalise the line endings (defined in .gitattributes).

    Finally, in your $(PKG)_BUILD section, please check that you use our portability variables:

    bash $(SHELL)
    date $(DATE)
    install $(INSTALL)
    libtool $(LIBTOOL)
    make $(MAKE)
    patch $(PATCH)
    sed $(SED)
    sort $(SORT)
    wget $(WGET)
  10. Check whether everything runs fine. If you have some trouble, don't hesitate to ask on the mailing list, providing your *.mk file so far.

  11. Issue a pull request to propose your final *.mk file to us. If you have trouble with pull requests, send your file to the mailing list instead.

    Either way, don't forget to tell us if there are some pieces in your *.mk file you feel unsure about. We'll then have a specific look at those parts, which avoids trouble for you and us in the future.

(contact via the project mailing list)

Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the "Software"), to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:

The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.


Disclaimer - it's all code...

Modern legal systems are like any other large, complex, and evolving body of code you're likely to encounter.

They have their own language with quirky parsers, compilers, and interpreters (though these tend to be human). Their issue trackers are a backlog of court cases. They have bugs. They have traps for the uninitiated that may potentially do more than waste your time.

We currently limit ourselves to:


so nothing mentioned here or on the mailing list should be taken as legal advice. :-)

Choosing the right compiler

The best starting point for any legal questions would be the

FTF (Freedom Task Force of the FSFE (Free Software Foundation Europe)).

They have been very helpful in the past, and maintain an extensive network of legal contacts, both within and outside Europe.

Your local jurisdiction may be a signatory to various international agreements, so be sure to mention where you are in any correspondence (much like any detailed bug report really).

Additionally, you should also do some background reading from the FSF (Free Software Foundation) and Wikipedia to familiarise yourself with some of the potential issues (and experience some context-switching overhead).


Contributions are always welcome!

Ownership of all contributions (bug fixes, new packages, doc updates, etc.) remain with the author. All we require is a real name (no l33t handles, please), and that you release your work under our licence.

If you prefer not to be credited with a contribution, please notify the committer.

Package Licences

Each package is individually licensed under terms specified by the authors of that package. Please see the respective source tarball and/or project website for details.

Packages that are non-free or ambiguous will be removed or rejected.

The definition of free must be one of:

Please contact the mailing list if you notice a package that doesn't meet these guidlines.

In addition to the usual considerations (copyrights, patents, trademarks, export regulations etc.), building statically linked libraries for Windows exposes some edge cases that you may not have encountered before.

According to freedom 0 and our own licence, you can use mxe in countless different environments, each with it's own special legal considerations. The configuration options of certain packages (e.g ffmpeg) allow the use of non-free software and/or combinations that cause license violations.

For these packages, we will provide sensible defaults aimed at achieving the following goals:

  1. avoid causing inherent licensing issues with conflicting options
  2. make the package as feature complete as possible

Note that this does not prevent downstream violations, or affect any further obligations a licence may impose on you.

GNU Licenses

Review the FAQ

LGPL and Static Linking

Review the Differences from the GPL section of the Wikipedia article mentioned above.

GPL and OpenSSL

See conflicting accounts from the FSF and the OpenSSL project.

A similar situation also exists for package fdk-aac.


2015-05-04 – Retired the stable branch

The stable branch was retired as it did more harm than good. Everybody is using the master branch, because it is always recent and well enough tested. For historical reference, the last commit to the stable branch was 0c6cc9c, which was fully merged into master as usual.

Added support for shared toolchains for over 50% of all the packages.

Unfortunately, a number of factors have forced us to drop support for MinGW 3 (i.e. ""), in favor of the MinGW-w64 toolchain. This decision was made in a large part because of the dropping of support for MinGW by GLib and Qt5, which arguably are two of the most important packages in MXE. Other considerations have also been taken, like the lack of maintainership in MinGW and potential legal challenges that comes with using supplemental DirectX headers in MinGW in order to support Qt4. Worse yet, having to support the unsupported MinGW toolchain impedes adding or updating packages, as shown in the pull request of updating GLib.

Please note that dropping support for MinGW DOES NOT MEAN dropping support for the 32-bit architecture. MinGW-w64 also supports 32-bit target through i686-w64-mingw32.

To ease migration to the supported MinGW-w64 target, we have finished porting all packages that were MinGW-only to at least i686-w64-mingw32 (32-bit target of MinGW-w64). Hence your existing commands should work out-of-the-box assuming the MXE_TARGETS environmental variable is set correctly.

2013-07-27 – Release 2.23

The stable branch was updated to the current development version after a thorough testing phase.

Current users are strongly encouraged to start with a clean tree as the toolchain has been updated and requires a full rebuild:

git pull && make clean && make

Most packages were updated to their latest version.

Many new packages are supported: alure, apr-util, apr, armadillo, cegui, cfitsio, cminpack, flann, gtkglarea, gtkimageview, harfbuzz, hdf4, hdf5, hunspell, icu4c, itk, lensfun, levmar, libf2c, libftdi, libgda, libgdamm, libglade, liblqr-1, libmodplug, librtmp, libzip, log4cxx, mdbtools, ncurses, netcdf, netpbm, ocaml-cairo, ocaml-camlimages, ocaml-core, ocaml-findlib, ocaml-flexdll, ocaml-lablgl, ocaml-lablgtk2, ocaml-native, ocaml-xml-light, opencv, opus, opusfile, pcl, picomodel, plib, plibc, poppler, portablexdr, portmidi, protobuf, qdbm, qt5, qtactiveqt, qtbase, qtdeclarative, qtgraphicaleffects, qtimageformats, qtjsbackend, qtmultimedia, qtquick1, qtquickcontrols, qtscript, qtsensors, qtserialport, qtsvg, qttools, qttranslations, qtxmlpatterns, qwt, sdl_gfx, sfml, sox, teem, twolame, vtk6, wavpack, wget, winpthreads, xapian-core, yasm

Added support for mingw-w64 based toolchains targeting 32 & 64-bit architectures.

With the addition of Qt5, there is no longer a prefixed version of qmake, see the Qt section of the tutorial for the new way to invoke qmake.

FreeBSD is no longer fully supported. Qt5, ocaml*, and 8 other packages are excluded from the build.

2012-04-12 – Release 2.22

The release tarballs have been replaced with a stable branch that conforms to the new branch concept:

  • Any change of a build script goes into "master".
  • Any package upgrade goes into "master".
  • Any documentation upgrade that refers to a feature not present in stable goes into "master".
  • Anything else that doesn't affect the build goes into "stable".
  • Any non-critical improvement to the main Makefile goes into "stable".
  • Any improvement in the package download URLs or package version recognition goes into "stable".
  • When in doubt, "master" is used rather than "stable".
  • Every change to the "stable" branch will be merged into "master".
  • After a successful testing phase, the "stable" branch will be fast-forwarded to "master".

The project has been renamed from mingw-cross-env (MinGW cross compiling environment) to MXE (M cross environment).

Most packages were updated to their latest version.

New packages are supported: agg, cgal, eigen, file, gta, json-c, libgnurx, libharu, libircclient, libssh2, libxml++, llvm, lzo, mpfr, nettle, opencsg, qjson, qwtplot3d, vtk, and wt.

2011-06-07 – Release 2.21

Download | Changelog

Minor bugfixes in several packages.

Almost all packages are updated to their latest version.

Packages gtkmm and gtksourceviewmm have been renamed to gtkmm2 and gtksourceviewmm2.

New packages are supported: libass, poco, and t4k_common.

2011-04-05 – Release 2.20

Download | Changelog

This release fixes a download error caused by the pixman project (a sudden change of their URL scheme without proper redirects). That sort of thing should never happen!

2011-03-19 – Release 2.19

Download | Changelog

The download mechanisms are improved.

A CMake toolchain file is provided to simplify cross-compiling projects which use CMake.

Support for Debian/Lenny is dropped.

Package gtk is renamed to gtk2.

Almost all packages are updated to their latest version.

New packages are supported: dbus, graphicsmagick, libical, liboauth, physfs, and vigra.

Note for boost::filesystem users: Version 3 is a major revision and now the default in 1.46.

2010-12-15 – Release 2.18

Download | Changelog

This release fixes a checksum error caused by the atkmm project (a sudden change of their current source tarball). That sort of thing should never happen!

2010-12-11 – Release 2.17

Download | Changelog

This release provides some improvements of the build system such as an automatic check for most of the requirements.

All packages are updated to their latest version.

New packages are supported: bfd, blas, cblas, dcmtk, ftgl, lapack, lcms1, mingw-utils, mxml, suitesparse and tinyxml.

2010-10-27 – Release 2.16

Download | Changelog

This release provides lots of improvements to the build system as well as the documentation.

Support for OpenSolaris is dropped.

Almost all packages are updated to their latest version.

Many new packages are supported: atkmm, cairomm, cunit, faac, faad2, ffmpeg, gdk-pixbuf, glibmm, gtkglextmm, gtkmm, gtksourceview, gtksourceviewmm, imagemagick, lame, libiberty, libsigc++, libvpx, matio, openal, opencore-amr, pangomm, pfstools, plotmm, sdl_sound and x264.

2010-06-16 – Release 2.15

Download | Changelog

This release fixes download errors caused by the Qt project (a sudden change of their current source tarball).

Almost all packages are updated to their latest version.

2010-06-08 – Release 2.14

Download | Changelog

This release fixes download errors caused by the MinGW project (a sudden change of their URL scheme without proper redirects). That sort of thing should never happen!

Almost all packages are updated to their latest version.

New packages are supported: libarchive, libgee and xvidcore.

2010-05-31 – Release 2.13

Download | Changelog

This release switches back from TDM to the official GCC, thus supporting the current GCC 4.5.

The set of DirectX headers is improved and more complete.

The deadlock issues with Pthreads-w32 are fixed.

A static build of GDB is provided, i.e. a standalone "gdb.exe" that doesn't require any extra DLLs.

More packages are backed by test programs.

Many "sed hacks" are replaced by proper portability patches.

Almost all packages are updated to their latest version.

Many new packages are supported: fribidi, gc, gdb, gmp, gsl, gst-plugins-base, gst-plugins-good, gstreamer, gtkglext, guile, libcroco, libffi, liboil, libpaper, libshout, libunistring and xine-lib.

2010-02-21 – Release 2.12

Download | Changelog

This release fixes some minor build issues, and contains a first small set of test programs to check the package builds.

The build rules are simplified by calling generators like Autotools and Flex, instead of patching the generated files.

Almost all packages are updated to their latest version.

Many new packages are supported: aubio, devil, directx, exiv2, fftw, freeimage, gsoap, id3lib, liblo, libpano13, librsvg, libsamplerate, muparser, openscenegraph, portaudio and sdl_pango.

2010-02-20 – Release 2.11

Download | Changelog

This release contains a packaging bug. Please use release 2.12 instead.

2009-12-23 – Release 2.10

Download | Changelog

This release adds support for many new packages: flac, libmad, libsndfile, sdl_net, speex, postgresql, freetds, openssl, plotutils, taglib, lcms, freeglut, xerces and zziplib.

Almost all packages are updated to their latest version.

In addition to the libraries some command line tools such as psql.exe are built, too.

The placements of logfiles, as well as many other build details, have been improved.

2009-10-24 – Release 2.9

Download | Changelog

This release adds support for Qt, VMime and libmng.

The target triplet is updated to i686-pc-mingw32.

OpenMP support is enabled in GCC.

Almost all packages are updated to their latest version.

2009-09-11 – Release 2.8

Download | Changelog

This release comes with a better look & feel by providing a highlevel overview of the build process.

The detailed build messages are stored into separate log files for each package, so parallel builds don't intermix them anymore.

The download URLs of SourceForge packages are adjusted to ensure that the selected SourceForge mirror is really used and not circumvalented via HTTP redirects to other mirrors.

Almost all packages are updated to their latest version.

The whole mingw-cross-env project has moved to Savannah. So all URIs have changed, but the old URIs redirect to the new locations seamlessly.

Everyone is invited to join the freshly created project mailing list.

2009-08-11 – Release 2.7

Download | Changelog

This release provides an improved version recognition for SourceForge packages. SourceForge changed their page layout in a way that makes it much harder to identify the current version of a package.

Additionally, almost all packages are updated to their latest version.

2009-06-19 – Release 2.6

Download | Changelog

This release contains some portability fixes which allow it to run on a wider range of systems such as Frugalware.

The documentation and website are completely revised.

New packages such as CppUnit, libUsb, NSIS, Popt, SQLite and Theora are supported.

Almost all packages are updated to their latest version.

A new command "make download" is implemented.

2009-04-06 – Release 2.5

Download | Changelog

This release fixes a download error caused by the MinGW project. They suddenly changed the names of their source tarballs. That sort of thing should never happen!

This release also contains some bugfixes which allow it to run on a wider range of systems.

All downloaded files are now verified by their SHA-1 checksums.

New versions of various packages are supported.

2009-03-08 – Release 2.4

Download | Changelog

This release provides many new libraries such as wxWidgets, GTK+ and OpenEXR.

In addition, new versions of various packages are supported.

2009-02-09 – Release 2.3

Download | Changelog

This release fixes some serious build problems on FreeBSD and MacOS-X.

The Makefile has a new target "clean-pkg" and allows to be called from a separate build directory via "make -f .../Makefile".

Some new versions of the packages are supported, especially GCC-4.3 by switching from MinGW GCC to TDM-GCC.

2009-01-31 – Release 2.2

Download | Changelog

This release fixes some minor build problems.

It also supports some new packages and some newer versions of the already supported packages.

Parallelization is now disabled by default.

2008-12-13 – Release 2.1

Download | Changelog

This release fixes a download error caused by the GDAL project. They suddenly changed their download URLs. That sort of thing should never happen!

In addition, some newer versions of various packages are supported.

There is also a small compatibility fix for OS X.

2008-11-10 – Release 2.0

Download | Changelog

The shell script has been rewritten as Makefile and supports partial builds and parallel builds.

As usual, this release also supports some new packages and some newer versions of the already supported packages.

2008-01-11 – Release 1.4

Download | Changelog

This release now includes a tutorial by Hans Bezemer and has improved compile options of FLTK. As usual, it supports some newer versions of the libraries.

At the request of its author, libowfat is no longer supported from this release on.

The script now uses a specific SourceForge mirror instead of randomly chosen ones, because the download phase often stumbled on some very slow mirrors.

2007-12-23 – Release 1.3

Download | Changelog

A sudden change in the download URLs of GEOS made the automatic download fail. Such changes should never happen! But it happened, and this quick release is an attempt to limit the damage.

This release also supports some newer versions of the libraries including support for fontconfig-2.5.0.

2007-12-13 – Release 1.2

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This release is a switch from gcc-3 to gcc-4. It also supports a new library and some newer versions of the already supported libraries.

2007-07-24 – Release 1.1

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This release is the result of the public attention the release 1.0 got. It contains many improvements suggested by its first users, and adds support for many new libraries.

Thanks to Rocco Rutte who contributed many code snippets.

2007-06-19 – Release 1.0

Download | Changelog

This first release has been created in a 7-day-sprint.

2007-06-12 – Project start

See also

This project

Related projects

Related articles

Projects which use MXE (alphabetical order)