Python under Windows: free cl.exe?

J.Jacob joost_jacob at
Mon Aug 20 23:46:08 CEST 2001

subject: Windows Compiler to build Python and related stuff

Where can we download the (free commandline version) microsoft C++ 6.0
compiler cl.exe and nmake.exe?  We need it if we want to do
extending/embedding C(++) and many 3rd party Python packages want you to use
cl.exe and nmake.exe

The cygwin effort of using a free GNU C++ compiler for building Python looks
great but there are just too much systems/packages/modules (Python itself too)
based on the microsoft compiler with makefiles for nmake and nothing for the
Gnu compilers.  Too bad i think !  I would much rather use the Gnu compiler,
but...i do not want to have to rewrite tons of makefiles and installscripts
all the time and i can not beat microsoft so i have to join.

I read somewhere (forgot where) you can download a free version of the
microsoft compiler (and you also need nmake.exe, not sure if that comes with
it) as "part of the microsoft C#/.NET SDK" if i remember well....i did look
around at but i could not find it, their website is very
slow and unclear.  Anybody knows the location ?  There should be a link on the
Python download page too, near the source distibution maybe.  I did try to use
the microsoft support at their website but uhm....well see for yourself :)


Joost Jacob

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