Installing DMD on 64-bit Windows 7 (COFF-compatible)

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Revision as of 22:01, 18 December 2012 by Shd (talk | contribs) (fmt)
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original source by Gor Gyolchanyan

Good day, fellow D developers. After spending much time figuring out how to make DMD work fluently under 64-bit Windows 7 I've realized that this is not a trivial task and lots of people might have trouble with this, so I've decided to post my solution, that might save people a lot of time.

As we know, there are compatibility problems with 32-bit DMD binaries, because they are compiled using DMC back-end, which can only produce OMF binaries, so in order to avoid problems with linking against externally compiled libraries, it's much easier to stick to 64-bit binaries, so that DMD will use the Visual Studio linker to produce compatible COFF binaries. Another problem is that 32-bit DMD binaries are linked against obsolete 32-bit WinAPI libraries, which lack some very important functions, while the 64-bit binaries are required to link with the 64-bit libraries, supplied by the the Windows SDK.

And here's how this could be arranged:

  1. Prepare your development folder.
    1. Create a folder with no spaces in its full path.
    2. Store its full path in the '%DEV_DIR_ROOT%' environment variable.
  2. Get the Windows SDK.
    1. Download the Windows SDK.
      1. Navigate to in a web browser.
      2. Under section 2 (number '2' in a green circle) click on the bold blue 'Install Now' link.
      3. In the opened window click in the blue 'Download' button at the bottom of the page.
      4. Make sure, that the Windows SDK installer ('winsdk_web.exe') is downloaded.
    2. Install the downloaded Windows SDK.
      1. Navigate to the folder, where the Windows SDK installer was downloaded in a file browser.
      2. Double-click on the installer and agree to security warnings to launch it.
      3. Click next, read and agree to the license until you reach the 'Install Locations' screen.
      4. Store the path under 'Destination Folder for Tools' in the '%DEV_DIR_MSWINSDK%' (e.g. 'C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SDKs\Windows\v7.0A') and click 'Next >'.
      5. On the 'Installation Options' uncheck everything except 'x64 Libraries' and 'Visual C++ Compilers' and click 'Next >'.
      6. Confirm that everything is correct and click 'Next >' to start installing.
      7. Make sure, tata the installation is completed succesfully.
      8. Store the path to the installed Visual Studio C++ compiler into the '%DEV_DIR_MSVC%' environment variable (e.g. 'C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 10.0\VC').
  3. Get the DMD.
    1. Navigate to in a web browser.
    2. Make sure, that the DMD compiler archive ('') is downloaded.
    3. Unzip the archive into '%DEV_DIR_ROOT%\Tools', so that the 'dmd2' folder in the archive will end up in '%DEV_DIR_ROOT%\Tools\dmd2'.
    4. Adapt the compiler configuration to the development environment.
      1. Open the file '%DEV_DIR_ROOT%\Tools\dmd2\windows\bin\sc.ini' in a text editor.
      2. Replace the line with 'LIB=' with the line 'LIB="%DEV_DIR_WINSDK%\Lib\x64";"%DEV_DIR_MSVC%\lib\amd64";"%@P%\..\lib"'.
      3. Add '-m64 -L/NOLOGO' to the 'DFLAGS' variable.
      4. Remove the lines with 'VCINSTALLDIR=' and 'WindowsSdkDir='.
      5. Replace the like with 'LINKCMD64=' with the line 'LINKCMD64="%DEV_DIR_MSVC%\bin\amd64\link.exe"' Now "%DEV_DIR_ROOT%\Tools\dmd2\windows\bin\dmd.exe" will always use the Windows SDK libraries and Visual C++ compiler to produce 64-bit COFF binaries.

I hope I was helpful, because when I started to set up a development environment under 64-bit Windows 7, I went through a lot of problems to get here and I'd love to have this HOWTO at that time.