CLion 2019.3 Help

Quick Tutorial: Configure CLion on Windows

On Windows, configuring CLion requires setting up the environment: Cygwin, MinGW, WSL, or MSVC. You can have several environments installed on your system and create separate CLion toolchains for each of them. As a determining part of a toolchain, the environment provides C and C++ compilers, the make utility, and the debugger (in case of using default tools).

For details on Remote Host toolchains, see Full Remote Mode.

Cygwin

  1. Download the Cygwin installer, version 2.8 or later.

  2. Run the installer and select the following packages:

    • gcc-g++
    • make
    • cmake
    • gdb

    To select a package, type its name in the Search field and then click it in the list until a tick mark appears in the Bin? column:

    Cygwin installation

  3. Once the installation is finished, open CLion and go to File | Settings | Build, Execution, Deployment | Toolchains. Choose the toolchain that you want to configure.

  4. Select Cygwin from the Environment list. CLion will attempt to detect the Cygwin installation automatically. Check the detection result, and specify the path manually if required.

  5. Wait until the tools detection finishes, and press Apply.

    Cygwin toolchain

MinGW

  1. Download the MinGW or MinGW-W64 installer.

  2. Run the installer and select the following packages in the Basic Setup list: mingw-developer-tool, mingw32-base, mingw32-gcc-g++, mingw32-msys-base.

    MinGW installation

  3. Once the installation is finished, open CLion and go to File | Settings | Build, Execution, Deployment | Toolchains. Choose the toolchain that you want to configure.

  4. Select MinGW from the Environment list. CLion will attempt to detect the MinGW installation automatically. Check the detection result, and specify the path manually if required.

  5. Wait until the tools detection finishes. If CLion cannot detect compilers or make, double-check the installed packages in MinGW Installation Manager. Press Apply when all the tools are set correctly.

    MinGW toolchain

Windows Subsystem for Linux

You can use WSL, Windows Subsystem for Linux, as your working environment in CLion on Windows 10 (starting the Fall Creators Update version 1709, build 16299.15).

WSL toolchain enables you to build projects using CMake and compilers from Linux and run/debug on WSL without leaving CLion running on your Windows machine.

Refer to our WSL guide for details on setting up WSL on your system and configuring WSL toolchains in CLion.

WSL toolchain

Microsoft Visual C++

MSVC compiler

CLion supports the Microsoft Visual C++ compiler that ships with Visual Studio 2013, 2015, 2017, and 2019.

Note that msbuild is not supported: CLion runs CMake with the NMAKE generator instead.

  1. Install Visual Studio 2013, 2015, 2017, or 2019 on your system.

  2. In CLion, go to File | Settings | Build, Execution, Deployment | Toolchains and choose the toolchain that you want to configure.

  3. Select Visual Studio from the Environment list. CLion will attempt to automatically detect the installed Visual Studio distribution. If the detection fails, set the path to Visual Studio manually.

  4. If required, specify the Architecture (x86, amd64, x86_arm, or another), Platform (store, uwp, onecore, or leave it blank), and Version. To build your project for the selected architecture, CLion will call the script to configure the environment with the specified parameters.

  5. Wait until the tools detection finishes. Note that debugger is not available for the MSVC toolchain by default (see the next chapter):

    MSVC toolchain

For the case when your code includes MSVC extensions, CLion provides the support for:

  • __uuidof, __forceinline, __unaligned, and __alignof keywords;

  • pointer type attributes: __ptr32, __ptr64, __uptr, __sptr;

  • MSVC built-in data types: (unsigned) __int8, (unsigned) __int16, (unsigned) __int32, (unsigned) __int64, __wchar_t;

  • additional format specifiers, such as %I32 and %I64;

  • the clang's -fms-extensions flag.

Experimental MSVC debugger

Debugging for the MSVC toolchain is available as an experimental feature (disabled by default). The experimental state means that the debugger is currently under development. We recommend you check the list of known issues and limitations in this blog post.

To turn the MSVC debugger on, press Ctrl+Shift+Alt+/ to invoke the Maintenance popup (or call Help | Find Action and search for Maintenance), then choose Experimental features. Select the cidr.debugger.lldb.windows option:

enabling experimental MSVC debugger

After enabling the experimental debugger, go to the MSVC toolchain settings. The Debugger field will show Bundled LLDB:

experimental debugger in MSVC toolchain settings

This debugger, implemented on top of LLDB, can work with the native visualizers taken from the Visual Studio installation or from your project. To enable them and set the desired diagnostics level, select Enable NatVis renderers for LLDB in Settings | Build, Execution, Deployment | Debugger | Data Views | C/C++:

MSVC NatVis

Also, if you have custom native visualizers in your project, CLion will use them as well:

MSVC debug with custom NatVis

GDB on Windows

In the case of MinGW, CLion includes the bundled GDB (version 8.3). For Cygwin, you need to install the GDB package in the Cygwin Package Manager, as described in the Cygwin section of this guide.

You can also switch to a custom GDB binary. In this case, the supported GDB versions are 7.8.x-8.3.x.

Note that for GDB 8.0 and later, debugger output is redirected to CLion console by default. To enable opening an external console window for application input/output, go to Help | Find Action or press Ctrl+Shift+A, search for Registry, and set the following key: cidr.debugger.gdb.workaround.windows.forceExternalConsole.

Last modified: 22 November 2019