Installing gcc on Windows for Go

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Installing gcc on Windows for Go

I see... Cgo packages need gcc

Dec 2, 2022ยท

2 min read


I am recently learning Go and I stumbled upon an error about exec: "gcc": executable file not found in %PATH% when using the package. The package I am installing is a Cgo package which calls C code directly in Go. It requires gcc to be installed. Indeed, I did not have gcc installed on my Windows machine.


Pre-compiled native binaries of gcc for Windows are not available. We have to rely on an intermediary such as Cygwin and MinGW. Luckily, MSYS2 makes this process easy for us. After installing it, you are presented with a UCRT64 terminal.

Within the terminal, install mingw-w64-x86_64-gcc using the pacman package manager, like so:

$ pacman -S mingw-w64-x86_64-gcc

This will install the native Windows executables of gcc. Afterward, add C:\msys64\mingw64\bin to your PATH environment variable so that gcc can be executed from anywhere on your machine.

My Go program was successfully compiled after doing the steps above. Awesome!

Closing Thoughts

This short article is based on a similar and comprehensive article for C/C++ development.

The issues that I encountered would have been immediately resolved if my main operating system was running on Linux. Even more so, I would not have to rely on an intermediary tool to run gcc on my machine. I am looking forward to making the complete switch to Linux anytime soon ๐Ÿค”.