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Compiling GStreamer from source on Windows
Recently I had to compile GStreamer form source on Windows and
Linux. In this article I'll explain how you can compile
GStreamer from sources in a local development
directory. This allows you to have several GStreamer versions
next to each other and change the source of GStreamer itself
which can be helpfull during development.
GStreamer provides several solutions to
get everything you need to start developing on Windows. They
provide an installer that you can use for a system wide
installation. Note that each installer comes with a unique ID and
you can only install one version at a time; for binary release
distributions this is fine, but this is not flexible when you
want to install GStreamer in your own source tree.
GStreamer has an article that describes how you can
compile from source using their cerbero build scripts.
I ran into too many issues while using this solution and I was
advised to use their new gst-build repository which
uses the meson build tool.
GStreamer has many dependencies and the GStreamer team did an
amazing job of writing the necessary scripts that compile these
dependencies on Linux/Mac and Window.
Make sure that you've installed the following tools:
Compiling GStreamer from source on Windows
Follow these steps to compile GStreamer on Windows. I've disabled
a couple of plugins because currently the build system throws an
error while trying to compile those.
- Open a x64 Native Tools Command Prompt for VS 2019
Get the gst-build repository:
git clone https://gitlab.freedesktop.org/gstreamer/gst-build.git .
meson --prefix=%cd%/installed ^
Compile and install:
ninja -C build
meson install -C build
Using the GStreamer libraries in your project
As you can see from the above meson command, I've used the
installed directory as the install prefix. Below this directory
you'll find the headers and libraries you need to link with.
Add these include paths to your project:
Link with the gstreamer and glib libraries:
Link with any other plugin library that you use:
Note that your application needs to be able to find the DLLs
that GStreamer created. Of course this is the
but there are several other dependencies. Because of these dependencies
it's the easiest to copy the DLLs into the right directory. Let's
assume that you have app.exe in
myapp/bin/app.exe, then make sure
to copy the files like this:
installed/bin/*.dll > myapp/bin/
installed/lib/gstreamer-1.0/*.dll > myapp/lib/
GStreamer cannot find certain DLLs
Make sure that the
*.dll from the
installed/bin directory are
next to your application.exe and also make sure that the plugin
DLLs can be found; this means all the DLLs. These need to be in
a directory relative to the
gstreamer-1.0.dll must be in the same directory as your
application.exe you should use:
application.exe/../lib/ for the
plugin DLLs. Also note that GStreamer may try to find libraries
from a couple of other standard locations which are
described at this page, see the At runtime, GStreamer
will look for its plugins in the following folders: section.
Enable verbose debug output
You can set the following environment variable to get a very
detailed log that tells you exactly what GStreamer is doing. When
you see that certain plugins can't be loaded don't be fooled by
the error message and make sure to use a tool like Depenencies
to inspect the DLL. To enable verbose output you can run
your application after setting the environment variable:
set GST_DEBUG=*REGISTRY*:7 && application.exe
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Compiling GStreamer from source on Windows
How to compile GStreamer on Windows from Source using Visual Studio 2019 and the meson build system.
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