Did you know? SWI-Prolog has a Natural Language Processing (NLP) librarySearch Documentation:
SWI-Prolog owl logoBuilding SWI-Prolog on MS-Windows

The build instructions here are outdated. The MSVC make files and resources are not maintained any longer. See the MinGW build instructions


Old stuff

There are only a few cases where you would like to build the Windows version from source:

  • You want a debugging version to simplify debugging of foreign code you add to SWI-Prolog.
  • You want to modify SWI-Prolog.
  • You want to use libraries optimised for your system (e.g., GMP).
  • You want to stay in touch with the bleeding edge using GIT.

As of the integrated XPCE/SWI-Prolog 4.0.0, the installation is no longer based on MSVC project files that are simply too hard to maintain if building involves many custom steps. Instead, there are makefiles for NMAKE that run from a command window.

Before starting the build, you'll need:

  • Windows-NT/2000/XP/Vista/Win7. Older versions (Windows-95/98/me) are not supported after 5.4.x and even the 5.4.x versions can only be compiled on NT based platforms.
  • VC2008 or later. We use Microsoft Windows SDK for Windows 7 and .NET Framework 3.5 SP1, which contains a free version of the VC2008 C-compiler and associated command line tools.
  • The pthread-win32 POSIX thread API library from Redhat. (1)
  • The GMP library for Windows. (1)
  • The JPEG and ported XPM libraries. (1)
  • The ZLIB library. (1)
  • The RFC822 and RFC2045 libraries. (1)
  • OpenSSL binaries from Shining Light Productions , if you want ssl functionality. Note that the standard OpenSSL installation is not ok. Install OpenSSL in the Program Files folder (e.g., C:\Program Files\OpenSSL) and install the binaries inside the OpenSSL folder. Latest version that we tested is Win64OpenSSL-1_0_0a.exe (2)
  • The SUN Java2 SDK, downloadable from SUN if you want the JPL Java/Prolog interface. Latest version that we tested is jdk-6u22-windows-x64.exe (2)
  1. Will be downloaded automatically from the SWI-Prolog web-site in the procedure outlined below.
  2. Optional.

Now proceed as follows:

  • Unpack the sources (anywhere)
  • Find the $(prefix)\pl\src folder and double click the config.cmd script file. This script will go through a number of questions relative to your system and required output. Both 32 and 64 bit versions can be built. The config.cmd delivers a file config.dat, which contains the parameters chosen by you and serves as input to the build process. Additionally a file called call_vcvars.cmd will be created and is used to set the build environment for your system.
  • In case the required pre-requisites are not found in the $(prefix)\pl\src\ directory, you will be prompted to download and unpack the required libraries automatically from the SWI-Prolog web.
  • The script will detect, whether you have SSL and/or JRE installed, if not, you will be prompted and informed of this. The build will be carried out without the SSL and/or JPL packages.
  • For SSL, make sure you install the binaries in the appropriate "Program Files" or "Program Files (x86)" folder. Select the option to install the files in the OpenSSL directory. Please, be aware that these choices are not the default settings of the installer.
  • At the end of the script, you are prompted to either complete the build with the chosen parameters, or you can now exit the script. You will be shown a summary of the parameters set. The build can, with the parameters in config.dat, be carried out at any time by double clicking make.cmd.

Thats all. You can now start plwin.exe or plcon.exe from the $(prefix)\pl\bin\ directory. If you want you can associate .pl with plwin.exe and/or add plwin.exe to your start menu. Cleanup After installing you may discard the entire source-tree or invoke one of the targets below to clean the object files or all generated files

nmake /f makefile.mak clean
nmake /f makefile.mak distclean

Compile for debugging

To compile SWI-Prolog for debugging, use a clean source-tree (using nmake /f makefile.mak clean), build and install SWI-Prolog using

nmake DBG=true /f makefile.mak
nmake DBG=true /f makefile.mak install

Using your own library or libraries:

The script will ask you whether you would like to supply your own versions of the libraries and override some or all of the libraries in the downloaded pre-requisites package.

In this case the script will create $(prefix)\pl\X86 (32bit) and/or $(prefix)\pl\X64 (64bit) directories, sub-directories include/lib will equally be created.

Place the libraries and/or header files in the appropriate include or lib folder. These versions will now override the ones in the download package.

See also
- Build using MinGW