Compiling AbiWord 2.6.x on Windows

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Instructions originally from Ryan's site at - Explore there to fill in gaps.


What You Need

 ! Note - Unless otherwise noted, you're looking for one or more zip files in each of these places, usually a -bin and a -dev.

The Easy Way Out

You can skip all the rest of this "what you need" section, except for actually getting the AbiWord source of your choice (and NSIS if installers are desired), by downloading a premade build environment from Ryan's build environment page and unzipping it (using 7-zip) into a sane, short directory, like c:\

For All Builds:

  • MinGW/MSYS (See Setting Up a MinGW Windows Build Environment - you need pkg-config too, install these dependencies in the way that page shows)
  • bzip2[-bin, -lib] (I used 1.0.3 from GnuWin32 - DO NOT UPGRADE until Tor re-builds the GNOME binaries against a non-broken bzip2) - Rename libbz2.dll.a in mingw\lib to _libbz2.dll.a
  • gettext[-dev] (I used 0.14.5 from GNOME)
  • glib[-dev] (I used 2.14.4 from GNOME)
  • libgsf[-dev] (I used 1.14.7 - _Building_libgsf_on_Windows_)
  • libiconv (I used 1.9.1 from GNOME)
  • libxml2 (I used 2.6.30 - you must follow _Building_libxml2_on_Windows_)
  • libwv[-dev] (I used version 1.2.4 - from RP )
  • zlib (I used 1.2.3 - normally have used version, but see _Building_Using_zlib_on_Windows_ )
    • You also need to unzip the version in a special way (in addition to installing this way) - read on below for details

For Tools Plugins:

  • libmathview (Avoid version 0.8.0 - I used 0.7.8 from RP)
  • link-grammar (I used 4.2.1 from Abi)
  • boost with libboost-thread: get the official boost 1.34.0 distribution (zip, not installer) from, and the compiled bit from - Don't try to install this yet, but rather wait for the Tools compilation instructions
  • ASIO - you must use 0.3.8rc3 or newer, again, wait until the Tools compilation instructions to know what to do here. - Don't get the Boost-integrated one. I used 0.3.9

For Import Export Plugins:

For Building Installers:

  • You'll need NSIS installed to C:\Program Files\NSIS (default) or follow some instructions below.
  • You'll also need some plugins from that site:
    • ZipDLL
    • MD5
    • UnTGZ
  • You'll also need Perl, which is explained in the build env. instructions above.

Where To Get These:

Setting Up Your Source Tree

  • Create a a directory with no spaces in the name (easiest) in a shallow directory of one of your drives (c:\abisource, c:\srctrees\abihead) - this will be your source tree root.
  • Now, decide if you're using a tarball (release) or SVN/CVS (development)

SVN and CVS:

 ! Note you'll need CVSNT installed and in your path for this, as well as Subversion in some sort. You can generally translate these commands into their graphical equivalent pretty easily, too.


  • Download all four tarballs.
  • Untar abiword-2.6.x.tar.gz. You will get an abiword-2.6.x directory - rename . it to abi.
  • Untar abiword-docs-2.6.x.tar.gz, rename the abiword-docs-2.6.x directory to abiword-docs and move it to the parent directory.
  • Untar abiword-extras-2.6.x.tar.gz, rename the abiword-extras-2.6.x to abidistfiles, and move it to the parent directory.
  • Untar abiword-plugins-2.6.x.tar.gz, rename the abiword-plugins-2.6.x directory to abiword-plugins and move it to the parent directory.
  • From a CVS tree assembled as above, copy the libpng, popt, and fribidi folders to your source tree root then continue below.

For both methods:

  • Complete the above steps for your chosen method of source distribution.
  • Make a new directory inside your source root named libs.
  • Make a new directory within it named zlib.
  • Unzip your download within there.

Building AbiWord Core

  • Open MSYS
  • cd into your source root directory, and the abi subdirectory within (cd /c/src/abihead/abi for me)
  • Execute the command PKG_CONFIG_PATH=/mingw/lib/pkgconfig make
  • Copy "libglib-2.0-0.dll", "libgobject-2.0-0.dll", "iconv.dll", "intl.dll", "libgsf-1-114.dll", "bzip2.dll", "libxml2-2.dll", and "zlib1.dll" into abi/src/MINGW32_1.0.10_i386_OBJ/bin from /mingw/bin
  • You can now run AbiWord from that bin directory. To make an installer, run PKG_CONFIG_PATH=/mingw/lib/pkgconfig make distribution
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