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This page present only how to build Marble on windows. Here is an other howto about using libmarblewidget in a application built for windows. You should also have already read this too.


Compiling Marble under the Windows operating system can be done, but it can be very difficult if you do not have your tool chain set up properly. Of first importance is that you get all of the necessary tools installed on your machine and configured.

  1. The Marble source code is stored on a Git repository. The Windows installer for Git can be downloaded here. When you run the installer under Windows, you get the Git program itself and a minimal command line environment called Git Bash for executing Git commands the same as you would under Linux. As an option, you may install Tortoise-Git (download here), which is a graphical interface with Git that integrates with the Windows File Explorer.
  2. The Marble project uses CMake to manage the building process depending on your needs, operating system, and build options.The Windows installer for cmake can be downloaded here. The latest version of the cmake installer modifies the PATH variable to point to the cmake binary.
  3. Marble is a Qt dependent application so you also need Qt. Download the community edition of Qt for Windows here. It is safe to install it with the default options.
  4. The Windows version of the Qt SDK ships with the MinGW compile and make tool chain.It is important to set the PATH variable to point to the tool chain folders. Under the Windows Control Panel -> System -> Advanced Settings -> Environment Variables, add the following items to the PATH variable:
    1. C:\Qt\5.4\mingw491_32\bin
    2. C:\Qt\Tools\mingw491_32\lib
    3. C:\Qt\Tools\mingw491_32\bin
      The specific folders will depend on the version of Qt and MinGW available at the time that you install them. See these instructions for additional advice for setting the path variable in Windows.
  5. If you plan to use the Microsoft compilers in Visual Studio you will need to download the Visual Studio add-ins for Qt here.

It is important that you take the time to test your newly installed tool chain. Type in the following commands:

  1. cmake --version
  2. qmake --version
  3. gcc --version
  4. g++ --version

If any of these fail, check the PATH variable.

1st of February 2013 update :

  • Added the steps to compile on a x64 environment with VS2008 Professional, getting the sources from Git and compiling Qt 4.8.4 x64 if needed.

Getting the Marble Source Code

It is probably best that you get accustomed to using the command line. For that reason we will give the directions for downloading the Marble source code using Git Bash.

  1. Use the start menu (if you have one) to start up the Git Bash interface.
  2. We recommend that you change the working directory to your user's documents folder:
    cd  Documents
  3. We download the source code by cloning the developer repository with the following command:
    git clone git://

After you run the git clone command (shown above), all the Marble source files and considerable resource files will be found in a folder called marble.

Compiling Marble using MinGW and mingw32-make

Marble compiles under a "cmake, make, make install" process as under Linux:

  1. Open a command prompt window
  2. Navigate to the Documents\marble folder using the cd command.
  3. Create a build directory in the marble folder by typing:
    mkdir build
    and switch to it:
    cd build
    By running cmake from inside the build folder, we avoid spreading object files and other build cruft throughout the source tree.
  4. Run cmake to configure the build process:
    cmake -G "MinGW Makefiles" -DQTONLY=TRUE -DQT5BUILD=TRUE -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Release ..
    (Add -DWITH_DESIGNER_PLUGIN=ON if you want the MarbleWidget Plugin )
  5. Run make to actually build the program:
    (You can add "--jobs=2" to compile 2 files at a time if your cpu has two cores.)
  6. Bring up an administrator command prompt by right clicking the command prompt icon from the start menu, and selecting "run as administrator". See this )
  7. Use cd to navigate to the user Documents\marble\build folder.
  8. Install marble:
    mingw32-make install
  9. Now if all went well you should find marble-qt.exe in Program Files (x86)\marble.

Double click on the marble-qt.exe file from the Windows File Explorer to test it out.

Compiling Marble using Microsoft Visual C++ and nmake

  1. The Windows version of Marble distributed on the KDE website is compiled using the
    Microsoft VC++ compiler. For Marble to work right, you'll need the MSVC+ compiled
    version of QT

  2. Once you got these installed, make sure that you add the bin Path of the
    framework to your PATH variable. E.g. "C:\Qt\4.6.3\bin". This will point
    the system to the DLLs of the framework eventually needed.

  3. Get the Marble sources from Git into a fresh directory (see above for steps). Then you can open a command line window (with administrator privileges - on Vista
    and Windows 7, you need to hold down SHIFT and Control when executing
    "CMD.exe" from the start button menu). You need to make sure that you
    got those privileges, otherwise the build will fail due to missing
    rights to write files later on during linking and installing.

  4. Make sure to set the environment variables for the MS Visual C++
    compiler by doing "vcvarsall.bat" in the tool subdirectory of your
    Microsoft Visual C++ installation.
    C:\>cd "\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio 9.0\VC
    C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio 9.0\VC>vcvarsall
    Setting environment for using Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 x86 tools.

  5. Change to the directory with the Marble sources, and enter the following build commands (thanks to Patrick Spendrin for that):

    C:\Marble-Src\cmake -G "NMake Makefiles" -DQTONLY=ON
    -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=C:\marble-tmp && nmake && nmake install

  6. Once issued, you will get the build kicked off. First, the cmake cross-compiler will make the MakeFile, and Nmake will then compile it, while nmake install will install the application at the path specified at CMAKE_IMSTALL_PATH Prefix.

  7. Once you got your version of Marble  "installed", you need to manually copy the missing Qt Framework DLLs as well as the missing imageformat DLL for importing tiles.The following DLLs go from the Qt/bin directory right next to the
    marble.exe file in the installation directory:


  8. Additionally, you need to create a directory in the "plugins" folder
    named "imageformats". This is the plugin for different image formats. In
    Marble 0.8.0, there was just one DLL in there, namely "qjpeg4.dll",
    which is the support for JPEG file tiles in Marble.
    [NOTE: what about PNG support? Would that be "qmng4.dll" to be added?]

  9. The "qjpeg4.dll" is not build yet after downloading and installing the
    MSVC version of the Qt Framework, yet you will find a MS VC Project file
    in your Qt source directory (e.g. "C:\Qt\4.6.3\src\plugins\imageformats\imageformats.dsw"). Open that up,
    set the release configuration in the compiler and compile the project.

  10. Note that the output files will be found in another place! Namely in the
    plugins folder of Qt (e.g. "C:\Qt\4.6.3\plugins\imageformats"). From there, you can copy the qjpeg4.dll needed, and you should be all set - you now got a fresh Marble version compiled with MSVC.

Tested with CMake 2.8.1, Qt sdk 2010.02.1 ( Qt 4.6.2 ; Qt Creator 1.3.1 ; MinGW 3.15 ; GCC4.4.0 ) and rev. 1128605 of marble for the MingW part, and the Qt SDK 4.6.3 for MSVC.

Compiling Marble using Microsoft Visual C++ and Visual Studio

Installing the tools
  1. Standard tools:
    Install cmake and Git as described in the preliminaries section.
  2. Qt.
    For Marble to work right, you'll need the MSVC++ compiled version of QT. If needed and no x64 version of Qt is available, you can compile it from source in a few easy steps. Long and CPU intensive, but easy....
Preparing the workplace
The following steps and congfiguration/compilation commands assume source in one directory, Visual Studio generated files (config and objects in a second directory, and then prepared binaries in a third. This way the source directory is kept clean, the final binaries are easy to find, and debug/release versions of each file kept in separate directories. It is very inconvenient to have these mixed.
Example of directories tree:
  • Marble-Src
  • Marble-Build
    • Debug
    • Release
  • Marble-Bin
    • Debug
    • Release
Getting the sources
When Tortose Git is properly installed and integrated with windows file explorer, you should be able to right click on a directory where you whant to download the sources to ex. Marble-Src, and select "Clone Git repository", pointing to the address of the source code, from the official Marble page. (todo, screenshot here)
Configuring and Compiling
Like mentioned before, it is desirable to keep the sources clean on a large project like this. Visual Studio will create a lot of files and it is also much easier to work on. You'll be able to change files and configurations more easily if you keep sources and built objects separate.
In the directory to use to build in debug mode for example, open a command prompt. No need of elevated priviledges or setting of VS specific variables. Run cmake with ONE (in case its being presented on multiple lines) command similar to this:
cmake -G "Visual Studio 9 2008 Win64" -Wno-dev -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Debug -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=..\..\Marble-Bin\Debug ..\..\Marble-Src
  • This command specifies x64 project files and solutions vor Visual Studio 2008. CMake supports different targets, adjust if necessary.
  • -Wno-dev hides some unwanted warnings
  • -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Debug specifies in advance to link/build in debug mode in the generated vcproj/sln files
  • -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=..\..\Marble-Bin\Debug specifies where the final binaries should be placed. It will only be populated by the "INSTALL project target part of the complete solution. You can specify a relative or absolute path.
  • ..\..\Marble-Src points to the root directory containing the marble files, where you cloned the Git repository. (It contains the top-level CMakeLists.txt file.) Not the "src" directory within.
If all options and paths are correct, the current directory should now be populated with Visual Studio project files, a lot of them, and one single solution file. Repeat the above steps in another directory for a release build if desired.
Double click/open "marble.sln" in VS Studio. No further command line work necessary.
Once inside VS, use ALL_BUILD project to build all binaries, looking for errors. Expect a few minor problems. The stable sources may not be perfectly visual studio friendly. Last time I checked out the "Stable" sources, VS Compiler complained about some code that compiles under Gcc, but that VC compiler does not accept. An Implicit Type conversion issue in something as simple as atan2() function. Another problem was missing functions implementations for the Null-Audio plugin. The NUll audio plugin is used on windows, if there is no phonon server.
When all compiles without errors, run the project "INSTALL" to copy the binaries to the install folder. It is important to have all executables and plugins and data in the correct place relative to each other. Double click on marble-qt.exe to start it. The directory with Qt libraries (Qt5Core.dll, Qt5Gui.dll, ... for a Release build and Qt5Cored.dll, Qt5Guid.dll, ... for a Debug build) must be part of the PATH environment variable also.

This page was last modified on 30 November 2016, at 19:30. Content is available under Creative Commons License SA 4.0 unless otherwise noted.