A Windows binary distribution of GNU Make, to be used with Eclipse Embedded CDT.

If you already know the general facts about the xPack Windows Build Tools, you can directly skip to the desired pages.

User pages:

Developer & maintainer pages:


The xPack Windows Build Tools is a Windows specific package, customised for the requirements of the Eclipse CDT managed build projects. It includes a recent version of GNU make and a recent version of BusyBox, which provides a convenient implementation for sh/rm/echo.


The main advantages of using the xPack Windows Build Tools are:

  • use a POSIX shell, which improves the behaviour of make, by properly processing the POSIX paths generated by Eclipse, including names containing spaces
  • overcome the 8192 characters/line limit of usual Windows build environments; by not using the Microsoft cmd.exe, make is able to process larger command lines, allowing to build large projects, with very large number of files
  • support for 64-bit Windows; apparently this not only makes usage safer, by avoiding the DLL32 mess, but also slightly improves build performances.

For those interested in technical details, if make does not find a sh in the path, it falls back to using the Microsoft cmd.exe when launching sub-processes. As with other Windows implementations, compared to Unix shells, cmd.exe is severely restricted, also impacting the make correct behaviour.

The Eclipse Embedded CDT managed build plug-in generally auto-detects the latest build tools version, by searching several designated folders, and defaults to using it. If you need to use a different version, update the Global Tools Paths (or Workspace Tools Paths) in C/C++ → Build preferences.

All binaries are self-contained, they include all required libraries, and can be installed in any location.

Forward vs. Back-slashes

Eclipse is a more or POSIX compliant environment, which favours the use of standard forward slashed for path separators, and all automatically generated make files use this convention. The version of the make and sh commands packed by xPack Windows Build Tools also favour POSIX standard forward slashes.

As such, the use of Windows specific backslash path separators cannot be properly supported, and attempts to build manually written Windows specific make files might fail.


make is actually GNU make, so it is can process standard make files.


The details of installing the xPack Windows Build Tools on various platforms are presented in the separate install page.


  • none included, use https://www.gnu.org/software/make/manual/


For the various support options, please read the separate support page.

Change log

The release and change log is available in the repository CHANGELOG.md file.

Build details

For those interested in building the binaries, please read the README-MAINTAINER page. However, the ultimate source for details are the build scripts themselves, all available from the  windows-build-tools-xpack.git/scripts folder.


See the releases pages.