Collab:VisItWiki WindowsBuild

Windows build process

Since the transition to CMake, the build process for VisIt on Windows is very similar to the build process on other platforms. The main difference is that you will have to checkout the windowsbuild directory in addition to the src directory. The windowsbuild directory contains all of the 3rd party libraries that VisIt uses, compiled for different versions of Visual Studio. Prebuilt libraries are provided because many of VisIt's dependent libraries do not have convenient build processes for Windows.

To get started building VisIt on Windows, you should see the following pages to get comfortable with checking out code using SVN and using CMake. Once you have run CMake, there will be solution files that you can open within Visual Studio to start your builds.

Required software

You will need the following software to build VisIt on Windows:

  • Tortoise SVN (if you plan to check out code from SVN)
  • Visual Studio 2017
  • CMake 3.8.1 or later


The procedure for building VisIt on Windows is as follows:

  1. Get the VisIt sources. You can get them from svn by checking out the src and windowsbuild directories. Another way to get the sources is to download them from the VisIt LLNL web site. The windows sources and 3rd party libraries are packaged as a self-installing executable visitdev<ver>.exe.
  1. Run CMake to generate solution files for Visual Studio
  2. Load the solution into Visual Studio
  3. Pick the configuration (usually Debug or Release)
  4. Build VisIt. This takes an hour or so
  5. Run VisIt by double-clicking on the exe/Debug/visit.exe or exe/Release/visit.exe programs, depending on which build configuration you chose.

Creating an installable program with NSIS

If you have NSIS installed on your computer then you can build the PACKAGE target inside Visual Studio to create an NSIS-based installer for VisIt.