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

cjgohlke at cjgohlke at
Thu Mar 22 01:06:18 CET 2012

On Wednesday, March 21, 2012 8:06:47 AM UTC-7, Ralph Heinkel wrote:
> Hi,
> 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?
> 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 and it is sort of out-of-date - nowadays everyone uses Visual Studio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 for a license which is actually rather out of date.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.
> Thanks,
> Ralph

See "Compiling 64-bit extension modules on Windows" at <>. It applies to non-Cython extensions as well.

MinGW-w64 also works, but you'll have to generate and use libpythonXX.a and libmsvcr90.a link libraries.


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