Chapter 15. Client-Only Installation on Windows

Although a complete PostgreSQL installation for Windows can only be built using MinGW or Cygwin, the C client library (libpq) and the interactive terminal (psql) can be compiled using other Windows tool sets. Makefiles are included in the source distribution for Microsoft Visual C++ and Borland C++. It should be possible to compile the libraries manually for other configurations.

Tip: Using MinGW or Cygwin is preferred. If using one of those tool sets, see Chapter 14.

To build everything that you can on Windows using Microsoft Visual C++, change into the src directory and type the command

nmake /f win32.mak

This assumes that you have Visual C++ in your path.

To build everything using Borland C++, change into the src directory and type the command

make -N -DCFG=Release /f bcc32.mak

The following files will be built:


The dynamically linkable frontend library


Import library to link your programs to libpq.dll


Static version of the frontend library


The PostgreSQL interactive terminal

The only file that really needs to be installed is the libpq.dll library. This file should in most cases be placed in the WINNT\SYSTEM32 directory (or in WINDOWS\SYSTEM on a Windows 95/98/ME system). If this file is installed using a setup program, it should be installed with version checking using the VERSIONINFO resource included in the file, to ensure that a newer version of the library is not overwritten.

If you plan to do development using libpq on this machine, you will have to add the src\include and src\interfaces\libpq subdirectories of the source tree to the include path in your compiler's settings.

To use the library, you must add the libpqdll.lib file to your project. (In Visual C++, just right-click on the project and choose to add it.)

Free development tools from Microsoft can be downloaded from You will also need MSVCRT.lib from the platform SDK from You can also download the .NET framework from Once installed, the toolkit binaries must be in your path, and you might need to add a /lib:<libpath> to point to MSVCRT.lib. Free Borland C++ compiler tools can be downloaded from, and require similar setup.