The recommended method is via xpm.


The xPack Windows Build Tools can be installed automatically, via xpm (the recommended method), or manually, by downloading and unpacking one of the portable archives.

Easy install

The easiest way to install Windows Build Tools is by using the binary xPack, available as @xpack-dev-tools/windows-build-tools from the registry.


The only requirement is a recent xpm, which is a portable Node.js command line application. To install it, follow the instructions from the xpm install page.


With xpm available, installing the latest version of the package is quite easy:

cd my-project
xpm init # Only at first use.

xpm install @xpack-dev-tools/windows-build-tools@latest --verbose

This command will always install the latest available version, in the global xPacks store, which is a platform dependent folder (check the output of the xpm command for the actual folder used on your platform).

xPacks aware tools, like the Eclipse Embedded CDT plug-ins automatically identify binaries installed with xpm and provide a convenient method to manage paths.


To remove the links from the current project:

cd my-project

xpm uninstall @xpack-dev-tools/windows-build-tools

To completely remove the package from the central xPacks store:

xpm uninstall --global @xpack-dev-tools/windows-build-tools --verbose


To check if the xpm installed make starts, use something like:

C:\>%USERPROFILE%\AppData\Roaming\xPacks\@xpack-dev-tools\windows-build-tools\4.3.0-1\.content\bin\make --version
GNU Make 4.3.90
Built for i686-w64-mingw32

Manual install

For all platforms, the xPack Windows Build Tools binaries are released as portable archives that can be installed in any location.

The archives can be downloaded from the GitHub releases page.


The Windows versions of xPack Windows Build Tools are packed as ZIP files. Download the latest version named like:



To manually install the xPack Windows Build Tools, unpack the archive and copy it into the %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Roaming\xPacks\windows-build-tools (for example C:\Users\ilg\AppData\Roaming\xPacks\windows-build-tools) folder; according to Microsoft, AppData\Roaming is the recommended location for installing user specific packages.


To check if the manually installed make starts, use something like:

C:\>%USERPROFILE%\AppData\Roaming\xPacks\windows-build-tools\xpack-windows-build-tools-4.3.0\bin\make --version
GNU Make 4.3.90
Built for x86_64-w64-mingw32

Not required on macOS, use the system tools.

Not required on GNU/Linux, use the system tools.