5.6. Installing Tool-chains


This is only needed for Windows.

You will need to install some necessary toolchains/utilities to make things easier.

5.6.1. Why?

Why don’t we get everything out-of-the-box with Eclipse? Why one (or many) more step(s) to install other utilities? Why is Eclipse not shipped with every pre-requisite?

This blame game would not take us anywhere. Why is Eclipse not shipped with every pre-requisite? The same holds true for Windows? Why is it not shipped with a compiler by default?

But here is a quick (and dirty) rationale/overview:

  1. Whatever you get from http://eclipse.org/ is under EPL.
  2. Most toolchains are under GPL.
  3. EPL conflicts with GPL.

This makes its difficult for toolchains under GPL or LGPL to be distributed from http://eclipse.org/.

So you will have to install MinGW or Cygwin manually.

To keep things simple, installation of MinGW is described here.

5.6.2. Installing MinGW

  1. Download MinGW from http://www.mingw.org

  2. MinGW would ask for options to be selected. Select todo:: gcc and todo:: make

    (MinGW is a set of tools. C/C++ compiler, gcj compiler, etc. get distributed with MinGW. We only need gcc and make)

  3. It is recommended to select the installation location along with Eclipse. If eclipse.exe is installed as c:\eclipse\eclipse.exe, installing MinGW as C:\eclipse\MinGW would make things simple later.

    Else make sure gcc.exe is in path.

  4. Rename mingw32-make.exe to make.exe


    (The default Make utility in Eclipse is make. Renaming mingw32-make.exe to make.exe just once is easier than changing the property of every Eclipse C project)

  5. Done.

5.6.3. Installing UnxUtils

Basic Unix commands like rm, cp, mv, etc are not available in Windows. Luckily, UnxUtils is at the rescue.

  1. Download UnxUtils from http://sourceforge.net/projects/unxutils/

  2. Add the location of wbin to path .

    e.g. If UnxUtils is unzipped to C:\UnxUtils, C:\UnxUtils\usr\local\wbin has to be added to path.

  3. Remove the UnxUtils make utility.


UnxUtils also distributes Make. The version, 3.78.1, is far more out dated than 3.81 from MinGW.

5.6.4. Visual Studio Express Edition

Possibly, the compiler from MSVC is free for personal use. It is possible to use the compiler form MSVC. Eclipse can use the compiler form MSVC. More about using MSVC is explained in the chapter on using MSVC But, Eclipse cannot use the debugger from MSVC.

[1]todo:: Difference between EPL and GPL
[2]Don’t take my words legally. This may not be true.