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If you just want to run Visual Eiffel (in order to compile and run Eiffel software), there is no need to bootstrap it.

You only need to bootstrap Visual Eiffel if you are a programmer wanting to participate actively in the development of the Visual Eiffel itself.

If you don't yet have an account at sourceforge, apply for it.

If you want to become an official Visual Eiffel developer, send an email to one of the administrators. However, you don't need to do this in order to bootstrap Visual Eiffel.

The access to Visual Eiffel sources is described at the CVS page.


Prerequisites (Windows)

To assemble VE you must have installed the following:

from Object Tools

  • Visual Eiffel (from the last distribution);
  • optional Display Machine (from the last distribution) DM4VE (from the last distribution);


  • checkout the latest sources from CVS: cvs.exe -d co gobo
  • follow the instructions in the gobo/work/bootstrap/Readme.txt


  • JDK 1.4 or higher
  • Ant 1.6.2 or higher

from Microsoft:

  • MS VC 6.0 or later or the following free MS components:
  • Microsoft Visual C Toolkit 2003
  • Microsoft SDK (If you're using free components you won't be able to assemble help files and some Wine stuff but all other things work correctly)

XSLT tools:

Prerequisites (Linux)

If someone has bootstrapped on Linux from the CVS sources, please tell what you needed, and how you did it.

Joseph Kiniry[1] has successfully bootstrapped Visual Eiffel CVS HEAD during the first week of December, 2005. See this discussion in comp.lang.eiffel[2] for more information.

To build Visual Eiffel from source:

Install Visual Eiffel from the latest binary distribution:

  • Make sure all VE environmental variables (e.g., VE_Bin, VE_Lib, VE_Data) point to your binary installation location and you have set VE_OS properly.

Check your installation of Visual Eiffel:

  • type "vec -?", and check the displayed version number

Build GOBO from CVS sources using Visual Eiffel:

  • checkout the latest sources from CVS:
cvs -d co -r GE_3_4 gobo
  • follow the instructions in the gobo/work/bootstrap/Readme.txt
  • consider using the latest stable tag in CVS (GE_3_4 at the time of this writing) rather than CVS HEAD.
  • The Gobo tool gexslt does not build properly at this time but is only used for compiling Gobo documentation, so is not mandatory for building the VE compiler from source.

check your installation of GOBO:

  • e.g., type "gelex --version" and check the displayed version number


  • JDK 1.4 or higher
  • Ant 1.6.2 or higher
    • Ant is used as the generic build system for Visual Eiffel

C compiler:

  • gcc 2.9x
  • gcc 3.x may work
  • gcc 4.x will not work

XSLT tools:

cvs -z3 co -P xsl
mv xsl docbook-xsl


The proposed default folders layout of CVS sources is as follows:

  • visualeiffel
  • gobo
  • docbook-xsl

After installation of the all above tools and downloading of CVS contents you should tune the file called build.bat in your visualeiffel folder (or on Linux)

Then simply launch bootstrap.bat ( If everything OK your visualeiffel/bin folder will get the bootsrapped version of all VE binaries which can be used instead of delivered ones in official OT setup. Be patient: the bootstrap takes some time !

After that you can run build.bat ( with targets defined in the build.xml They are:

  • build.all - builds everithing including libraries, compiler, runtime, tools, COM tools, documentation, vegtk
  • build.compiler - builds compiler
  • build.gepp - preprocess eiffel files in the lib and src folders - required if there were changes in the *.ge files
  • build.lib - build external C libraries like timedate, matcher, grape, wel, velibc etc.
  • build.tool - build tools xlink, xlib, gargs, gmsgs, precompiler - requires Display Machine
  • build.doc - build documentation - requires XSLT tools
  • build.apidoc - build Visual Eiffel library API documentation requires XSLT tools
  • build.dist - builds the distribution image in dist folder
  • clean.all - removes all generated files
  • clean.* - cleans files generated by corresponding build.* targets

Other Platforms

See Mac OS X

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