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Environments

MSYS2 comes with different environments/subsystems and the first thing you have to decide is which one to use. The differences between the environments is mainly between environment variables, default compilers/linkers, architecture, system libraries used etc. If you are unsure, go with MINGW64.

The MSYS environment contains the unixy/cygwin based tools, lives under /usr and is special in that it is always active. All the other environments inherit from the MSYS one and add various things on top of it.

For example in the MINGW64 environment your $PATH starts with /mingw64/bin:/usr/bin so you get all mingw64 based tools as well as all msys tools.

Overview

Name Prefix Toolchain Architecture C Library C++ Library
msys MSYS /usr gcc x86_64 cygwin libstdc++
mingw64 MINGW64 /mingw64 gcc x86_64 msvcrt libstdc++
ucrt64 UCRT64 /ucrt64 gcc x86_64 ucrt libstdc++
clang64 CLANG64 /clang64 llvm x86_64 ucrt libc++
mingw32 MINGW32 /mingw32 gcc i686 msvcrt libstdc++