Build and static link ZeroMQ on Windows

ZeroMQ ( http://zeromq.org and https://github.com/zeromq/libzmq ) is a library that allows code to communicate between threads, processes, or computers in just a few lines and uses simple, composable patterns (like publish-subscribe and broadcast).

In this post, we’ll build ZeroMQ on Windows as a static library (to take advantage of the “static linking exception” in its license: http://zeromq.org/area:licensing ) and then bake that static library into a simple Windows executable.  There are many posts around the web that show you how to do this … here’s one more:

Steps:

  1. Build Vcpkg ( https://github.com/Microsoft/vcpkg )
  2. Use vcpkg to build ZeroMQ ( vcpkg install zeromq:x64-windows-static )
  3. Build an executable that statically links ZeroMQ

Step 1: Build Vcpkg ( https://github.com/Microsoft/vcpkg )

Notes:

  • Vcpkg does not manage pre-built binaries (like NuGet or Homebrew)
  • Vcpkg manages source code and builds that source code on Windows, Linux, and MacOS.
  • At the time of this post, the documentation for Vcpkg was located here:
    https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/cpp/vcpkg

In a Visual Studio 2017 developer command prompt (with Git installed), execute the following commands:

cd /d C:\
mkdir Repos
cd /d C:\Repos\
git clone https://github.com/Microsoft/vcpkg
cd /d C:\Repos\vcpkg\
bootstrap-vcpkg.bat

… now, C:\Repos\vcpkg\vcpkg.exe should exist.

Step 2: Use vcpkg to build ZeroMQ ( vcpkg install zeromq:x64-windows-static )

Note:

  • On purpose … to make things more explicit and more difficult in Step 3, we do not execute the following command:
vcpkg integrate install

Now that C:\Repos\vcpkg\vcpkg.exe exists, execute the following commands:

cd /d C:\Repos\vcpkg\
vcpkg install zeromq:x64-windows-static

… now, we should have the following:

  • ZeroMQ source code folder: C:\Repos\vcpkg\buildtrees\zeromq\src
  • ZeroMQ debug build folder: C:\Repos\vcpkg\buildtrees\zeromq\x64-windows-static-dbg
  • ZeroMQ release build folder: C:\Repos\vcpkg\buildtrees\zeromq\x64-windows-static-rel
  • ZeroMQ target folder: C:\Repos\vcpkg\packages\zeromq_x64-windows-static
  • ZeroMQ target include folder: C:\Repos\vcpkg\packages\zeromq_x64-windows-static\include
  • ZeroMQ target debug lib folder: C:\Repos\vcpkg\packages\zeromq_x64-windows-static\debug\lib
    • At the time of this post, the static library built was: libzmq-mt-sgd-4_3_1.lib
    • Note: The mt and d in libzmq-mt-sgd-4_3_1.lib means multi-threaded debug (requiring the debug executable in the next step to be compiled using /MTd)
  • ZeroMQ target release lib folder: C:\Repos\vcpkg\packages\zeromq_x64-windows-static\lib
    • At the time of this post, the static library built was: libzmq-mt-s-4_3_1.lib
    • Note: The mt in libzmq-mt-s-4_3_1.lib means multi-threaded (requiring the release executable in the next step to be compiled using /MT)

Step 3: Build an executable that statically links ZeroMQ

In Visual Studio 2017, do the following:

  • File / New / Project…

     

     
  • Add / New Item…

     
  • Paste the following code into Source.cpp:
    #include <zmq.h>
    #include <iostream>
     
    int main()
    {
    	int major = 0;
    	int minor = 0;
    	int patch = 0;
    	zmq_version( &major, &minor, &patch );
    	std::wcout << "Current 0MQ version is " << major << '.' << minor << '.' << patch << '\n';
    }
  • Change the Solution Platform to x64:

     
  • Select the “ZeroMQ-Version” project, select Project / Properties, change the Configuration to “All Configurations“, select Configuration Properties / C/C++ / General, and then add the following include folder to “Additional Include Directories“:
    C:\Repos\vcpkg\packages\zeromq_x64-windows-static\include

     

     
  • Next, for “All Configurations“, select Configuration Properties / C/C++ / Preprocessor, and then add the following preprocessor definition to “Preprocessor Definitions“:
    ZMQ_STATIC

     
  • Next, change the Configuration to “Debug“, select Configuration Properties / C/C++ / Code Generation, and then change the “Runtime Library” to “Multi-threaded Debug (/MTd)“:

     

     
  • Next, change the Configuration to “Release“, select Configuration Properties / C/C++ / Code Generation, and then change the “Runtime Library” to “Multi-threaded (/MT)“:

     

     
  • Next, we’ll add the static libraries … and while we could break these up into separate lib folder and lib file entries, I’ll just use each lib’s full file path here.
  • First, switch the Configuration back to “Debug“, select Configuration Properties / Linker / Input, and then add the following entries to “Additional Dependencies“:
    C:\Repos\vcpkg\packages\zeromq_x64-windows-static\debug\lib\libzmq-mt-sgd-4_3_1.lib
    Ws2_32.lib
    Iphlpapi.lib

     

     
  • Second, switch the Configuration back to “Release“, select Configuration Properties / Linker / Input, and then add the following entries to “Additional Dependencies“:
    C:\Repos\vcpkg\packages\zeromq_x64-windows-static\lib\libzmq-mt-s-4_3_1.lib
    Ws2_32.lib
    Iphlpapi.lib

     

     
  • Build / Rebuild Solution:

     
  • Debug / Start Without Debugging:

     


     

Note:

  • When building for Debug, my Output window reads:
    1>------ Rebuild All started: Project: ZeroMQ-Version, Configuration: Debug x64 ------
    1>Source.cpp
    1>ZeroMQ-Version.vcxproj -> C:\Repos\ZeroMQ-Version\x64\Debug\ZeroMQ-Version.exe
    ========== Rebuild All: 1 succeeded, 0 failed, 0 skipped ==========
  • When building for Release, my Output window reads:
    1>------ Rebuild All started: Project: ZeroMQ-Version, Configuration: Release x64 ------
    1>Source.cpp
    1>Generating code
    1>All 3752 functions were compiled because no usable IPDB/IOBJ from previous compilation was found.
    1>Finished generating code
    1>ZeroMQ-Version.vcxproj -> C:\Repos\ZeroMQ-Version\x64\Release\ZeroMQ-Version.exe
    ========== Rebuild All: 1 succeeded, 0 failed, 0 skipped ==========

Hope This Helps!

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One thought on “Build and static link ZeroMQ on Windows

  1. Joshua Burkholder

    ZeroMQ has the best layout of MSBuild files of any project I’ve seen to date. When you clone ZeroMQ, these MSBuild files are located under its builds/deprecated-msvc/ path. For Visual Studio 2017, the combination of the *.props file under the builds/deprecated-msvc/properties/ path and the files under the builds/deprecated-msvc/vs2017/ path contains the magic. Unfortunately, as the path indicates, these MSBuild files are currently deprecated. This is one reason why my instructions above utilized Vcpkg instead of ZeroMQ’s own MSBuild files. Another reason is that Vcpkg is currently essential technology for rapid application development in C++ … esp. for MSBuild-based projects. Ensure you take a look at Vcpkg’s ability to export *.h/*.hpp, *.lib, *.dll, and *.exe to a NuGet package that you can then import into your C++ MSBuild projects and your MSBuild-based build systems (like Azure DevOps / VSTS / VSO):

    vcpkg export package1:x64-windows ... packageN:x64-windows --nuget

    … or, in the case of this post:

    vcpkg export zeromq:x64-windows-static --nuget

    … and adding the following to the *.vcxproj file where you installed this NuGet package (since you’ve exported a x64-windows-static package):

    <PropertyGroup Label="Globals">
      <!-- Keep the stuff that was already in your "Globals" PropertyGroup here and then add the following: -->
      <VcpkgTriplet Condition="'$(Platform)'=='Win32'">x86-windows-static</VcpkgTriplet>
      <VcpkgTriplet Condition="'$(Platform)'=='x64'">x64-windows-static</VcpkgTriplet>
    </PropertyGroup>

    … Note: You’ll still need to add the ZMQ_STATIC define, static link the C++ runtimes, and add the Ws2_32.lib and Iphlpapi.lib libraries to your C++ project, but you won’t need to add the ZeroMQ include path nor the ZeroMQ libraries (as the *.targets files inside that NuGet package you just installed hooked your C++ project up with all those entries).
    You can read more about vcpkg export here:

    https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/vcblog/2017/05/03/vcpkg-introducing-export-command/

    … and here:

    https://github.com/Microsoft/vcpkg/blob/master/docs/users/integration.md#export

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