Setup Windows Toolchain from Scratch

This is a step-by-step alternative to running the ESP-IDF Tools Installer for the CMake-based build system. Installing all of the tools by hand allows more control over the process, and also provides the information for advanced users to customize the install.

To quickly setup the toolchain and other tools in standard way, using the ESP-IDF Tools installer, proceed to section Standard Setup of Toolchain for Windows.

Note

This is documentation for the CMake-based build system which is currently in preview release. The documentation may have gaps, and you may encounter bugs (please report either of these). To view documentation for the older GNU Make based build system, switch versions to the ‘latest’ master branch or a stable release.

Note

Unlike the previous “GNU Make” based ESP-IDF build environment, the cmake environment does not include or require MSYS2 or any other Unix compatibility layer.

Tools

cmake

Download the latest stable release of CMake for Windows and run the installer.

When the installer asks for Install Options, choose either “Add CMake to the system PATH for all users” or “Add CMake to the system PATH for the current user”.

Ninja build

Note

Ninja currently only provides binaries for 64-bit Windows. It is possible to use CMake and idf.py with other build tools, such as mingw-make, on 32-bit windows. However this is currently undocumented.

Download the ninja latest stable Windows release from the (download page).

The Ninja for Windows download is a .zip file containing a single ninja.exe file which needs to be unzipped to a directory which is then added to your Path (or you can choose a directory which is already on your Path).

Python 2.x

Download the latest Python 2.7 for Windows installer, and run it.

The “Customise” step of the Python installer gives a list of options. The last option is “Add python.exe to Path”. Change this option to select “Will be installed”.

Once Python is installed, open a Windows Command Prompt from the Start menu and run the following command:

pip install pyserial

MConf for IDF

Download the configuration tool mconf-idf from the kconfig-frontends releases page. This is the mconf configuration tool with some minor customizations for ESP-IDF.

This tool will also need to be unzipped to a directory which is then added to your Path.

Toolchain Setup

Download the precompiled Windows toolchain from dl.espressif.com:

https://dl.espressif.com/dl/xtensa-esp32-elf-win32-1.22.0-80-g6c4433a-5.2.0.zip

Unzip the zip file to C:\Program Files (or some other location). The zip file contains a single directory xtensa-esp32-elf.

Next, the bin subdirectory of this directory must be added to your Path. For example, the directory to add may be C:\Program Files\xtensa-esp32-elf\bin.

Note

If you already have the MSYS2 environment (for use with the “GNU Make” build system) installed, you can skip the separate download and add the directory C:\msys32\opt\xtensa-esp32-elf\bin to the Path instead, as the toolchain is included in the MSYS2 environment.

Adding Directory to Path

To add any new directory to your Windows Path environment variable:

Open the System control panel and navigate to the Environment Variables dialog. (On Windows 10, this is found under Advanced System Settings).

Double-click the Path variable (either User or System Path, depending if you want other users to have this directory on their path.) Go to the end of the value, and append ;<new value>.

Next Steps

To carry on with development environment setup, proceed to section Get ESP-IDF.