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E.8.2.3 Building Aspell without using Cygwin or MSYS

It is also possible to build Aspell without Cygwin of MinGW by using the files in the ‘win32/’ subdirectory. However, these files have not been updated to work with Aspell 0.60. Thus the following instructions will not work without some effort. If you do get Aspell to compile this way please send me the updated files so that I can include them with the next release.

To compile Aspell with the MinGW compiler, you will need at least GCC-3.2 (as shipped with MinGW-2.0.3) and some GNU tools like rm and cp. The origin of those tools doesn’t matter, it has shown to work with any tools from MinGW/MSys, Cygwin or Linux. To build Aspell, move into the ‘win32’ subdirectory and type ‘make’. You can enable some additional build options by either commenting out the definitions at the head of the Makefile or passing those values as environment variables or at the make command line. Following options are supported:


If set to "1", the binaries will include debugging information (resulting in a much bigger size).


Enter the path to the pdcurses library here, in order to get a nicer console interface (see below).


Enter the filename of MS ‘lib.exe’ here, if you want to build libraries that can be imported from MS Visual C++.


If set to "1", Aspell will detect the prefix from the path where the DLL resides (see below for further details).


Sets a prefix to be used for cross compilation (e.g. ‘/usr/local/bin/i586-mingw32msvc-’ to cross compile from Linux).

There are also a MinGW compilers available for Cygwin and Linux, both versions are able to compile Aspell using the prebuilt ‘Makefile’. While the Cygwin port automatically detects the correct compiler, the Linux version depends on setting the TARGET variable in the ‘Makefile’ (or environment) to the correct compiler prefix.

Other compilers may work. There is a patch for MS Visual C++ 6.0 available at, but it needs a lot of changes to the Aspell sources. It has also been reported that the Intel C++ compiler can be used for compilation.

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