Old Method of Compiling on Windows

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In order to build VDrift for Windows, you must set up the tools to build the software, build VDrift, and then install VDrift into a runtime folder.

Source and Data


Get the VDrift source code and data, either from the latest source release on the VDrift downloads page, or the development version.

Note: From this point on the directory in which you checked out VDrift will be referred to as the root VDrift directory. The development environment setup script puts this in an environment variable $VDRIFT_DIR.


Download a Boost distribution from this link:


Uncompress Boost, and move the boost_1_39_0/boost folder to VDrift/tools/win/include


Download the ASIO distribution from this link:


Uncompress ASIO, and move asio-1.4.1/include/* to VDrift/tools/win/include

Install and Configure Build Tools

Note: The versions listed for these tools were the ones used at time of this writing (current stable versions of all packages), there may be new versions. This is a known working configuration.


  • Download MinGW 5.1.3 or TDM's GCC/mingw32
  • Run the installer.
  • When asked to select components for install, you only need the base system and the g++ compiler.
  • Choose the default install location.
  • Your PATH Environment Variable should contain the MinGW bin path(e.g. C:\MinGW\bin;).

Building with Code::Blocks

Building with Scons

Note: SCons will prefer the MSVC tools over the MinGW tools. So if you have Microsoft Visual Studio installed, you might have problems building VDrift with Scons.
  • Download SCons 1.20
  • Run the installer. It should find your Python installation, accept all defaults.
  • Your PATH Environment Variable should contain the Python and Python scripts paths(e.g. C:\Python26;C:\Python26\Scripts;).
Building with batch script
  • Open a new CMD prompt by choosing START, RUN, cmd, OK.
  • Change directories to the spot where you checked VDrift out.
  • Now, to build VDrift, run the command:
Building with MSYS
  • Download MSYS 1.0.10
  • Run the installer.
  • Choose the default install location.
  • When presented with a terminal asking if you want to continue with the post-install, type y, then press enter.
  • When asked if MinGW is installed, enter C:/MinGW, then press enter.
  • The MSYS post install script should find your MinGW installation now and configure itself.
  • To build VDrift you must use the MSYS terminal to run the build script.
  • Launch MSYS by clicking Start -> Programs -> MinGW -> MSYS -> msys.
  • Change directories to the spot where you checked VDrift out. If your username is Administrator and you put it on your Desktop in a directory named VDrift, you would enter this command:
cd /c/Documents\ and\ Settings/Administrator/Desktop/VDrift
  • Now, to build VDrift, run the command:
sh tools/win/bin/build_vdrift.sh

Run VDrift

  • Move or copy the VDrift data to a directory named data within the root VDrift directory. This can be done in a few different ways, depending on how you obtained the VDrift data. You could check it out directly here, or you could check it out in another place and use TortoiseSVN to export it to this location. If you downloaded a VDrift data archive you can extract it here, or extract it elsewhere and then move or copy the necessary files to runtime. In the end, just make sure you have a directory structure with paths like VDrift/data/cars/, VDrift/data/tracks/, etc.
  • Now, to run VDrift, you just need to double-click on the file vdrift.exe within the root VDrift directory.