Compiling Apache for Microsoft Windows - Apache HTTP Server Version 2.4

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Apache HTTP Server Version 2.4

Apache > HTTP Server > Documentation > Version 2.4 > Platform Specific NotesCompiling Apache for Microsoft Windows

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    There are many important points to consider before you begin compiling
    Apache HTTP Server (httpd). See Using Apache HTTP
    Server on Microsoft Windows before you begin.

    httpd can be built on Windows using a cmake-based build system or with
    Visual Studio project files maintained by httpd developers.  The cmake-based
    build system directly supports more versions of Visual Studio but currently
    has considerable functional limitations.

 Building httpd with the included Visual Studio project files
 Building httpd with cmake
See alsoComments

Building httpd with the included Visual Studio project files



    Compiling Apache requires the following environment to be
    properly installed:

        Disk Space

        Make sure you have at least 200 MB of free disk space
        available. After installation Apache requires approximately
        80 MB of disk space, plus space for log and cache files,
        which can grow rapidly. The actual disk space requirements
        will vary considerably based on your chosen configuration and
        any third-party modules or libraries, especially when OpenSSL
        is also built.  Because many files are text and very easily
        compressed, NTFS filesystem compression cuts these requirements
        in half.

        Appropriate Patches

        The httpd binary is built with the help of several patches to
        third party packages, which ensure the released code is buildable
        and debuggable.  These patches are available and distributed from
        and are recommended to be applied to obtain identical results as the
        "official" ASF distributed binaries.

        Microsoft Visual C++ 6.0 (Visual Studio 97) or later.

        Apache can be built using the command line tools, or from
        within the Visual Studio IDE Workbench.  The command line
        build requires the environment to reflect the PATH,
        INCLUDE, LIB and other variables
        that can be configured with the vcvars32.bat script.

        You may want the Visual Studio Processor Pack for your older
        version of Visual Studio, or a full (not Express) version of newer
        Visual Studio editions, for the ml.exe assembler.  This will allow
        you to build OpenSSL, if desired, using the more efficient assembly
        code implementation.

        Only the Microsoft compiler tool chain is actively supported by
        the active httpd contributors.  Although the project regularly accepts
        patches to ensure MinGW and other alternative builds work and improve
        upon them, they are not actively maintained and are often broken in
        the course of normal development.

        Updated Microsoft Windows Platform SDK, February 2003 or later.

        An appropriate Windows Platform SDK is included by default in the
        full (not express/lite) versions  of Visual C++ 7.1 (Visual Studio 2002)
        and later, these users can ignore these steps unless explicitly choosing
        a newer or different version of the Platform SDK.

        To use Visual C++ 6.0 or 7.0 (Studio 2000 .NET), the Platform SDK
        environment must be prepared using the setenv.bat
        script (installed by the Platform SDK) before starting the command
        line build or launching the msdev/devenv GUI environment.  Installing
        the Platform SDK for Visual Studio Express versions (2003 and later)
        should adjust the default environment appropriately.

          "c:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio\VC98\Bin\VCVARS32"
          "c:\Program Files\Platform SDK\setenv.bat"

        Perl and awk

        Several steps recommended here require a perl interpreter during
        the build preparation process, but it is otherwise not required.

        To install Apache within the build system, several files are
        modified using the awk.exe utility. awk was chosen since
        it is a very small download (compared with Perl or WSH/VB) and
        accomplishes the task of modifying configuration files upon
        installation.  Brian Kernighan's
        site has a compiled native Win32 binary, which
        you must save with the name awk.exe (rather than

        If awk.exe is not found,'s install target
        will not perform substitutions in the installed .conf files.
        You must manually modify the installed .conf files to allow
        the server to start.  Search and replace all "@token@" tags
        as appropriate.

        The Visual Studio IDE will only find awk.exe
        from the PATH, or executable path specified in the menu option
        Tools -> Options -> (Projects ->) Directories.  Ensure
        awk.exe is in your system path.

        Also note that if you are using Cygwin tools
        the awk utility is named gawk.exe and that the file
        awk.exe is really a symlink to the gawk.exe
        file. The Windows command shell does not recognize symlinks, and
        because of this building InstallBin will fail. A workaround is
        to delete awk.exe from the cygwin installation and
        copy gawk.exe to awk.exe.  Also note the
        cygwin/mingw ports of gawk 3.0.x were buggy, please upgrade to 3.1.x
        before attempting to use any gawk port.

        [Optional] zlib library (for mod_deflate)

        Zlib must be installed into a srclib subdirectory named
        zlib.  This must be built in-place.  Zlib can be obtained
        from -- the
        mod_deflate is confirmed to work correctly with
        version 1.2.3.

          nmake -f win32\Makefile.msc
          nmake -f win32\Makefile.msc test

        [Optional] OpenSSL libraries (for mod_ssl
        and ab.exe with ssl support)

        The OpenSSL library is cryptographic software.  The country
        in which you currently reside may have restrictions on the import,
        possession, use, and/or re-export to another country, of encryption
        software.  BEFORE using any encryption software, please check your
        country's laws, regulations and policies concerning the import,
        possession, or use, and re-export of encryption software, to see
        if this is permitted.  See
        for more information.

        Configuring and building OpenSSL requires perl to be installed.

        OpenSSL must be installed into a srclib subdirectory
        named openssl, obtained from, in order to compile
        mod_ssl or the abs.exe project, which
        is ab.c with SSL support enabled.  To prepare OpenSSL to be linked
        to Apache mod_ssl or abs.exe, and disable patent encumbered features
        in OpenSSL,  you might use the following build commands:

          perl Configure no-rc5 no-idea enable-mdc2 enable-zlib VC-WIN32
               -Ipath/to/srclib/zlib -Lpath/to/srclib/zlib
          nmake -f ms\ntdll.mak

        It is not advisable to use zlib-dynamic, as that transfers
        the cost of deflating SSL streams to the first request which must
        load the zlib dll.  Note the suggested patch enables the -L flag to
        work with windows builds, corrects the name of zdll.lib and ensures
        .pdb files are generated for troubleshooting.  If the assembler is
        not installed, you would add no-asm above and use ms\do_ms.bat
        instead of the ms\do_masm.bat script.

        [Optional] Database libraries (for mod_dbd
        and mod_authn_dbm)

        The apr-util library exposes dbm (keyed database) and dbd (query
        oriented database) client functionality to the httpd server and its
        modules, such as authentication and authorization.  The sdbm dbm and
        odbc dbd providers are compiled unconditionally.

        The dbd support includes the Oracle instantclient package, MySQL,
        PostgreSQL and sqlite.  To build these all, for example, set up the
        LIB to include the library path, INCLUDE to include the headers path,
        and PATH to include the dll bin path of all four SDK's, and set the
        DBD_LIST environment variable to inform the build which client driver
        SDKs are installed correctly, e.g.;

          set DBD_LIST=sqlite3 pgsql oracle mysql

        Similarly, the dbm support can be extended with DBM_LIST to
        build a Berkeley DB provider (db) and/or gdbm provider, by similarly
        configuring LIB, INCLUDE and PATH first to ensure the client library
        libs and headers are available.

          set DBM_LIST=db gdbm

        Depending on the choice of database distributions, it may be
        necessary to change the actual link target name (e.g. gdbm.lib vs.
        libgdb.lib) that are listed in the corresponding .dsp/.mak files
        within the directories srclib\apr-util\dbd or ...\dbm.

        See the README-win32.txt file for more hints on obtaining the
        various database driver SDKs.


  Building from Unix sources


    The policy of the Apache HTTP Server project is to only release Unix sources.
    Windows source packages made available for download have been supplied by 
    volunteers and may not be available for every release. You can still build 
    the server on Windows from the Unix source tarball with just a few additional

    	Download and unpack the Unix source tarball for the latest version.
    	Download and unpack the Unix source tarball for latest version of
        APR, AR-Util and APR-Iconv, place these sources in directories  httpd-2.x.x\srclib\apr, httpd-2.x.x\srclib\apr-util and httpd-2.x.x\srclib\apr-iconv
    	Open a Command Prompt and CD to the httpd-2.x.x folder
    	Run the line endings conversion utility at the prompt;

      perl srclib\apr\build\

    You can now build the server with the Visual Studio development 
    environment using the IDE. Command-Line builds of the server are not 
    possible from Unix sources unless you export .mak files as explained 


  Command-Line Build

 is the top level Apache makefile.
    To compile Apache on Windows, simply use one of the following commands
    to build the release or debug flavor:

      nmake /f _apacher
      nmake /f _apached

    Either command will compile Apache. The latter will disable
    optimization of the resulting files, making it easier to single
    step the code to find bugs and track down problems.

    You can add your apr-util dbd and dbm provider choices with the
    additional make (environment) variables DBD_LIST and DBM_LIST,
    see the comments about [Optional] Database libraries, above.
    Review the initial comments in for additional options
    that can be provided when invoking the build.


  Developer Studio Workspace IDE Build


    Apache can also be compiled using VC++'s Visual Studio
    development environment. To simplify this process, a
    Visual Studio workspace, Apache.dsw, is provided.
    This workspace exposes the entire list of working .dsp
    projects that are required for the complete Apache binary release.
    It includes dependencies between the projects to assure that they
    are built in the appropriate order.

    Open the Apache.dsw workspace, and select
    InstallBin (Release or Debug build,
    as desired) as the Active Project. InstallBin causes all
    related project to be built, and then invokes to
    move the compiled executables and dlls. You may personalize the
    INSTDIR= choice by changing InstallBin's Settings,
    General tab, Build command line entry. INSTDIR defaults to the
    /Apache2 directory. If you only want a test compile (without
    installing) you may build the BuildBin project instead.

    The .dsp project files are distributed in Visual Studio 6.0
    (98) format. Visual C++ 5.0 (97) will recognize them. Visual Studio
    2002 (.NET) and later users must convert Apache.dsw plus
    the .dsp files into an Apache.sln plus
    .msproj files.  Be sure you reconvert the .msproj
    file again if its source .dsp file changes! This is really
    trivial, just open Apache.dsw in the VC++ 7.0 IDE once again
    and reconvert.

    There is a flaw in the .vcproj conversion of .dsp files.  devenv.exe
    will mis-parse the /D flag for RC flags containing long quoted /D'efines
    which contain spaces.  The command:
      perl srclib\apr\build\ -2005
    will convert the /D flags for RC flags to use an alternate, parseable
    syntax; unfortunately this syntax isn't supported by Visual Studio 97
    or its exported .mak files.  These /D flags are used to pass the long
    description of the files to the shared .rc resource
    version-identifier build.

    Visual Studio 2002 (.NET) and later users should also use the Build
    menu, Configuration Manager dialog to uncheck both the Debug
    and Release Solution modules abs,
    mod_deflate and mod_ssl components, as
    well as every component starting with apr_db*.  These modules
    are built by invoking nmake, or the IDE directly with the
    BinBuild target, which builds those modules conditionally
    if the srclib directories openssl and/or
    zlib exist, and based on the setting of DBD_LIST
    and DBM_LIST environment variables.


  Exporting command-line .mak files


    Exported .mak files pose a greater hassle, but they are
    required for Visual C++ 5.0 users to build mod_ssl,
    abs (ab with SSL support) and/or
    mod_deflate.  The .mak files also support a broader
    range of C++ tool chain distributions, such as Visual Studio Express.

    You must first build all projects in order to create all dynamic
    auto-generated targets, so that dependencies can be parsed correctly.
    Build the entire project from within the Visual Studio 6.0 (98) IDE,
    using the BuildAll target, then use the Project Menu Export
    for all makefiles (checking on "with dependencies".)  Run the following
    command to correct absolute paths into relative paths so they will build

      perl srclib\apr\build\

    You must type this command from the top level
    directory of the httpd source tree. Every
    .mak and .dep project file within
    the current directory and below will be corrected, and the
    timestamps adjusted to reflect the .dsp.

    Always review the generated .mak and .dep
    files for Platform SDK or other local, machine specific file paths.
    The DevStudio\Common\MSDev98\bin\ (VC6) directory contains
    a sysincl.dat file, which lists all exceptions.  Update
    this file (including both forward and backslashed paths, such as both
    sys/time.h and sys\time.h) to ignore such
    newer dependencies.  Including local-install paths in a distributed
    .mak file will cause the build to fail completely.

    If you contribute back a patch that revises project files, we
    must commit project files in Visual Studio 6.0 format. Changes
    should be simple, with minimal compilation and linkage flags that
    can be recognized by all Visual Studio environments.




    Once Apache has been compiled, it needs to be installed in
    its server root directory. The default is the
    \Apache2 directory, of the same drive.

    To build and install all the files into the desired folder
    dir automatically, use one of the following
    nmake commands:

      nmake /f installr INSTDIR=dir
      nmake /f installd INSTDIR=dir

    The dir argument to INSTDIR provides
    the installation directory; it can be omitted if Apache is
    to be installed into \Apache22 (of the current


  Warning about building Apache from the development tree


    Note only the .dsp files are maintained between release
    builds. The .mak files are NOT regenerated, due to the tremendous
    waste of reviewer's time. Therefore, you cannot rely on the NMAKE
    commands above to build revised .dsp project files unless you
    then export all .mak files yourself from the project. This is
    unnecessary if you build from within the Microsoft
    Developer Studio environment.


Building httpd with cmake

  The primary documentation for this build mechanism is in the 
  README.cmake file in the source distribution.  Refer to that file
  for detailed instructions.

  Building httpd with cmake requires building APR and APR-util separately.
  Refer to their README.cmake files for instructions.

  The primary limitations of the cmake-based build are inherited from the APR-util
  project, and are listed below because of their impact on httpd:

    No cmake build for the APR-iconv subproject is available, and the
      APR-util cmake build cannot consume an existing APR-iconv build.  Thus,
      mod_charset_lite and possibly some third-party modules 
      cannot be used.
    The cmake build for the APR-util subproject does not support most of the
      optional DBM and DBD libraries supported by the included Visual Studio
      project files.  This limits the database backends supported by a number of
      bundled and third-party modules.


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CommentsNotice:This is not a Q&A section. Comments placed here should be pointed towards suggestions on improving the documentation or server, and may be removed again by our moderators if they are either implemented or considered invalid/off-topic. Questions on how to manage the Apache HTTP Server should be directed at either our IRC channel, #httpd, on Freenode, or sent to our mailing lists.

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