Compilation guide for 64 bit Windows (using Cygwin)

This guide contains instructions for compiling Cataclysm-DDA on Windows under Cygwin. PLEASE NOTE: These instructions are not intended to produce a redistributable copy of CDDA. Please download the official builds from the website or cross-compile from Linux if that is your intention.

These instructions were written using 64-bit Windows 7 and the 64-bit version of Cygwin; the steps should be the same for other versions of Windows.

Due to slow environment setup and execution of the resulting binary, compilation using MSYS2 is preferred.


  • 64-bit version of Windows 7, 8, 8.1, or 10
  • NTFS partition with ~10 Gb free space (~2 Gb for Cygwin installation, ~3 Gb for repository and ~5 Gb for ccache)
  • 64-bit version of Cygwin


  1. Go to the Cygwin homepage and download the 64-bit installer (e.g. setup-x86_64.exe).

  2. Run downloaded file and install Cygwin. Select Install from Internet and select the desired installation directory. It is suggested that you install into a dev-specific directory (e.g. C:\dev\cygwin64), but it’s not strictly necessary. Install for all users.

  3. Give the \downloads\ folder as the local package directory (e.g. C:\dev\cygwin64\downloads).

  4. Use system proxy settings unless you know you have a reason not to.

  5. On the next screen, select any mirror you like.

  6. Enter wget into the search box, expand the “Web” category and select the latest version in the drop-down (1.21.1-1 as of the time this guide was written).

  7. Confirm that wget is shown in the following screen by scrolling to the bottom. This is the full list of packages that Cygwin will download and install.

  8. Retry any packages that throw errors.

  9. Check boxes to add shortcuts to Start Menu and/or Desktop, then press Finish button.


  1. Launch the Cygwin64 terminal from your desktop.

  2. Install apt-cyg for easier package installation:

wget -O /bin/apt-cyg
chmod 755 /bin/apt-cyg
  1. Install packages required for compilation:
apt-cyg install astyle ccache gcc-g++ gettext-devel git libiconv-devel libintl-devel libSDL2_image-devel libSDL2_mixer-devel libSDL2_ttf-devel make xinit

You will see messages saying packages are already installed, as well as Cygwin installing packages you didn’t ask for; this is the result of Cygwin’s package manager automatically resolving dependencies.

Cloning and compilation:

  1. Clone the Cataclysm-DDA repository with following command:

Note: This will download the entire CDDA repository and all of its history (3GB). If you’re just testing, you should probably add --depth=1 (~350MB).

Note: If you want to contribute to CDDA, see example git workflow.

cd /cygdrive/c/dev
git clone
cd Cataclysm-DDA
  1. Compile:

You will receive warnings about unterminated character constants; they do not impact the compilation as far as this writer is aware.

This will compile release version with Sound and Tiles support and all localization languages, skipping checks and tests and using ccache for faster build. You can use other switches, but Cygwin=1, DYNAMIC_LINKING=1 and probably RELEASE=1 are required to compile without issues.


  1. Execute the XWin Server from the Start menu.

  2. When the icons appear in the system tray, right-click the one that looks like a black C (X Applications Menu.)

  3. Point to System Tools, then click UXTerm.

cd /cygdrive/c/dev/Cataclysm-DDA

There is no functionality for running Cygwin-compiled CDDA from outside of UXTerm.