Windows 64-bit Build Guide

This guide will help you build High Fidelity if you’re using a system with Windows 64 bit. The prerequisites will require about 10 GB of space on your drive.

We use Visual Studio 2017 and Qt 5.10.1. If you are upgrading from Visual Studio 2013 and Qt 5.6.2, do a clean uninstall of those versions before going through this guide.

On This Page:

1. Install Visual Studio 2017 and Python

If you don’t have the Community or Professional edition of Visual Studio 2017:

  • Download Visual Studio Community 2017.
  • When selecting components, check 'Desktop development with C++'.
  • On the Summary toolbar, check 'Windows 8.1 SDK and UCRT SDK' and 'VC++ 2015.3 v140 toolset (x86,x64)'.
  • If you don't have a python development environment installed, check 'Python Development'.

If you already have Visual Studio installed and need to add Python:

  • Go to Control Panel > Add or Remove Programs.
  • Find the 'Microsoft Visual Studio Installer'.
  • Select and click 'Modify'.
  • In the installer, select 'Modify' again.
  • Check 'Python Development' and allow the installer to apply the changes.

1a. Alternate Install of Python

If you don't wish to use the Python installation bundled with Visual Studio, you can download the installer here. Ensure you get version 3.6.6 or higher.

2. Install CMake

  • Download and install the latest version of CMake 3.9. Download the file named win64-x64 Installer from the CMake Website. You can access the installer on this 3.9 Version page.
  • During installation, check Add CMake to system PATH for all users when prompted.

3. Install Qt

  • Download and install the Qt Open Source Online Installer.
  • While installing, check the following components under Qt 5.10.1: msvc2017 64-bit, Qt WebEngine, and Qt Script (Deprecated).

Note: Installing the Sources is optional but recommended if you have room for them (~2GB).

4. Set the Qt Environment Variable

Go to Control Panel > System > Advanced System Settings > Environment Variables > New... (or search “Environment Variables” in Start Search).

  • Set "Variable name": QT_CMAKE_PREFIX_PATH
  • Set "Variable value": C:\Qt\5.10.1\msvc2017_64\lib\cmake

5. Run CMake to Generate Build Files

Run Command Prompt from Start. Type and run the following commands:

cd "%HIFI_DIR%"
mkdir build
cd build
cmake .. -G "Visual Studio 15 Win64"

where %HIFI_DIR% is the directory for the High Fidelity repository.

6. Make a Build

  • Open %HIFI_DIR%\build\hifi.sln using Visual Studio.
  • Change the Solution Configuration (located on the menu ribbon under the menu bar next to the green play button) from Debug to Release for best performance.
  • Run Build > Build Solution from the menu.

7. Test Interface

Create an environment variable named _NO_DEBUG_HEAP. Go to Control Panel > System > Advanced System Settings > Environment Variables > New... (or search “Environment Variables” in Start Search).

  • Set Variable name: _NO_DEBUG_HEAP
  • Set Variable value: 1

In Visual Studio, right-click "Interface" under the Apps folder in Solution Explorer and select "Set as Startup Project". Run Debug > Start Debugging from the menu bar.

Now, you should have a full build of High Fidelity and be able to run the Interface using Visual Studio. Please check our documentation for more information on the programming workflow.

You can also run Interface by launching it from command line or File Explorer from %HIFI_DIR%\build\interface\Release\interface.exe


If you face any problems once you start trying to generate build files using CMake, there are couple of things you could try to solve any issues.

  • Delete your locally cloned copy of the highfidelity repository.
  • Restart your computer.
  • Download the repository again.
  • Try to redo step 7.

Common Errors and Solutions

  • If CMake gives you the same error message after the build fails, remove CMakeCache.txt from the %HIFI_DIR%\build directory.
  • If CMake cannot find OpenSSL, remove CMakeCache.txt from the %HIFI_DIR%\build directory. Verify that your VCPKG_ROOT environment variable is set and pointing to the correct location. Verify that the file ${VCPKG_ROOT}/installed/x64-windows/include/openssl/ssl.h exists.
  • If Qt is throwing an error, make sure you have the correct version (5.10.1) installed and the QT_CMAKE_PREFIX_PATH environment variable is set correctly.

See Also