Translating on Windows¶
RPython is supported on Windows platforms, starting with Windows 2000. The following text gives some hints about how to translate a interpreter written in RPython, using PyPy as an example.
PyPy supports only being translated as a 32bit program, even on 64bit Windows. See at the end of this page for what is missing for a full 64bit translation.
To build pypy-c you need a working python environment, and a C compiler. It is possible to translate with a CPython 2.6 or later, but this is not the preferred way, because it will take a lot longer to run – depending on your architecture, between two and three times as long. So head to our downloads and get the latest stable version.
Microsoft Visual Studio is preferred as a compiler, but there are reports of success with the mingw32 port of gcc.
Installing Visual Compiler v9 (for Python 2.7)¶
This compiler, while the standard one for Python 2.7, is deprecated. Microsoft has
made it available as the Microsoft Visual C++ Compiler for Python 2.7 (the link
was checked in May 2018). Note that the compiler suite may be installed in
C:\Users\<user name>\AppData\Local\Programs\Common\Microsoft\Visual C++ for Python
C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Microsoft\Visual C++ for Python.
A current version of
setuptools will be able to find it there.
Also, you must download and install the
.Net Framework 3.5,
mt.exe will silently fail. Installation will begin automatically
by running the mt.exe command by hand from a DOS window (that is how the author
discovered the problem).
Installing “Build Tools for Visual Studio 2015” (for Python 3)¶
As documented in the CPython Wiki, CPython recommends Visual C++ version 14.0 for python version 3.5. A compact version of the compiler suite can be obtained from Microsoft downloads, search the page for “Microsoft Build Tools 2015”.
You will need to reboot the computer for the installation to successfully install and run the mt.exe mainfest compiler. The installation will set the VS140COMNTOOLS environment variable, this is key to distutils/setuptools finding the compiler
Translating PyPy with Visual Studio¶
We routinely test translation of PyPy 2.7 using v9 and PyPy 3 with vc14. Other configurations may work as well.
The translation scripts will set up the appropriate environment variables for the compiler, so you do not need to run vcvars before translation. They will attempt to locate the same compiler version that was used to build the Python interpreter doing the translation. Failing that, they will pick the most recent Visual Studio compiler they can find. In addition, the target architecture (32 bits, 64 bits) is automatically selected. A 32 bit build can only be built using a 32 bit Python and vice versa. By default the interpreter is built using the Multi-threaded DLL (/MD) runtime environment.
If you wish to override this detection method to use a different compiler (mingw or a different version of MSVC):
- set up the PATH and other environment variables as needed
- set the CC environment variable to compiler exe to be used, for a different version of MSVC SET CC=cl.exe.
Note: The RPython translator does currently not support 64 bit Python, and translation will fail in this case.
Python and a C compiler are all you need to build pypy, but it will miss some modules that relies on third-party libraries. See below how to get and build them.
Please see the non-windows instructions for more information, especially note that translation is RAM-hungry. A standard translation requires around 4GB, so special preparations are necessary, or you may want to use the method in the notes of the build instructions to reduce memory usage at the price of a slower translation:
set PYPY_GC_MAX_DELTA=200MB pypy --jit loop_longevity=300 ../../rpython/bin/rpython -Ojit targetpypystandalone set PYPY_GC_MAX_DELTA= PYTHONPATH=../.. ./pypy-c ../tool/build_cffi_imports.py
Setting Up Visual Studio 9.0 for building SSL in Python3¶
Note: this is old information, left for historical reference. We recommend using Visual Studio 2015, which now seems to properly set this all up.
On Python3, the
ssl module is based on
cffi, and requires a build step after
distutils does not support the Micorosft-provided Visual C
cffi depends on
distutils to find the compiler. The
traditional solution to this problem is to install the
-m ensurepip which installs
ssl. So we have a chicken-and-egg problem:
ssl depends on
cffi which depends on
setuptools, which depends on
In order to solve this, the buildbot sets an environment varaible that helps
distutils find the compiler without
set VS90COMNTOOLS=C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Microsoft\Visual C++ for Python\9.0\VC\bin
or whatever is appropriate for your machine. Note that this is not enough, you
must also copy the
vcvarsall.bat file fron the
...\9.0 directory to the
...\9.0\VC directory, and edit it, changing the lines that set
set VCINSTALLDIR=%~dp0\ set WindowsSdkDir=%~dp0\..\WinSDK\
Preparing Windows for the large build¶
Normally 32bit programs are limited to 2GB of memory on Windows. It is possible to raise this limit, to 3GB on Windows 32bit, and almost 4GB on Windows 64bit.
On Windows 32bit, it is necessary to modify the system: follow http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/ps/dl/item?siteID=123112&id=9583842&linkID=9240617 to enable the “3GB” feature, and reboot. This step is not necessary on Windows 64bit.
Then you need to execute:
<path-to-visual>\vc\vcvars.bat editbin /largeaddressaware translator.exe
translator.exe is the pypy.exe or cpython.exe you will use to
Installing external packages¶
We uses a subrepository inside pypy to hold binary compiled versions of the build dependencies for windows. As part of the rpython setup stage, environment variables will be set to use these dependencies. The repository has a README file on how to replicate, and a branch for each supported platform. You may run the get_externals.py utility to checkout the proper branch for your platform and PyPy version.
Using the mingw compiler¶
You can compile an RPython program with the mingw compiler, using the –cc=mingw32 option; gcc.exe must be on the PATH. If the -cc flag does not begin with “ming”, it should be the name of a valid gcc-derivative compiler, i.e. x86_64-w64-mingw32-gcc for the 64 bit compiler creating a 64 bit target.
You probably want to set the CPATH, LIBRARY_PATH, and PATH environment variables to the header files, lib or dlls, and dlls respectively of the locally installed packages if they are not in the mingw directory heirarchy.
libffi for the mingw compiler¶
To enable the _rawffi (and ctypes) module, you need to compile a mingw version of libffi. Here is one way to do this, wich should allow you to try to build for win64 or win32:
If you do not use cygwin, you will need msys to provide make, autoconf tools and other goodies.
- Download and unzip a msys for mingw, say into c:msys
- Edit the c:msysetcfstab file to mount c:mingw
Download and unzip the libffi source files, and extract them in the base directory.
Run c:msysmsys.bat or a cygwin shell which should make you feel better since it is a shell prompt with shell tools.
From inside the shell, cd to the libffi directory and do:
sh ./configure make cp .libs/libffi-5.dll <somewhere on the PATH>
If you can’t find the dll, and the libtool issued a warning about “undefined symbols not allowed”, you will need to edit the libffi Makefile in the toplevel directory. Add the flag -no-undefined to the definition of libffi_la_LDFLAGS
If you wish to experiment with win64, you must run configure with flags:
sh ./configure --build=x86_64-w64-mingw32 --host=x86_64-w64-mingw32
or such, depending on your mingw64 download.
hacking on PyPy with the mingw compiler¶
Since hacking on PyPy means running tests, you will need a way to specify the mingw compiler when hacking (as opposed to translating). As of March 2012, –cc is not a valid option for pytest.py. However if you set an environment variable CC to the compiler exe, testing will use it.
What is missing for a full 64-bit translation¶
The main blocker is that we assume that the integer type of RPython is large enough to (occasionally) contain a pointer value cast to an integer. The simplest fix is to make sure that it is so, but it will give the following incompatibility between CPython and PyPy on Win64:
sys.maxint == 2**31-1, sys.maxsize == 2**63-1
sys.maxint == sys.maxsize == 2**63-1
…and, correspondingly, PyPy supports ints up to the larger value of
sys.maxint before they are converted to
long. The first decision
that someone needs to make is if this incompatibility is reasonable.
Assuming that it is, the first thing to do is probably to hack CPython
until it fits this model: replace the field in PyIntObject with a
long field, and change the value of
sys.maxint. This might just
work, even if half-brokenly: I’m sure you can crash it because of the
precision loss that undoubtedly occurs everywhere, but try not to. :-)
Such a hacked CPython is what you’ll use in the next steps. We’ll call it CPython64/64.
It is probably not too much work if the goal is only to get a translated
PyPy executable, and to run all tests before translation. But you need
to start somewhere, and you should start with some tests in
test_newgc.py: try to have them pass on top of CPython64/64.
Keep in mind that this runs small translations, and some details may go
wrong. The most obvious one is to check that it produces C files that
use the integer type
Signed — but what is
Signed defined to?
It should be equal to
long on every other platform, but on Win64 it
should be something like
What is more generally needed is to review all the C files in
rpython/translator/c/src for the word
long, because this means a
32-bit integer even on Win64. Replace it with
Signed most of the
times. You can replace one with the other without breaking anything on
any other platform, so feel free to.
Then, these two C types have corresponding RPython types:
lltype.Signed respectively. The first should really correspond
to the C
long. Add tests that check that integers cast to one
type or the other really have 32 and 64 bits respectively, on Win64.
Once these basic tests work, you need to review
lltype.Signed. The goal would be to
fix some more
LONG-versus-Signed issues, by fixing the tests — as
always run on top of CPython64/64. Note that there was some early work
rpython/rlib/rarithmetic with the goal of running all the
tests on Win64 on the regular CPython, but I think by now that it’s a
bad idea. Look only at CPython64/64.
The major intermediate goal is to get a translation of PyPy with
with a minimal set of modules, starting with
you need to use CPython64/64 to run this translation too. Check
carefully the warnings of the C compiler at the end. By default, MSVC
reports a lot of mismatches of integer sizes as warnings instead of
Then you need to review
issues. At some time during this review, we get a working translated
PyPy on Windows 64 that includes all
everything needed to run translations. Once we have that, the hacked
CPython64/64 becomes much less important, because we can run future
translations on top of this translated PyPy. As soon as we get there,
please distribute the translated PyPy. It’s an essential component
for anyone else that wants to work on Win64! We end up with a strange
kind of dependency — we need a translated PyPy in order to translate a
PyPy —, but I believe it’s ok here, as Windows executables are
supposed to never be broken by newer versions of Windows.
Happy hacking :-)