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

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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:

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.

Get the Windows SDK.

Download the Windows SDK

  1. Navigate to Microsoft Windows SDK for Windows 7 in a web browser.
  2. In the opened window click Download button.
  3. Make sure, that the Windows SDK installer (winsdk_web.exe) is downloaded.

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_WINSDK% (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, that 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).

Get the DMD

  1. Navigate to dmd2beta 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'.

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 the line
  3. Add -m64 to the 'DFLAGS' variable.
  4. Remove the lines
  5. Replace the line
    with the line
    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.


Keywords added to make article searchable: Win64, Win-64, Win 64, 64bit guide