A quick setup guide for Win32 and Win64 with recommended configuration.
Unless you know exactly what you are doing, you should strictly follow the recommendations below.
You need to install, in exactly this order:
Windows SDK for Windows 7, if you want to build 64-bit binaries for Windows 7: Download and install "Microsoft Windows SDK for Windows 7."
In case the install of the SDK fails go to software management and remove the VC++ 2010 runtime and redist packages (don’t worry, they will be added back via the service pack later). If installation of the SDK still fails, there may be a permission problem. See here for a solution.
If you will be building 64-bit binaries those items must be installed in that order as installing the Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Service Pack 1 can, if you’ve installed the Microsoft Windows SDK for Windows 7, remove the 64-bit compilers, as per the Microsoft Knowledge Base article "FIX: Visual C++ compilers are removed when you upgrade Visual Studio 2010 Professional or Visual Studio 2010 Express to Visual Studio 2010 SP1 if Windows SDK v7.1 is installed". The release notes for the Microsoft Visual C++ 2010 Service Pack 1 Compiler Update for the Windows SDK 7.1 say that, to ensure that your system has a supported configuration, you must install the items in the order specified above. If you have Microsoft Update installed, so that the Windows update process will update software other than components of Windows, and thus will update Visual Studio, you may need to disable it until after all of the above are installed, to make sure it doesn’t install Visual Studio 2010 SP1 out of order.
|You can use other Microsoft C compiler variants|
It’s possible to compile Wireshark with a wide range of Microsoft C compiler variants. For details see Section 4.4, “Microsoft compiler toolchain (Win32 native)”!
|Don’t use gcc or Clang|
Compiling with gcc or Clang is not recommended and will certainly not work (at least without a lot of advanced tweaking). For further details on this topic, see Section 4.3, “GNU compiler toolchain (UNIX or Win32 Cygwin)”.
Why is this recommended? While this is a huge download, the 2010 Express Edition is the only free (as in beer) version that includes the Visual Studio integrated debugger. Visual C++ 2010 is also used to create official Wireshark builds, so it will likely have fewer development-related problems.
Download the Cygwin installer and start it.
At the "Select Packages" page, you’ll need to select some additional packages which are not installed by default. Navigate to the required Category/Package row and, if the package has a "Skip" item in the "New" column, click on the "Skip" item so it shows a version number for:
After clicking the Next button several times, the setup will then download and install the selected packages (this may take a while).
Why is this recommended? Cygwin’s bash version is required, as no native Win32 version is available. As additional packages can easily be added, Perl and other packages are also used.
Get the Python 2.7 installer from http://python.org/download/ and install Python into the default location (C:\Python27).
Why is this recommended? Cygwin’s Python package doesn’t work on some machines, so the Win32 native package is recommended.
Please note that the following is not required to build Wireshark but can be quite helpful when working with the sources.
Working with the Git source repositories is highly recommended, see Section 3.3, “Obtain the Wireshark sources”. It is much easier to update a personal source tree with Git rather than downloading a zip file and merging new sources into a personal source tree by hand. It also makes first-time setup easy and enables the Wireshark build process to determine your current source code revision.
There are several ways in which Git can be installed. Most packages are available at the URLs below or via the Chocolatey package manager. Note that many of the GUI interfaces depend on the command line version.
The official command-line installer is available at http://msysgit.github.io/.
Cygwin comes with a port of git. To install it, run Cygwin’s setup.exe, navigate to Devel/git, and if the package has a "Skip" item in the "New" column, click on the "Skip" item so it shows a version number.
Git Extensions is a native Windows graphical Git client for Windows. You can download the installer from http://code.google.com/p/gitextensions/.
TortoiseGit is a native Windows graphical Git similar to TortoiseSVN. You can download the installer from http://code.google.com/p/tortoisegit/.
A list of other GUI interfaces for Git can be found at http://git-scm.com/downloads/guis
|Make sure everything works|
It’s a good idea to make sure Wireshark compiles and runs at least once before you start hacking the Wireshark sources for your own project. This example uses Git Extensions but any other Git client should work as well.
Download sources. Download Wireshark sources into C:\Development\wireshark using Git Extensions:
In the main screen select Clone repository. Fill in the following:
Repository to clone:
Destination: Your top-level development directory, e.g.
Subdirectory to create: Anything you’d like. Usually
|Check your paths|
Make sure your repository path doesn’t contain spaces.
Navigate to your newly cloned directory and open config.nmake in an editor. Edit the following settings:
VERSION_EXTRA: Give Wireshark your "private" version info, e.g.
-myprotocol123to distinguish it from official releases.
WIRESHARK_TARGET_PLATFORM: Change to
win64if you’re building a 64-bit package. You can also define this in the system environment.
PROGRAM_FILES: Where your programs reside, usually just keep the default: C:\Program Files 
MSVC_VARIANT: Make sure the variant for your compiler is uncommented, and
that all others are commented out. For example, if you’re using Visual C++
2010 Express Edition, find the line
and remove the comment character (#) from the beginning of the line. Then, find the line
and comment it out, by prefixing a hash (#). 
cmd.exe — set its environment and current directory.
To build 32-bit binaries call
> "C:\Program Files\Microsoft SDKs\Windows\v7.1\Bin\SetEnv.Cmd" /Release /x86'
and to build 64-bit binaries call
> "C:\Program Files\Microsoft SDKs\Windows\v7.1\Bin\SetEnv.Cmd" /Release /x64
If your version of the compiler does not have
SetEnv.Cmd you may need to use
vcvars32.bat which do much the same thing as
For example, on some 64-bit installations, one would build a 32-bit version by
> "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 10.0\VC\bin\vcvars32.bat
and one would build a 64-bit version using the command
> "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 10.0\VC\Vcvarsall.bat" amd64
Consult your compiler’s documentation to learn which version applies to your installation.
Set environment variable to select target platform.
To build 32-bit binaries execute
> set WIRESHARK_TARGET_PLATFORM=win32
and to build 64-bit binaries execute
> set WIRESHARK_TARGET_PLATFORM=win64
> cd C:\Development\wireshark
to jump into the source directory
Wireshark development depends on several additional environment variables, particularly PATH. You can use a batch script to fill these in, along with the Visual C++ variables; for example:
@echo off if "%1" == "" goto x86 if /i %1 == x86 goto x86 if /i %1 == x64 goto x64 goto usage :usage echo Error in script usage. The correct usage is: echo %0 [option] echo where [option] is: x86 ^| x64 echo: echo For example: echo %0 x86 goto :eof :x64 echo Adding things to the path... set PATH=%PATH%;c:\cygwin\bin set WIRESHARK_TARGET_PLATFORM=win64 call "c:\Program Files\Microsoft SDKs\Windows\v7.1\Bin\SetEnv.Cmd" /Release /x64 title Command Prompt (VC++ 2010 x64) goto :eof :x86 echo Adding things to the path... set PATH=%PATH%;c:\cygwin\bin set WIRESHARK_TARGET_PLATFORM=win32 call "c:\Program Files\Microsoft SDKs\Windows\v7.1\Bin\SetEnv.Cmd" /Release /x86 title Command Prompt (VC++ 2010 -x86) goto :eof
After you’ve installed the Wireshark sources (see Section 3.3, “Obtain the Wireshark sources”), you can
check the correct installation of all tools by using the
verify_tools target of
Makefile.nmake from the source package.
You will need the Wireshark sources and some tools (nmake, bash) installed, before this verification is able to work.
Enter at the command line (cmd.exe, not Cygwin’s bash):
> nmake -f Makefile.nmake verify_tools
This will check for the various tools needed to build Wireshark:
Checking for required applications: cl: /cygdrive/c/Program Files (x86)/Microsoft Visual Studio 10.0/VC/Bin/amd64/cl link: /cygdrive/c/Program Files (x86)/Microsoft Visual Studio 10.0/VC/Bin/amd64/link nmake: /cygdrive/c/Program Files (x86)/Microsoft Visual Studio 10.0/VC/Bin/amd64/nmake bash: /usr/bin/bash bison: /usr/bin/bison flex: /usr/bin/flex env: /usr/bin/env grep: /usr/bin/grep /usr/bin/find: /usr/bin/find peflags: /usr/bin/peflags perl: /usr/bin/perl C:\Python27\python.exe: /cygdrive/c/Python27/python.exe sed: /usr/bin/sed unzip: /usr/bin/unzip wget: /usr/bin/wget
If you have problems with all the first three items (cl, link, nmake), check
that you called
SetEnv.Cmd as mentioned in Section 2.2.6, “Prepare cmd.exe”(which
will "fix" your PATHsettings). However, the exact text will be slightly
different depending on the MSVC version used.
link command is defined both in Cygwin and in MSVC, each
with completely different functionality. You’ll need the MSVC link. If your link
command looks something like:
/usr/bin/link the link command of Cygwin takes
precedence over the MSVC one. To fix this, you can change your
setting or simply rename
link.exe in Cygwin. If you rename it, make sure to
remember that a Cygwin update may provide a new version of it.
Make sure that the other tools found are the Cygwin versions. Some build
problems have been caused by incompatible versions of
cmd.exeprepare it again.
> nmake -f Makefile.nmake setup
to download and install libraries using
wget. This may take a while.
Note that 32-bit versions of the software require 32-bit versions of the
libraries and that 64-bit versions require 64-bit libraries. The build process
creates independent directories for each as needed. See
Section 2.2.6, “Prepare cmd.exe”for how to use
WIRESHARK_TARGET_PLATFORM to select either a 32- or 64-bit build.
The released Wireshark sources contain files that are prepared for a UNIX build (e.g. config.h).
You must distclean your sources before building the first time.
cmd.exeprepare it again.
> nmake -f Makefile.nmake distclean
to cleanup the Wireshark sources.
Now it’s time to build Wireshark!
cmd.exeprepare it again.
> nmake -f Makefile.nmake all
to build Wireshark.
C:\wireshark\wireshark-gtk2\wireshark.exeand make sure it starts. s
If compilation fails for suspicious reasons after you changed some source files try to "distclean" the sources and make "all" again
Detailed information to build these guides can be found in the file docbook/README.txt in the Wireshark sources.
Note: You should have successfully built Wireshark before doing the following.
If you want to build your own wireshark-win32-1.11.x-myprotocol123.exe, you’ll need NSIS.
NSIS: Download and install NSIS
You may check the
MAKENSIS setting in the file config.nmake in the Wireshark
sources. Note that the 32-bit version of NSIS will work for both 32-bit and
64-bit versions of Wireshark.
Runtime redistributable: To build a 32-bit version you will need vcredist_x86.exe: Download the C-Runtime redistributable for Visual C++ 2010 Express Edition SP1 (vcredist_x86.exe) and copy it into C:\wireshark-win32-libs.
cmd.exeprepare it again.
> nmake -f Makefile.nmake packaging
to build Wireshark installer.
to test your new installer. It’s a good idea to test on a different machine than the developer machine.
 International Windows might use different values here, e.g. a German version uses C:\Programme — take this also in account where C:\Program Files appears elsewhere.
 Compiler dependent: This step depends on the compiler you are using. For compilers other than Visual C++ 2010, see the table at Section 4.4, “Microsoft compiler toolchain (Win32 native)”.
 International Windows might use different values here, e.g. a German version uses C:\Programme — take this also in account where C:\Program Files appears elsewhere. Note: You need to repeat steps 1 - 4 each time you open a new cmd.exe.
 Compiler dependent: This step depends on the compiler variant used. For variants other than the recommended Visual C++ 2010 Express Edition see the table at Section 4.4, “Microsoft compiler toolchain (Win32 native)”
 Compiler dependent: This step depends on the compiler variant used. For variants other than the recommended Visual C++ 2010 Express Edition SP1 see the table at Section 4.4, “Microsoft compiler toolchain (Win32 native)”.