3. Compiling the DPDK Target from Source

3.1. System Requirements

Building the DPDK and its applications requires one of the following environments:

  • LLVM 14.0.0 (or later) and Microsoft MSVC linker.
  • The MinGW-w64 toolchain (either native or cross).
  • Microsoft Visual Studio 2022 (any edition).
    • note Microsoft Visual Studio 2022 does not currently build enough of DPDK to produce a working DPDK application but may be used to validate that changes are portable between toolchains.

The Meson Build system is used to prepare the sources for compilation with the Ninja backend. The installation of these tools is covered in this section.

3.2. Option 1. Clang-LLVM C Compiler and Microsoft MSVC Linker

3.2.1. Install the Compiler

Download and install the clang compiler from LLVM website. For example, Clang-LLVM direct download link:


3.2.2. Install the Linker

Download and install the Build Tools for Visual Studio to link and build the files on windows, from Microsoft website. When installing build tools, select the “Visual C++ build tools” option and ensure the Windows SDK is selected.

3.3. Option 2. MinGW-w64 Toolchain

On Linux, i.e. for cross-compilation, install MinGW-w64 via a package manager. Version 4.0.4 for Ubuntu 16.04 cannot be used due to a MinGW-w64 bug.

On Windows, obtain the latest version installer from MinGW-w64 repository. Any thread model (POSIX or Win32) can be chosen, DPDK does not rely on it. Install to a folder without spaces in its name, like C:\MinGW. This path is assumed for the rest of this guide.

3.4. Option 3. Microsoft Visual Studio Toolset (MSVC)

Install any edition of Microsoft Visual Studio 2022 from the Visual Studio website.

3.5. Install the Build System

Download and install the build system from Meson website. A good option to choose is the MSI installer for both meson and ninja together:


Required version is Meson 0.57.

Versions starting from 0.58 are unusable with LLVM toolchain because of a Meson issue.

3.6. Install the Backend

If using Ninja, download and install the backend from Ninja website or install along with the meson build system.

3.7. Build the code

The build environment is setup to build the EAL and the helloworld example by default.

3.7.1. Option 1. Native Build on Windows using LLVM

When using Clang-LLVM, specifying the compiler might be required to complete the meson command:

set CC=clang

When using MinGW-w64, it is sufficient to have toolchain executables in PATH:

set PATH=C:\MinGW\mingw64\bin;%PATH%

To compile the examples, the flag -Dexamples is required.

cd C:\Users\me\dpdk
meson setup -Dexamples=helloworld build
meson compile -C build

3.7.2. Option 2. Cross-Compile with MinGW-w64

The cross-file option must be specified for Meson. Depending on the distribution, paths in this file may need adjustments.

meson setup --cross-file config/x86/cross-mingw -Dexamples=helloworld build
ninja -C build

3.7.3. Option 3. Native Build on Windows using MSVC

Open a ‘Developer PowerShell for VS 2022’ prompt from the start menu. The developer prompt will configure the environment to select the appropriate compiler, linker and SDK paths required to build with Visual Studio 2022.

cd C:\Users\me\dpdk
meson setup -Denable_stdatomic=true build
meson compile -C build