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Software Distribution and Building Platform for Windows

MSYS2 is a collection of tools and libraries providing you with an easy-to-use environment for building, installing and running native Windows software.

It consists of a command line terminal called mintty, bash, version control systems like git and subversion, tools like tar and awk and even build systems like autotools, all based on a modified version of Cygwin. Despite some of these central parts being based on Cygwin, the main focus of MSYS2 is to provide a build environment for native Windows software and the Cygwin-using parts are kept at a minimum. MSYS2 provides up-to-date native builds for GCC, mingw-w64, CPython, CMake, Meson, OpenSSL, FFmpeg, Rust, Ruby, just to name a few.

To provide easy installation of packages and a way to keep them updated it features a package management system called Pacman, which should be familiar to Arch Linux users. It brings many powerful features such as dependency resolution and simple complete system upgrades, as well as straight-forward and reproducible package building. Our package repository contains more than 2600 pre-built packages ready to install.

For more details see 'What is MSYS2?' which also compares MSYS2 to other software distributions and development environments like Cygwin, WSL, Chocolatey, Scoop, ... and 'Who Is Using MSYS2?' to see which projects are using MSYS2 and what for.


  1. Download the installer: msys2-x86_64-20220603.exe

    Verify with SHA256 checksum 6e5a76e36a651542e6b907a39776effb7670a139d6a017c3808fdcfaca84ee83 or GPG signature by 0xf7a49b0ec.

  2. Run the installer. MSYS2 requires 64 bit Windows 7 or newer.

  3. Enter your desired Installation Folder (short ASCII-only path on a NTFS volume, no accents, no spaces, no symlinks, no subst or network drives, no FAT).

    Second screen of MSYS2 installation

  4. When done, tick Run MSYS2 now.

    Third screen of MSYS2 installation

  5. Update the package database and base packages. Unless your setup file is very recent, it will take two steps. First run pacman -Syu:

    $ pacman -Syu
    :: Synchronizing package databases...
     mingw32                        805.0 KiB
     mingw32.sig                    438.0   B
     mingw64                        807.9 KiB
     mingw64.sig                    438.0   B
     msys                           289.3 KiB
     msys.sig                       438.0   B
    :: Starting core system upgrade...
    warning: terminate other MSYS2 programs before proceeding
    resolving dependencies...
    looking for conflicting packages...
    Packages (6) bash-5.1.004-1  filesystem-2021.01-1
                 mintty-1~3.4.4-1  msys2-runtime-3.1.7-4
                 pacman-5.2.2-9  pacman-mirrors-20201208-1
    Total Download Size:   11.05 MiB
    Total Installed Size:  53.92 MiB
    Net Upgrade Size:      -1.24 MiB
    :: Proceed with installation? [Y/n]
    :: Retrieving packages...
     bash-5.1.004-1-x86_64            2.3 MiB
     filesystem-2021.01-1-any        33.2 KiB
     mintty-1~3.4.4-1-x86_64        767.2 KiB
     msys2-runtime-3.1.7-4-x86_64     2.6 MiB
     pacman-mirrors-20201208-1-any    3.8 KiB
     pacman-5.2.2-9-x86_64            5.4 MiB
    (6/6) checking keys in keyring       100%
    (6/6) checking package integrity     100%
    (6/6) loading package files          100%
    (6/6) checking for file conflicts    100%
    (6/6) checking available disk space  100%
    :: Processing package changes...
    (1/6) upgrading bash                 100%
    (2/6) upgrading filesystem           100%
    (3/6) upgrading mintty               100%
    (4/6) upgrading msys2-runtime        100%
    (5/6) upgrading pacman-mirrors       100%
    (6/6) upgrading pacman               100%
    :: To complete this update all MSYS2 processes including this terminal will be closed. Confirm to proceed [Y/n]
  6. Run "MSYS2 MSYS" from Start menu. Update the rest of the base packages with pacman -Syu:

    $ pacman -Syu
     mingw32 is up to date
     mingw64 is up to date
     msys is up to date
    :: Starting core system upgrade...
     there is nothing to do
    :: Starting full system upgrade...
    resolving dependencies...
    looking for conflicting packages...
    Packages (20) base-2020.12-1  bsdtar-3.5.0-1
                  [... more packages listed ...]
    Total Download Size:   12.82 MiB
    Total Installed Size:  44.25 MiB
    Net Upgrade Size:       3.01 MiB
    :: Proceed with installation? [Y/n]
    [... downloading and installation continues ...]
  7. Now MSYS2 is ready for you. You will probably want to install some tools and the mingw-w64 GCC to start compiling:

    $ pacman -S --needed base-devel mingw-w64-x86_64-toolchain
    warning: file-5.39-2 is up to date -- skipping
    [... more warnings ...]
    :: There are 48 members in group base-devel:
    :: Repository msys
       1) asciidoc  2) autoconf  3) autoconf2.13  4) autogen
       [... more packages listed ...]
    Enter a selection (default=all):
    :: There are 19 members in group mingw-w64-x86_64-toolchain:
    :: Repository mingw64
       1) mingw-w64-x86_64-binutils  2) mingw-w64-x86_64-crt-git
       [... more packages listed ...]
    Enter a selection (default=all):
    resolving dependencies...
    looking for conflicting packages...
    Packages (123) docbook-xml-4.5-2  docbook-xsl-1.79.2-1
                   [... more packages listed ...]
                   m4-1.4.18-2  make-4.3-1  man-db-2.9.3-1
                  [... more packages listed ...]
    Total Download Size:    196.15 MiB
    Total Installed Size:  1254.96 MiB
    :: Proceed with installation? [Y/n]
    [... downloading and installation continues ...]
  8. To start building using the mingw-w64 GCC, close this window and run "MSYS MinGW 64-bit" from Start menu. Now you can call make or gcc to build software for Windows.

  9. Check out the introduction page to learn which Start menu item to use when and which packages to install. Take look at Detailed MSYS2 install guide for troubleshooting and additional details on how to keep your MSYS2 up-to-date.


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