How to build ruby using Visual C++


  1. Windows 7 or later.

  2. Visual C++ 12.0 (2013) or later.


    if you want to build x64 version, use native compiler for x64.

  3. Please set environment variable INCLUDE, LIB, PATH to run required commands properly from the command line.


    building ruby requires following commands.

    • nmake

    • cl

    • ml

    • lib

    • dumpbin

  4. If you want to build from GIT source, following commands are required.

    • bison

    • patch

    • sed

    • ruby 2.0 or later

  5. Enable Command Extension of your command line. It’s the default behavior of cmd.exe. If you want to enable it explicitly, run cmd.exe with /E:ON option.

How to compile and install

  1. Execute win32\configure.bat on your build directory. You can specify the target platform as an argument. For example, run ‘configure --target=i686-mswin32’ You can also specify the install directory. For example, run ‘configure --prefix=<install_directory>’ Default of the install directory is /usr . The default PLATFORM is ‘i386-mswin32_MSRTVERSION’ on 32-bit platforms, or ‘x64-mswin64_MSRTVERSION’ on x64 platforms. MSRTVERSION is the 2- or 3-digits version of the Microsoft Runtime Library.

  2. Change RUBY_INSTALL_NAME and RUBY_SO_NAME in Makefile if you want to change the name of the executable files. And add RUBYW_INSTALL_NAME to change the name of the executable without console window if also you want.

  3. Run ‘nmake up’ if you are building from GIT source.

  4. Run ‘nmake

  5. Run ‘nmake check

  6. Run ‘nmake install


Any icon files(*.ico) in the build directory, directories specified with icondirs make variable and win32 directory under the ruby source directory will be included in DLL or executable files, according to their base names.

$(RUBY_INSTALL_NAME).ico or ruby.ico   --> $(RUBY_INSTALL_NAME).exe
$(RUBYW_INSTALL_NAME).ico or rubyw.ico --> $(RUBYW_INSTALL_NAME).exe
the others                             --> $(RUBY_SO_NAME).dll

Although no icons are distributed with the ruby source, you can use anything you like. You will be able to find many images by search engines. For example, followings are made from Ruby logo kit:

Build examples


You can NOT use a path name that contains any white space characters as the ruby source directory, this restriction comes from the behavior of !INCLUDE directives of NMAKE.

You can build ruby in any directory including the source directory, except win32 directory in the source directory. This is restriction originating in the path search method of NMAKE.