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Tools for building MAME on Windows

MAME Build Tools


The MAME development environment for Windows consists of the GCC compiler (by way of MinGW), and the MSYS2 (POSIX/Unix compatability layer), plus various utilities such as Python and Git. It is available as a prepackaged installer, or can be assembled from upstream components.

Source control is handled by github (, so you'll need to check out a copy. Various modules are disabled by default, such as the MAME interactive debugger, but can be enabled through arguments when building and may require additional MSYS2 packages to be installed.

Installation and building



If you are installing it in a location other than the default (c:\msys64 or c:\msys32), after you unpack double-click : autorebase.bat

To open a non-posix shell there are two batch files: win32env.bat for regular windows console, and win32con.bat for fancy looking conemu console.

Important thing is to setup your git environment first

git config --global core.autocrlf true

And if you are contributor

git config --global
git config --global "Firstname Lastname"


Then, to download the MAME source under your Msys2 user's homedir:

git clone

Alternatively, locate your existing source tree (drives are mapped to hidden dirs /c etc. under the virtual root):

cd /c/Projects/mame

And finally to build:


Updating build tools

Similar to package managers on Linux like apt-get, yum etc. MSYS2 can automatically update packages for fixes, security updates etc. To update all installed packages to current, from a regular Windows console run the following:

pacman -Sy
pacman -S bash pacman msys2-runtime --noconfirm --needed

Next, exit the console and restart Msys2.

Finally, once back at the console, execute:

pacman -Su --noconfirm

Alternative Shells for advanced usage

For a simple MSYS32 terminal use buildtools.bat to start.

For a fancier looking one use conemu.bat.

There are also buildtools_32.bat and conemu_32.bat enforcing mingw32 on 64-bit tools (makes sense if you use combined distribution).

For more information about Msys2, see MSYS2 Introduction.

Optional additional packages


If you wish to build with the SDL renderer:

For x64

   pacman -S mingw-w64-x86_64-SDL2 mingw-w64-x86_64-SDL2_ttf

For x86

   pacman -S mingw-w64-i686-SDL2 mingw-w64-i686-SDL2_ttf


If you wish to build with the QT5 debugger:

For x64

   pacman -S mingw-w64-x86_64-qt5

For x86

   pacman -S mingw-w64-i686-qt5


If you with to build the QMC2 frontend or similar:

For x64

   pacman -S mingw-w64-x86_64-qt4

For x86

   pacman -S mingw-w64-i686-qt4


To be able to generate the documentation from the source:

   pacman -S doxygen 


To be able to use ccache to speed-up (re)compilation

For x64

   pacman -S mingw-w64-x86_64-ccache 

For x86

   pacman -S mingw-w64-i686-ccache 


Used as build system for some other project that can be handy

For x64

   pacman -S mingw-w64-x86_64-cmake 

For x86

   pacman -S mingw-w64-i686-cmake 

To build in Windows environment use from build folder:

   cmake -G "MinGW Makefiles" .. -DCMAKE_MAKE_PROGRAM=c:\msys64\win32\make.exe

To build in MSYS environment use from build folder:

   cmake -G "MSYS Makefiles" ..


If you wish to compile/link with the alternative Clang, go ahead and download STILL EXPERIMENTAL:

For x64

   pacman -S mingw-w64-x86_64-clang mingw-w64-x86_64-clang-analyzer mingw-w64-x86_64-clang-tools-extra 

For x86

   pacman -S mingw-w64-i686-clang mingw-w64-i686-clang-analyzer mingw-w64-i686-clang-tools-extra

Previous version is still available