Compiling Python (modules) on 64bit Windows - which compiler suite?

Terry Reedy tjreedy at
Wed Mar 21 18:56:20 CET 2012

On 3/21/2012 11:06 AM, Ralph Heinkel wrote:
> when processing our mass spectrometry data we are running against the
> 2GB memory limit on our 32 bit machines. So we are planning to move to
> 64bit. Downloading and installing the 64bit version of Python for
> Windows is trivial, but how do we compile our own C extension? Visual C
> ++ 2008 express comes for free, but only compiles for 32 bit.
> What has been used to compile the downloadable Python Win64 bit
> version? Visual Studio professional?

Yes. Python Windows devs get it for free from MS.

> The problem with the professional edition is that it is hard to obtain
> and it is sort of out-of-date - nowadays everyone uses Visual Studio
> 2010 (or even 2011 coming soon). So if Visual Studio 2008 professional
> is required for compiling 64bit modules, we would have to spend $1200
> for a license which is actually rather out of date.
> Any hints or suggestions are very welcome.

I believe the intention is to release 3.3 compiled with VS 2010. Brian 
Curtin and Martin Loewis are working on that. I believe people have 
successfully built at least the basics with VS2010.

You could also dual boot to Linux and get 64 bit gcc for free.

Terry Jan Reedy

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