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Chapter 2. Installation on Windows

Build, installation, and use instructions for PostgreSQL client libraries on Windows

Although PostgreSQL is written for Unix-like operating systems, the C client library (libpq) and the interactive terminal (psql) can be compiled natively under Windows. The makefiles included in the source distribution are written for Microsoft Visual C++ and will probably not work with other systems. It should be possible to compile the libaries manually in other cases.

Tip: If you are using Windows NT/2000 you can build and use all of PostgreSQL "the Unix way" if you install the Cygwin toolkit first. In that case see Chapter 1.

To build everything that you can on Windows, change into the src directory and type the command

nmake /f win32.mak
This assumes that you have Visual C++ in your path.

The following files will be built:


The dynamically linkable frontend library


Import library to link your program to libpq.dll


Static library 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it should be installed with version checking using the VERSIONINFO resource included in the file, to ensure that a newer version of the library is not overwritten.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 compilers settings.

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