Home » Python » How to use MinGW's gcc compiler when installing Python package using Pip?

How to use MinGW's gcc compiler when installing Python package using Pip?

Posted by: admin November 29, 2017 Leave a comment


I configured MinGW and distutils so now I can compile extensions using this command:

setup.py install

MinGW’s gcc compiler will be used and package will be installed. For that I installed MinGW and created distutils.cfg file with following content:

compiler = mingw32

It’s cool but now I’d like to use all pip benefits. Is there a way to use the same MinGW’s gcc compiler in pip? So that when I run this:

pip install <package name>

pip will use MinGW’s gcc compiler and compile C code if needed?

Currently I get this error: Unable to find vcvarsall.bat. Seems pip doesn’t know that I have gcc compiler. How can I configure pip to use gcc compiler?

  • install MinGW with C++ Compiler option checked
  • add C:\MinGW\bin to your PATH
  • in PYTHONPATH\Lib\distutils, create a file distutils.cfg and add these lines:

[build] compiler=mingw32


Even though configuration file solves this problem, it’s not always an option. I had the same issue for my command line installation process and I was not able to change config files on all the machines and python distributions.

This is my solution:

For mingw32 and packages, which use VC++ as default:

pip install --global-option build_ext --global-option --compiler=mingw32 <package_zip>

For Visual C++ on WinPython, which uses mingw32 as default:

pip install --global-option build_ext --global-option --compiler=msvc <package_zip>


Maybe you didn’t put distutils.cfg in the right location? I solved the same problem creating a file called pydistutils.cfg inside c:\Documents and Settings\myuser, with the same content as yours. I did this way and it works. HTH