Building and Installing XEmacs on Windows 95/98/NT/2000 -*- mode:outline -*-
This is a port of XEmacs to Windows 95/98/NT/2000. If you are looking for a
port of GNU Emacs, see http://www.cs.washington.edu/homes/voelker/ntemacs.html.
NT 3.51 or later is required for building on Windows NT. Note that the
developers typically use NT 4.0 and Windows 2000, and there may possibly be
problems under Windows 95/98 and NT 3.51. If so, please report them to
firstname.lastname@example.org; we are committed to maintaining compatibility with all
* Required tools and sources
1. You will need Visual C++ V4.0 or later to compile everything. Personally
we have tested V4.0, V4.2, V5.0 and v6.0.
Note that Visual C++ assumes that the environment variables INCLUDE and
LIB are set to specify the location of the includes and libraries.
Your PATH environment variable also needs to include the DevStudio
vc\bin and sharedide\bin directories.
Visual C++ V5.0 and later install a batch file called vcvars32.bat in
c:\Program Files\DevStudio\VC\bin\ (or wherever you installed it) that you
can run before building to set up all of these environment variables.
Alternatively, you can choose at setup time to have these
environment variables automatically set up in the registry, which
is generally a good idea.
2. Grab the latest XEmacs source from
or one of its mirrors listed at http://www.xemacs.org/Download/index.html.
(NOTE: If you are behind a firewall and have problems with FTP access,
the URL http://ftp.xemacs.org/pub/xemacs/ works just as well.)
You'll also need the packages. You probably want to get the unified
packages bundle from
If you are building with international support, you also need
Although we don't recommend it, you can also retrieve just the packages
you really need if you have an extremely slow net connection or are very
short on disk space. You can find the various packages in
ftp://ftp.xemacs.org/pub/xemacs/packages/. You will need the xemacs-base
package (and mule-base, if building with international support). You'll
also need the texinfo package unless you have a copy of makeinfo.exe on
your machine. If you want to download additional or updated packages
from within XEmacs you'll need the efs, dired and vm packages. You'll
probably also want at least the edit-utils, text-modes, fsf-compat,
cc-mode, prog-modes and xemacs-devel packages.
Unpack the packages into "x:\your\choice\XEmacs\xemacs-packages",
for example "c:\Program Files\XEmacs\xemacs-packages".
3. At this point you can choose to build for X and/or for Win32 native GUI.
If you only want to build for the Win32 native GUI then skip the next
** Extra tools and sources required for X
NOTE: XEmacs has not been tested with X support under the native
Windows build for a long, long time! It may not even compile any
more. If you are interested in X support, you're better off compiling
the Cygwin version of XEmacs, which can handle both Win32 native and X
frames (in the same binary, in fact, but not at the same time), and is
actively tested with X support.
If you want support for X you will also need:
1. An X server. XEmacs has been tested and runs well under MI/X,
available from: http://www.microimages.com/mix/. (International aka
"Mule" support even works under this X server!) Unfortunately, this is
not free, but is trialware; you have to pay $25 if you want to use it
for more than 15 days. XEmacs also runs (barely) under the free XWin
server that comes as part of the Cygwin XFree86 package, available at
or numerous mirrors, such as
There are numerous other X servers available in the same package or at
the same location, but unfortunately most of them behave even worse
than XWin. If you have any luck with any of these, *PLEASE* email
the maintainers at email@example.com, and we'll add the info here.
2. Source for the MIT X11R6.3 libraries, available from ftp.x.org.
3. You'll need to compile the MIT libraries without multi-thread support.
To do this, there is an example Win32.cf and site.def provided which set
the relevant flags. You will also need to apply the patch in nt/X11.patch
in the xc/lib/X11 directory which will fix the DLL definition file.
Once compiled and installed, you will need to apply the patch in
nt/Xmd.patch. This is messy and better solutions would be appreciated.
4. Goto step 2 under 'Optional libraries' below.
* Optional libraries
1. You really want the XPM library. Grab the latest version of the
xpm sources (xpm-3.4k.tar.gz at time of writing) from
ftp://ftp.xemacs.org/pub/xemacs/aux/ and unpack them somewhere.
Copy nt\xpm.mak from the xemacs sources to the lib subdirectory of the
xpm sources, cd to that directory and build xpm with 'nmake -f xpm.mak'.
2. You probably also want PNG image support. Grab the latest versions of zlib
and libpng (zlib-1.1.3 and libpng-1.0.2 at time of writing) from
ftp://ftp.xemacs.org/pub/xemacs/aux/, unpack them somewhere and read
the respective READMEs for details on how to build them. The following
build procedure works for zlib-1.1.3 and libpng-1.0.2:
cd to the zlib directory, type 'copy msdos\makefile.w32 Makefile' and
then type 'nmake'.
cd to the libpng directory, rename or move the zlib directory to ..\zlib
and type 'nmake -f scripts\makefile.w32'.
3. If you want TIFF support, grap the latest version of libtiff (tiff-v3.4
at time of writing) from ftp://ftp.xemacs.org/pub/xemacs/aux/ and unpack
it somewhere. Copy nt\tiff.mak from the xemacs sources to the
contrib\winnt subdirectory of the tiff sources, cd to that directory and
build libtiff with 'nmake -f tiff.mak'. Note: tiff.mak has only been
verified to work under WinNT, not Win95 or 98. However, the latest
distribution of libtiff includes a contrib\win95\makefile.w95; that might
4. If you want JPEG support grab the latest version of jpegsrc (jpeg-6b at
time of writing) from ftp://ftp.xemacs.org/pub/xemacs/aux/ and read the
README for details on how to build it.
5. If you want X-Face support, grab the compface distribution from
ftp://ftp.xemacs.org/pub/xemacs/aux/ and unpack it somewhere.
Copy nt\compface.mak from xemacs sources to the compface directory.
cd to that directory and build libcompface with 'nmake -f compface.mak'.
1. cd to the nt subdirectory of the xemacs distribution and copy the file
config.inc.samp to config.inc. Make any necessary modifications. This
file controls the options that XEmacs is built with:
-- If you want international (aka "Mule") support, modify the appropriate
line in config.inc as follows:
NOTE: This support is still quite raw under the Win32 native GUI,
but works well if you compile the Cygwin version with X support
and disable native Win32 support (--with-msw=no).
-- If you're building with XPM support, modify the appropriate lines in
config.inc as follows:
and similarly for JPEG and TIFF support.
-- If you're building with PNG support, modify the appropriate lines in
config.inc as follows:
-- If you're building with GIF support, modify the appropriate lines in
config.inc as follows:
-- If you're building with X-Face support, modify the appropriate lines in
config.inc as follows:
-- If you're building for X, modify the appropriate lines in config.inc
-- By default, XEmacs will expect to find its packages in the
subdirectories "site-packages", "mule-packages" and "xemacs-packages"
under the directory "c:\Program Files\XEmacs". If you want it to look
for these subdirectories elsewhere, modify the appropriate lines in
config.inc as follows:
Make sure that the directory pointed to by PACKAGE_PREFIX contains
the xemacs-packages directory into which you installed the packages.
-- XEmacs can build its info files more quickly if you have a copy of the
makeinfo program. If you have a copy, modify the appropriate lines in
config.inc as follows:
If you don't have a copy of makeinfo then you'll need to have installed
the XEmacs texinfo package.
2. If you want to install XEmacs when you build it, modify the appropriate
lines in config.inc as follows (you can also run XEmacs from its build
(By default, XEmacs will be installed in directories under the directory
3. If you want to build xemacs on the command line, use
`nmake install -f xemacs.mak', or just `nmake -f xemacs.mak' if you want
to run XEmacs from its build directory. nmake will build temacs, the DOC
file, update the elc's, dump xemacs and (optionally) install the relevant
files in the directories under the installation directory.
If you chose to install XEmacs, the file that you should run to start
XEmacs will be installed (by default) as
To run from the build directory, run the file "nt\xemacs.exe" off of the
root of the build directory.
You may want to create a shortcut to the file from your Desktop or
4. To build using MS Developer Studio, you can use the workspace file
`nt/xemacs.dsw'. This was prepared for Visual C++ 6.0. If you are using
Visual C++ 5.0, you can use the workspace file `nt/xemacs-vc50.dsw'. If
you have a different version and neither file works, just open up
`nt/xemacs.mak' from within MS Developer Studio and it will offer to wrap
this Makefile in a workspace file, from which you can build. Assuming
you want to run from the build directory (which you will want to do if
you are planning on doing any development work on XEmacs), use the
following settings in Project/Settings...:
Under the General tab:
Build command line: NMAKE /f xemacs.mak
Output file name: ..\src\xemacs.exe
Browse info file name: ..\src\temacs.bsc
Under the Debug tab:
Executable for debug session: ..\src\xemacs.exe
If you want to install XEmacs when it's built, change the build command
line to "NMAKE install /f xemacs.mak". (You will have to make the same
change even if you use the provided workspace nt/xemacs.dsw.)
* Debugging under MS Developer Studio
The build process always creates debugging and "Source Browser" information
in the source tree for use with DevStudio. However that information is not
very useful unless you build a debug version of XEmacs:
1. Set DEBUG_XEMACS=1 and DEPEND=1 in config.inc and rebuild.
2. See instructions above for obtaining a workspace file for use with
MS Developer Studio. Build and debug your XEmacs this way.
3. To display the contents of a lisp variable, type Shift-F9 (or use the
menu) to bring up the QuickWatch window, type debug_print(variable) and
click Recalculate. The output will appear in a console window, as well
as in the Debug window in MS Developer Studio.
4. To view Lisp variables in the "Watch" window wrap the variable in one of
the helper functions from the file src\console-msw.c, for example type
DSTRING(variable) in the "Watch" window to inspect a Lisp string.
* Known Problems
Please look at the PROBLEMS file for known problems. Any other problems you
need clarified, please email us and we will endeavour to provide any
assistance we can:
The XEmacs NT Mailing List: firstname.lastname@example.org
Subscribe address: email@example.com
Ben Wing (current primary MS Windows maintainer; author of the MS Windows
Mule code and some of the dialog box code)
Andy Piper (MS Windows contributor; author of the Cygwin support and the
MS Windows glyph and widget code)
Jonathan Harris (MS Windows contributor; author of the MS Windows redisplay
and underlying GUI code)
Kirill Katsnelson (MS Windows contributor; author of the MS Windows process
and printing code and some of the dialog box code;
general guru on obscure MS Windows programming topics)
David Hobley (early MS Windows contributor)
Marc Paquette (early MS Windows contributor)
August Hill (early MS Windows contributor)