MinGW, a contraction of "Minimalist GNU for Windows", is a port of the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC), and GNU Binutils, for use in the development of native Microsoft Windows applications. Offered in easily installed binary package format, for native deployment on MS-Windows, or user-built from source, for cross-hosted use on Unix or GNU/Linux, the suite exploits Microsoft's standard system DLLs to provide the C-Runtime and Windows API. It is augmented by additional function libraries for improved ISO C-99 compatibility, and further, by community supported add-on tools and libraries, many pre-built, many more in the form of "mingwPORTs", to be built by the end user.
MinGW provides a complete Open Source programming tool set which is suitable for the development of native MS-Windows applications, and which do not depend on any 3rd-party C-Runtime DLLs.
- A port of the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC), including C, C++, ADA and Fortran compilers;
- GNU Binutils for Windows (assembler, linker, archive manager)
- A command-line installer (mingw-get) for MinGW and MSYS deployment on MS-Windows
- A GUI wrapper (mingw-get-inst) for the command line installer
MSYS, a contraction of "Minimal SYStem", is a Bourne Shell command line interpreter system. Offered as an alternative to Microsoft's cmd.exe, this provides a general purpose command line environment, which is particularly suited to use with MinGW, for porting of many Open Source applications to the MS-Windows platform; a light-weight fork of Cygwin-1.3, it includes a small selection of Unix tools, chosen to facilitate that objective.