How to Build Racket on Windows 7

Here are the steps I followed to build Racket from a git checkout on a fresh Windows 7 installation.

  • Installed Visual Studio Express 2008 (not 2010 or 2012). This is hard to find on Microsoft’s website; this stackoverflow question linked to the Visual Studio Express 2008 ISO directly.

  • Used Virtual Clone Drive from SlySoft to mount the ISO in order to install Visual Studio, since Microsoft thoughtfully omitted ISO-mounting functionality from the core operating system.

  • Installed MASM32 to get a working assembler, since Microsoft thoughtfully omitted an assembler from their core compiler suite. (I am informed that later and/or non-Express editions of Visual Studio do actually include an assembler.)

  • Added the following directories to the system path:

    • C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 9.0\VC\bin, for cl.exe etc.
    • C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 9.0\Common7\IDE, for VCExpress.exe
    • C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 9.0\Common7\Tools, for vsvars32.bat
    • C:\masm32\bin, for ml.exe

    They do have to appear in that order, in particular with the MASM directory last, since it includes a link.exe that will otherwise conflict with the Visual Studio linker.

  • Installed Github for Windows and checked out Racket.

  • Opened a cmd.exe shell. NOTE not a PowerShell instance. Somehow environment variables are propagated differently in PowerShell from in cmd.exe! You want to only try to use cmd.exe to build Racket with.

  • Ran vsvars32.bat in that shell. This step is important, as otherwise the start of the xform stage in the build will fail to find stdio.h.

  • Navigated to my Racket checkout within that shell, and from there to src/worksp. Ran build.bat.

Following these steps will in principle lead to a fresh Racket.exe living in the root directory of your Racket checkout. There are many, many things that could go wrong however. Good luck!

Comments (closed)
Cesar 17:00, 29 Nov 2013

How to build it with Visual Studio Express 2010?
Many thanks in advance,

Cesar