MinGW – Minimalist GNU developement environment for Windows

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MinGW (formerly mingw32, short for Minimalist GNU for Window) is a minimalist free, open source and the most important, pretty darned good compiler for Windows application development using C/C++.

For C/C++ language learners or program developers, you have to make sure you have installed the GCC compiler on your machine. If you are using the Linux system, it’s good news that Linux OS has already built-in the gcc. For Mac OS users, you’ll need to install the Xcode/Developer tools. And for Windows machine, we have the best and most popular two options:

  • Cygwin – a complete simulation of a UNIX environment, including gcc
  • MinGW – the Minimalist GNU for Windows, for plain-and-simple Windows apps development

The essence of MinGW is a set of include files and port libraries, and its function is to allow programs with console mode to use Microsoft’s Standard C Run-Time Library (MSVCRT. DLL). That’s to say: with MinGW, you can generate local Windows programs on GNU/Linux and Windows platforms without the 3rd party C runtime library required.

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MinGW internally installed VIM with system clipboard support, but its use experience is relatively worse than in GNU/Linux, so we advise you to use Dev-C++ as text editor instead. For needs of different header files and link libraries, you can simply copy them to MinGW32’s corresponding directories, in order to avoid location settings for the header files and directory link libraries.

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