MinGW package guidelines

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Package creation guidelines

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This page expains how to write PKGBUILDs for software running on Windows using GCC. There are two options to build software for Windows on Linux:

  • mingw-w64: provides 32 and 64-bit toolchains with secure crt, Vista+ API, DDK (ReactOS), and DirectX (WINE) support. For a full list of supported features and differences with the old MinGW.org, see here. Available from Arch's community repository by installing mingw-w64-gcc.
  • MinGW: provides 32-bit toolchains with limited DirectX support. It also suffers from long-standing breakage in the implementation of thread-local storage and the floating point library support. It has been removed from the official repositories and the AUR.

Package naming

A package for mingw-w64 should be named mingw-w64-pkgname. If a static variant of the package is being built, suffix the package name with -static (see below for the cases where this is necessary).

Packaging

Packaging for cross platform packages can be fairly tricky as there are many different build systems and low-level quirks. Take a note of the following things though:

  • always add mingw-w64-crt to depends
  • always add mingw-w64-gcc to makedepends
  • always add !strip, staticlibs and !buildflags to options
  • always use the original pkgdesc and append (mingw-w64) to the end of pkgdesc
  • always use and follow the original pkgver of the official package
  • always build both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of libraries, unless of course the package can only target, or is meant to only target, 32-bit or 64-bit, or if problems arise building one of the two.
  • always put all stuff under the /usr/i686-w64-mingw32 and /usr/x86_64-w64-mingw32 prefix
  • always use any as the architecture (except the package contains executables which must run on the build system)
  • always build both shared and static binaries, unless they conflict
  • always remove Win32 executables (*.exe) if the intended package is a library (rm "$pkgdir"/usr/${_arch}/bin/*.exe)
  • consider removing unneeded documentation (rm -r $pkgdir/usr/i686-w64-mingw32/share/{doc,info,man}, rm -r $pkgdir/usr/x86_64-w64-mingw32/share/{doc,info,man})
  • consider using mingw-w64-configureAUR for building with configure scripts
  • consider using mingw-w64-cmakeAUR for building with CMake
  • consider using compilation flags -O2 -g -pipe -Wall -Wp,-D_FORTIFY_SOURCE=2 -fexceptions --param=ssp-buffer-size=4 (usually named CFLAGS, CXXFLAGS) when no proper build system is provided
  • consider explicitly stripping symbols with ${_arch}-strip in package()'s for-loop as demonstrated in the below PKGBUILD examples.
    • consider using the find command to iterate over $pkgdir since not all DLLs, static libraries, or executables may reside in their appropriate locations.
      • if the binary is a DLL, use ${_arch}-strip --strip-unneeded *.dll
      • if the binary is a static lib, use ${_arch}-strip -g *.a
  • if a package is modular (requires certain build dependencies, but said dependencies are optional to the end user) add these to makedepends and optdepends. Be sure to subtract them from depends if updating an existing package. Example of this in use: mingw-w64-rubyAUR, mingw-w64-allegroAUR[broken link: archived in aur-mirror]
  • if a package installs a $pkgdir/usr/${_arch}/bin/*-config script, symlink it to $pkgdir/usr/bin/${_arch}-*-config
  • if a package uses autoconf, explicitly set --build="$CHOST" for configure to workaround autoconf bug #108405 or use mingw-w64-configureAUR

As mentioned above, the files should all be installed into /usr/i686-w64-mingw32 and /usr/x86_64-w64-mingw32. Specifically, all DLLs should be put into /usr/*-w64-mingw32/bin as they are dynamic libraries needed at runtime. Their corresponding .dll.a files should go into /usr/*-w64-mingw32/lib. Please delete any unnecessary documentation and perhaps other files from /usr/share. Cross-compilations packages are not meant for the user but only for the compiler and binary distribution, and as such you should try to make them as small as possible.

Always try to match the pkgver in your mingw-w64 packages to the pkgver of the corresponding regular packages in the official Arch Linux repos (not the testing repos). This ensures that the cross-compiled software works exactly the same way on Windows without any unexpected bugs. If packages in Arch are out-of-date, there usually is a good reason and you should still follow the Arch version instead of using the most recent upstream release. If the corresponding native package is in the AUR, you need not follow this version policy, as many AUR packages are often orphaned or left unmaintained.

Examples

The following examples will try to cover some of the most common conventions and build systems.

Autotools

pkgname=mingw-w64-foo
pkgver=1.0
pkgrel=1
pkgdesc="Foo bar (mingw-w64)"
arch=('any')
url="http://www.foo.bar"
license=('GPL')
makedepends=('mingw-w64-configure')
depends=('mingw-w64-crt')
options=('!strip' '!buildflags' 'staticlibs')
source=("http://www.foo.bar/foobar.tar.gz")
md5sums=('4736ac4f34fd9a41fa0197eac23bbc24')

_architectures="i686-w64-mingw32 x86_64-w64-mingw32"

build() {
  cd "${srcdir}/foo-$pkgver/"
  for _arch in ${_architectures}; do
    mkdir -p build-${_arch} && pushd build-${_arch}
    ${_arch}-configure ..
    make
    popd
  done
}

package() {
  for _arch in ${_architectures}; do
    cd "${srcdir}/foo-$pkgver/build-${_arch}"
    make DESTDIR="${pkgdir}" install
    ${_arch}-strip --strip-unneeded "$pkgdir"/usr/${_arch}/bin/*.dll
    ${_arch}-strip -g "$pkgdir"/usr/${_arch}/lib/*.a
  done
}

CMake

pkgname=mingw-w64-foo
pkgver=1.0
pkgrel=1
pkgdesc="Foo bar (mingw-w64)"
arch=('any')
url="http://www.foo.bar"
license=('GPL')
makedepends=('mingw-w64-cmake')
depends=('mingw-w64-crt')
options=('!strip' '!buildflags' 'staticlibs')
source=("http://www.foo.bar/foobar.tar.gz")
md5sums=('4736ac4f34fd9a41fa0197eac23bbc24')

_architectures="i686-w64-mingw32 x86_64-w64-mingw32"

build() { 
  unset LDFLAGS
  cd "$srcdir/foo-$pkgver/"
  for _arch in ${_architectures}; do
    mkdir -p build-${_arch} && pushd build-${_arch}
    ${_arch}-cmake \
      -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Release \
      ..
    make
    popd
  done
}

package() {
  for _arch in ${_architectures}; do
    cd "${srcdir}/foo-$pkgver/build-${_arch}"
    make DESTDIR="${pkgdir}" install
    ${_arch}-strip --strip-unneeded "$pkgdir"/usr/${_arch}/bin/*.dll
    ${_arch}-strip -g "$pkgdir"/usr/${_arch}/lib/*.a
  done
}