Building On Windows

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Warning icon This page has been deprecated. Newer information can be found here: https://github.com/audacity/audacity/blob/master/BUILDING.md
The information on this page are likely out-of-date and will not be updated in the forseeable future. It may be removed at any time.
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  • Instructions for building modules


These are instructions for building on Windows

The build family of pages:

Instructions in win/build.txt

These instructions for building on Windows are in win/build.txt in the Git repo.
Instructions for building on Windows.

Fuller instructions that include
   * Installing CMake 
   * Portable Settings
   * Building an Installer
can be found on our wiki at 
http://wiki.audacityteam.org/wiki/Building_On_Windows


1. MSVC 2019: Download and install Microsoft Visual Studio 2019

  https://visualstudio.microsoft.com/thank-you-downloading-visual-studio/?sku=Community&rel=16
  be sure to include the Desktop Development with C++ Workflow
  this build was testing using VS 16.8.5

2. Git: Download and install Git, for example by installing:

  Git for Windows: https://git-scm.com/download/win
  and optionally GitExtensions: http://gitextensions.github.io/

  download and run the .msi installer.  GitExtensions has a GUI interface, 
  includes Git for Windows and has a Git bash command line in the bottom panel 
  of the screen.

3. Python

  We no longer use Python 2.7.18 during the build. Instead we must use Python 3.
  You can download Python 3.9.1 from https://www.python.org/downloads/windows/
  Select the Python 3.9.1 Windows Installer (32-bit)

4. wxWidgets:

 a) Clone wxWidgets and checkout 3.1.3 from the Audacity fork of the 
    wxWidgets project: 
       https://github.com/audacity/wxWidgets/

    for example, in the git-bash command line:
      mkdir wxWidgets
      git clone --recurse-submodules https://github.com/audacity/wxWidgets/
      
    IF you forgot the --recurse-submodules, you can correct that later by:
      git submodule update --init

    It is instructive to review but do NOT follow the instructions for 
    building at 
    https://github.com/audacity/wxWidgets/blob/audacity-fixes-3.1.3/README-GIT.md
    https://github.com/audacity/wxWidgets/blob/audacity-fixes-3.1.3/docs/msw/install.md
 
 b) We (currently) build the 32 bit DLL version, 
    and Audacity is built 32 bit too.

    Set WXWIN environment variable to the appropriate directory where you 
    installed wxWidgets. This will tell CMake where to find wxWidgets later.

      To set WXWIN, click on Settings (the cogwheel icon from the start menu)
      Then in the 'find a setting' search box type 'env'.
      Choose 'Edit the system environment variables'
      Then the 'Environment Variables' button 
      Then in system variables, for variable and value,  add (for example)     

      WXWIN         C:\aud300\wxWidgets

    You will be building a dll version with MSVC2019 IDE, so...

	    In Windows File Manager, right-click on ../wxWidgets/build/msw/wx_vc16.sln,
	    Select Visual Studio 2019.
	    In the solutions configurations drop-down list, change "Debug" to 
      "DLL Release",
     	Then select Build > Build Solution.
	
	  When the build completes, you will get a message such as:
	  ========= Build: 24 succeeded, 0 failed, 0 up-to-date, 0 skipped ==========

	    Close Visual Studio.

    You can check this worked also by looking in C:\aud300\wxWidgets\lib\vc_dll
    There should be dll files there with _'ud' in their name.    
    The ud stands for 'unicode debug'.  If you only have files with 'u' then 
    you only have release.


5. Audacity

  a) Clone Audacity from the Audacity GitHub project.
       https://github.com/audacity/audacity/

    for example, in the git-bash command line
      mkdir audacity
      git clone https://github.com/audacity/audacity/

  b) Open the CMake GUI

     Open VS 2019 > "continue without code" > File > Open > CMake
     Open CMakeLists.txt in root of audacity source folder you cloned

     Wait for the CMake Overview Pages tab to appear (be patient)
	   Click "Open the CMake Settings Editor" in this new tab
	   Scroll up to the top of the window and settings
	   In the Configurations window, click the green "+", then select x86-Release
	   Set Configuration type: Release

	   Verify Toolset: msvc_86
	   Keep Build Root: ${projectDir}\out\build\${name} (default, you can 
     change it) (this corresponds to CMAKE_BINARY_DIR)

     Click on "Show advanced settings" (scroll down).
	   Change CMake generator: VS 16 2019 (was Ninja)
	   Click "Save and Generate CMake cache to load variables" once, then
	   Click "Save and Generate CMake cache to load variables" a second time
	     or select Project > Generate CMake Cache
	 
  c) Switch to the Ouput tab

     Wait for "CMake generation finished".
	   Check the Error List window:
	     you should have 0 Errors and 0 Warnings.
		 
  d) Return to the CMakeSettings.json window
       Review CMake variables and cache
	   Note that:

	   wxWidgets_LIB_DIR > 'C:/aud300/wxWidgets/lib/vc_dll' (your path 
       may be slightly different)
     wxWidgets_ROOT_DIR > 'C:/aud300/wxWidgets' (your path 
       may be slightly different)
       

  e) Build

       Select Build > Build All
       Click on the Output tab and wait for the message "Build All succeeded" 
	     Check the Error List tab.  There should be 0 Errors and 17 Warnings.
       Check the output directory indicated in step 6 to find 
         `../bin/Release/Audacity.exe`

Variations

These instructions for variations on building aren't in win/build.txt in the Git repo.


Official Full Releases

Official full releases:

  • Have a GitIdent, visible in the about box build information, that says what branch was used in building.
  • Come with translations
  • May be as a zip file
    • No manual provided
  • May be as a windows installer.
    • These come with help files in html format.
  • Are signed.


Fetching The Manual

We have instructions for fetching the manual on another page.


Building the Installer

The Inno setup installer requires certain files in certain places to be able to produce the installer.

 1. Copy msvcp140.dll and vcruntime140.dll from 
    C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio\2017\Community\VC\Redist\MSVC\14.14.26405\x86\Microsoft.VC141.CRT
    to \win\release

    The 64 bit version will not work on 32 bit machines.

Now to actually make the installer...

  1. Install the latest Unicode Inno Setup (http://www.jrsoftware.org/isinfo.php). 
  2. Open the Inno Setup script:
       \win\Inno_Setup_Wizard\audacity.iss
  3. Click 'Compile'.
Bulb icon  
  • If installing on Windows 8 or 10, you will need to set permissions on the C:\Program Files (x86)\Inno Setup 5\Languages\dummy directory to allow .isl files to be written there.
  • You will also need to obtain the 'unofficial' .isl files yourself and place them in C:\Program Files (x86)\Inno Setup 5\Languages\unofficial. They aren't installed by Inno setup, but you can obtain them from GitHub.

Making the Zip File

Do this step after making and testing the installer.

  Having installed from the installer

  1. Use 7-zip to create a new archive from the installed files excluding:
    - The manual
    - The unins* files
    - FirstTimeInit.txt

Note that the .exe in this zip file and dlls are not code signed. Audacity loads dlls dynamically at run time, possibly unsigned ones, so signing the exe itself is misleading for security. The integrity and security of the zip file is provided by its published checksukm. The situation is different for the installer where the code signature protects the entire bundle.


Signing the Installer

More detailed information on obtaining and verifying the cert is available at Codesigning On Windows

Codesigning uses a USB dongle (smart card reader) and a timestamp server at certum:

signtool sign /n "James Crook" /t http://time.certum.pl/ /fd sha256 /v <path-to-audacity-git>\win\Output\audacity-win-2.3.0.exe

If you don;t have the path to signtool.exe pre set, you might find it here:

C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Kits\8.1\bin\x64\signtool.exe
Bulb icon To test the signing, upload the installer to dropbox and then download it again. Then double-click to open. When you launch Audacity, you now get a warning about having downloaded from the internet, with the identity of the signing key shown.