At long last! Building C extensions on Windows will no longer be a pain in the rear!

On Fri, Sep 26, 2014 at 1:01 PM, Steve Dower <> wrote:
Hi all,

(This is advance notice since people on this list will be interested. Official announcements are coming when setuptools makes their next release.)

Microsoft has released a compiler package targeting Python 2.7 (i.e. VC9). We've produced this package to help library developers build wheels for Windows, but also to help users unblock themselves when they need to build C extensions themselves.

The Microsoft Visual C++ Compiler for Python 2.7 is available from:

This package contains all the tools and headers required to build C extension modules for Python 2.7 32-bit and 64-bit (note that some extension modules require 3rd party dependencies such as OpenSSL or libxml2 that are not included). Other versions of Python built with Visual C++ 2008 are also supported.

You can install the package without requiring administrative privileges and, with the latest version of setuptools (when it releases), use tools such as pip, wheel, or a file to produce binaries on Windows.

Unfortunately, this package isn't necessarily going to help with building CPython 2.7 itself, as the build process is complicated and Visual Studio 2008 is practically required. However, as most people aren't building CPython on Windows, this isn't a huge issue. This compiler package should be sufficient for most extension modules.

I should also point out that VC9 is no longer supported by Microsoft. This means there won't be any improvements or bug fixes coming, and there's no official support offered. Feel free to contact me directly <> if there are issues with the package.


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