Revision of Welcome to MinGW.org from 2010, September 3 - 09:21

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Home of the MinGW, MSYS and mingwPORT Projects


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 (only the Microsoft C runtime, MSVCRT).

MinGW compilers provide access to the functionality of the Microsoft C runtime and some language-specific runtimes. MinGW, being Minimalist, does not and will never attempt to provide a POSIX environment. If you want POSIX, please look at Cygwin instead.

MinGW includes:

  • A port of the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC), including C, C++, ADA and Fortran compilers;
  • GNU Binutils for Windows (linker, archive manager)
  • MSYS, a fork of Cygwin designed for running configure scripts and Makefiles
  • Community-supported add-on tools and libraries (mingwPORTs)
  • A graphical and a command-line installer for Windows
  • Cross-compilers to build Windows applications on other platforms (e.g. Linux)

MSYS, a contraction of "Minimal SYStem", is a Bourne Shell command line interpreter system. Offered as an alternative to Microsoft's cmd.exe, this provides a general purpose command line environment, which is particularly suited to use with MinGW, for porting of many Open Source applications to the MS-Windows platform; it includes a small selection of Unix tools, chosen to facilitate that objective, and using it is a necessary prerequisite for building mingwPORTs.

mingwPORTs are user contributed additions to the MinGW software collection. Rather than providing these "add-ons" as precompiled binary packages, they are supplied in the form of interactive Bourne shell scripts, which guide the end user through the process of automatically downloading and patching original source code, then building and installing it. Users who wish to build any application from a mingwPORT must first install both MinGW and MSYS.


Several project affiliated Mailing Lists are available, which you are encouraged to join, and in which you are invited to participate. In particular, there is a general discussion list, mingw-users@lists.sourceforge.net, for general questions: please use it; do not create wiki pages, or add comments to wiki pages, to ask questions. Information for sign-up, and links to the archives can be found on the mailing lists page. You may search the archives using the "Mail List Search" form found on the right hand side of every http://www.mingw.org page.

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Site maintenance completed May 25th, 2012 at 12:38 UTC