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Windows Installer

This page describes the installer for loading GNUstep on Windows systems and various other apps that have an installer for Windows. After installing the GNUstep Windows installer, you will have a complete system for compiling and running GNUstep applications.


The GNUstep Windows installer is based on the MinGW system and consists of the basic MSYS and MinGW libraries, other library dependancies and the GNUstep Core packages (gnustep-make, gnustep-base, gnustep-gui, and gnustep-back.) The installer installs GNUstep onto most varieties of Windows (see below for tested installations) and sets up the computer to make it easy to run GNUstep applications. It was created with the NSIS installer.

Read the Release Notes for the current packages.

We recommend you uninstall any previous installers first so you don't have extra unecessary files hanging around, although this is not necessary (although make sure you kill the gdnc and gpbs processes if you don't use the uninstaller). The installer has been tested on Window 7, XP and Win 2K and 10. It also works on 64-bit systems. Administrator access may be needed to install. It also only sets things up correctly for the current user, not for any other users on the system. Please report any other bugs or issues to us.


For the full environment for compiling and running GNUstep. Install the following packages in order. First install the gnustep-msys-system package, which contains all the packages required to run GNUstep (shell, graphics libraries, etc). Then install gnustep-core, which contains the core GNUstep libraries. If you want to compile and develop your own GNUstep applications, also install the gnustep-devel package.

Package Required? Stable Unstable Notes
GNUstep MSYS System Required 0.30.0 - MSYS/MinGW System
GNUstep Core Required 0.35.0 - GNUstep Core
GNUstep Devel Optional 1.4.0 - Developer Tools
GNUstep Cairo Optional 0.35.0 - Cairo Backend
ProjectCenter Optional 0.6.2-35 - IDE (Like Xcode, but not as complex)
Gorm Optional 1.2.22-35 - Interface Builder (Like Xcode NIB builder)

Applications, Frameworks and other Libraries

This is just a sample of GNUstep applications that can be packaged on Windows. Please request additional ones if you are interested. Note that application installers will only work with the GNUstep installers they have been compiled against. Do not try to install an application unless you know it is compatible with a particular GNUstep installation.

For the 0.34.0 series:

Packaging Your Own Applications


The installer sources are located in SVN at:

Please send any patches or improvements to the normal bugs locations.


Q: I tried to test the installation by running Shell, but it pops up for a second then dies.

A: Do you have cygwin installed on the machine as well? That sometimes conflicts with the mingw libraries. It's also possible that some antivirus software is causing problems. It might be easier if you could try to see the error message that occurs before the window disappears. Probably the best way is to start a Windows CMD window:

1. Start->Run, then type 'cmd' in the text box
2. Then type in the CMD window

It might be possible to solve the issue by running the rebase command. You can download from here:

and in the same CMD window try something like

rebase -b 0x30000000 msys-1.0.dll


Jul 22, 2016 : New Gorm binaries

Jul 5, 2016 (0.35.0): New stable release cairo backend, gorm and ProjectCenter

Jun 19, 2016 (0.35.0): New stable release of the core libraries

Jan 9, 2014 (0.34.0): New stable release of the core libraries and cairo backend.

Dec 6, 2013 (0.33.0): New snapshot release of the core libraries and cairo backend. Be sure to read the notes in the README file.

Aug 21, 2012 (0.31.0): New snapshot release of the core libraries. Brand new cairo backend release - this has been fixed up by Marcian Lytwyn and works great now! Be sure to read the notes in the README file though.

Jul 14, 2012 (0.30.0): Fixed a compilation bug by adding -fno-omit-frame-pointer to jpeg and the GNUstep GUI library. This could cause crashes on XP and other previous Windows releases.

Feb 17, 2012 (0.29.1): New stable releases of GNUstep core libraries

Nov 22, 2011 (0.29.0): Updated MinGW to Nov 2011 toolchain. Includes GCC 4.6. GNUstep Core includes the ObjC-2 library as well, so this release has mostly complete Objective-C 2.0 support. Core libraries updated to latest SVN as of Nov 2011.

Apr 23, 2011: Fix issue with icu library in gnustep-msys-system.

Apr 20, 2011: Updated gnustep-core with the latest core libraries

Apr 11, 2011: Updated gnustep-msys-system with new openssl 1.0.0 library. Fixes issue using ssh (in gnustep-devel package).

Feb 20, 2011: Completely new mingw installation based on the mingw-get package manager. Files are now installed in different locations to better match the MinGW default layout. Although as a practical matter this doesn't change much, as the files can still be accessed the same way inside the msys shell, due to mount points. And files locations don't matter much anyway when used with GNUstep apps. Also added libao, libsndfile and icu libraries. gnustep-core contains a recent snapshot release of the GNUstep source code. (Version 0.27.0)

Jul 15, 2010: Rebased msys-1.0.dll in gnustep-msys-system which might cure problems some people have starting a Shell, etc. m4 (gnustep-msys-system) and autoconf (gnustep-devel) were upgraded and now work. (Version 0.25.X)

May 20, 2010: gnustep-devel-1.1.0 Includes the gcc compiler which was previously in gnustep-msys-system.

May 14, 2010: The gnustep system package was renamed to gnustep--msys-system (gnustep-msys-system-0.25.0). gnustep-core-0.25.0 has updated core libraries.

Apr 22, 2010: gnustep-core-0.24.3 adds some files that were mistakenly left out.

Apr 19, 2010: gnustep-system-0.24.2 has updated MSYS and MinGW packages. gnustep-code-0.24.2 is a preview release. It's not an official release, just the latest code from SVN. It includes the new WinUXTheme which can be activated via the installer.

Oct 28, 2009: gnustep-system-0.24.0 is a new system installer with all new MinGW libraries, GCC 4.4 and pthreads. There's no core installer for this, so this is only for people who want to compile the latest GNUstep code from SVN themselves.

Aug 27, 2009: gnustep-core-0.23.1 Includes the latest updates to the core libraries.

May 26, 2009: gnustep-system-0.23.0 Now has the crypt library, which was formerly in the gnustep-cairo package. gnustep-core-0.23.0 has the latest release of the core libraries.

Feb 19, 2009: A new developer tools package was released that includes useful tools for developing with GNUstep. These include ssh, svn and cvs for getting source code, as well as autoconf, libtool and other developer tools. Also, we've make a Cairo Backend available. Don't use it though. It does not work. However, if you are itching to figure out why it doesn't work, this package will give you everything you need to install and start debugging!

Dec 22, 2008: The system package has been upgraded to the latest MSYS/MinGW release (as of around Sep 19, 2008), which is rumored to work better on Vista. It also includes a few more libraries such as openssl and gnutls which can be used by GNUstep Base. The 0.22.0 release of the core installer includes the latest core packages (Make 2.0.7, Base 1.18.0, GUI 0.16.0, Back 0.16.0). We have also switch to using libffi instead of ffcall. This is a stable releases for Windows, so future releases in this series should be binary compatible with this one. You may need to recompile/reinstall any GNUstep applications based on older releases.