Get Involved/development/Windows

From KDE Community Wiki

KDE Craft is a tool to build the sources and its third-party requirements. It is the easy way to build software.

A screen recording version is available

System requirements

The versions of Microsoft Windows operating system (OS) that are still supported by Microsoft include Windows Server greater than or equal to 2016 and Windows greater than or equal to 10. See

Setting up craft

Installing python

While Craft is capable of installing an embedded Python version sufficient for most packages, we recommend a full installation of Python. Python is currently releasing new versions in the Python 3 series. Download Python 3.x

Setting up a powershell

PowerShell is required to be at least version 5.0. If you're running Windows 10 you most probably won't need to update Powershell.

You can check the version by invocating $PSVersionTable.PSVersion in a PowerShell terminal.

In case you need a newer one, we recommend PowerShell Core.

The latest version of the standard powershell can be found here.

Setting up a compiler

Currently, Craft supports both the MinGW and Microsoft Visual Studio (msvc) compiler. While MinGW can be installed by Craft, Visual Studio must be installed independently by the user.

Please note that in case you or the package you are a trying to build needs QtWebEngine, you'll have to use Visual Studio(!). MinGW is not supported.

If you want to use Microsoft Visual Studio, KDE Craft Qt5 uses Visual Studio 2019, KDE Craft Qt6 uses Visual Studio 2022.

E.g. Microsoft Visual Studio Community 2019. Possible download links

E.g. Microsoft Visual Studio Community 2022. Possible download links

Make sure the following components are selected at the minimum:

  • Desktop Development with C++
  • C++ ATL
  • Windows SDK

Enable development mode

Windows 10 supports the creation of symbolic links, but only if the development mode is activated. Allowing symbolic links allows faster (much faster) extraction of archives. Enable development mode

Installing Craft

  1. Start a PowerShell environment (Do not use PowerShell ISE, it doesn't work very well with python). It might be required to run it as administrator.
  2. Allow execution of powershell scripts by executing the following command:
    Set-ExecutionPolicy -Scope CurrentUser RemoteSigned
  3. If you have installed Python for Windows, you will probably have HTTPS certificate errors.
    py -m pip install --upgrade certifi
  4. Install Craft and follow the instructions by executing the following command:
    iex ((new-object net.webclient).DownloadString(''))
  5. Performance. Configure your antivirus to exclude the entire Craft root directory (C:\CraftRoot\). Otherwise some packages can fail to build (e.g. build of kde/frameworks/tier2/kdoctools when AVG is used). E.g. if this a Windows 10 (or 11) Pro virtual machine and you want maximum performance you can open "Edit group policy" > Local Computer Policy > Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Microsoft Defender Antivirus > Turn off Microsoft Defender Antivirus > Enabled. You can also disable automatic Windows updates, open "Edit group policy" > Local Computer Policy > Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Update > Manage end user experience > Configure Automatic Updates > Disabled. Open "Windows Defender Firewall with Advanced Security" and turn off all 3 firewall profiles.

Using Craft

To use Craft you need to start a powershell window, point that to KDEROOT\craft and run the initialization script.


This tells Craft about your environment settings (e.g. paths). It will load your configuration from CraftRoot\etc\CraftSettings.ini. If there are any error messages Craft will not work as expected. The output should look similar to this one (of course with your paths):

Craft               : C:\CraftRoot
Version             : master
ABI                 : windows-cl-msvc2019-x86_64
Download directory  : C:\CraftRoot\download

Then start crafting


If craft seems stalled for prolonged period of time, you may want need hit Enter in the Powershell terminal to give it a nudge.

Download Windows

You can download Microsoft Windows 11 from

E.g. Download the .ISO file. Then install it in a virtual machine. One way to do this is via "Virtual Machine Manager"/qemu/kvm. It will require TPM, you can either use swtpm or disable the requirement entirely by changing registry values in the installer. A screen recording version is available

Virtual Machines

If you don't have windows - not to worry! Grab one of Microsoft's VM for development.

  • Get a VM
  • Import into VM software + install guest addons if necessary and applicable
  • In windows search the start menu for 'Visual Studio Installer' and start it
  • Install VS 2019 and select the components mentioned on the Craft page. For particularly easy access you can simply pick the 'desktop development with c++' and 'linux development with c++' workloads instead of the individual components. The "Visual Studio Installer" (on the start menu) is installed as part of VS 2022 and can also manage the install of VS2019.
  • Setup Craft as described above


Setup Visual Studio 2022 with Chocolatey

  • choco install -y visualstudio2022buildtools --package-parameters "--add  Microsoft.VisualStudio.Component.VC.ATL"
  • choco install -y visualstudio2022-workload-vctools visualstudio2022-workload-nativedesktop visualstudio2022-workload-manageddesktopbuildtools

Setup Visual Studio 2019 with Chocolatey

  • choco install -y visualstudio2019buildtools --package-parameters "--add  Microsoft.VisualStudio.Component.VC.ATL"
  • choco install -y visualstudio2019-workload-vctools visualstudio2019-workload-nativedesktop visualstudio2019-workload-manageddesktopbuildtools
  • choco install -y windows-sdk-10