Setup Windows Toolchain from Scratch (CMake)¶
This is documentation for the CMake-based build system which is currently in preview release. If you encounter any gaps or bugs, please report them in the Issues section of the ESP-IDF repository.
The CMake-based build system will become the default build system in ESP-IDF V4.0. The existing GNU Make based build system will be deprecated in ESP-IDF V5.0.
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 (CMake).
The GNU Make based build system requires the MSYS2 Unix compatibility environment on Windows. The CMake-based build system does not require this environment.
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 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.
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).
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 --user pyserial
Download the precompiled Windows toolchain:
Unzip the zip file to
C:\Program Files (or some other location). The zip file contains a single directory
bin subdirectory of this directory must be added to your Path. For example, the directory to add may be
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).
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