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Building ReactOS

Getting all you need

Getting a Working Copy

The first step in building ReactOS is getting a copy of the source code.

You can use the exported release source code, but since you are reading this, you are probably interested in keeping up to date with the latest changes, so you will want a "working copy" of ReactOS. To get a working copy of ReactOS, please read the Subversion page.

Setting up a Build Environment

For building ReactOS you also need the official ReactOS Build Environment. Please download and install it from that page.


After you have started a Build Environment Command Prompt, there are certain commands available.

Invoking a build

make This command builds all binaries of ReactOS. They will be placed in the directory specified by the ROS_OUTPUT environment variable. (default: output-i386) All source files, which did not change since the last build, will not be built again.

make bootcd This command works like make, but also generates a bootable ReactOS ISO file (ReactOS.iso) in the base of the working copy. It is wise to tag your Boot-CDs with the revision they were built from if you need to keep many ReactOS ISOs.

make livecd This command generates ReactOS-LiveCD.iso in the base of the working copy. This is the ReactOS Live-CD that runs completely from the CD-ROM

make install This command copies all the ReactOS binaries to their proper installation directory as specified in the ROS_INSTALL environment variable. (default: reactos)

makex Used instead of make will utilize all physical cores on your machine.

Creating IDE project files

make msvc? There are some commands for creating project files for Microsoft Visual C++. Currently, the following commands are supported:

  • make msvc6 - Create project files for Visual C++ 6.0
  • make msvc7 - Create project files for Visual C++.NET 2002 (7.0)
  • make msvc71 - Create project files for Visual C++.NET 2003 (7.1)
  • make msvc8 - Create project files for Visual C++ 2005 (8.0)
  • make msvc9 - Create project files for Visual C++ 2008 (9.0)

make cb This command will create project files for the Code::Blocks Multi-Platform IDE.


clean This command cleans all files of your working copy except the generated ISO files (if any). The next build you make will be completely clean then.

make depmap This command generates a simple dependency map for all ReactOS components.

make vreport This command generates a version report for all ReactOS components, whose source files have appropriate information for that.

Adjusting the Build Configuration

In the base of the working copy, you will find a file called config.template.rbuild. This is one of the configuration files for RBuild, our custom build system. Make a copy of this file as config.rbuild and open it in an editor. Each option is commented with a short description of what it does. Adjust the file to your needs and save it.

Adding modules to the build process

There are several modules you can add to the build process. For example rosapps contains some additional applications not included by default.

The page Building Modules describes, which modules exist and how to add them to the build process.