Survivor Guide to Develop on Windows

Guide written for Linux developers.

See also Python Packaging which contains specific information for Python on Windows.

Useful tools

Windows console

  • Kill a blocked command (harder than CTRL+c): CTRL + Scroll Lock key. (send a SIGBREAK signal)

Note: On my Lenovo T430 laptop, I have to use the “Fn” key:

  • Fn + B: Break
  • Fn + P: Pause
  • Fn + S: SysRq

cmd.exe (Windows “shell”, Windows console, the MS-DOS black window)

  • Redirect stdout and stderr into the file outlog.log: command >output.log 2>&1
Windows command UNIX command Comment
set env Display all environment variables
type file.exe cat file.txt Display the content of file.txt
echo %PATH% echo $PATH Display the value of the PATH environment variable
RMDIR /S /Q dir rm -rf dir Remove a directory and its content
cmd > log cmd > log Redirect command stdout into a new log file
cmd >log 2>&1 cmd >log 2>&1 Redirect command stdout and stderr into a new log file
cmd >NUL cmd >/dev/null Ignore command stdout (redirect it to null)

Configure vim on Windows

  • Right click on gvim: Run as administrator
  • Open /program files (x86)/vim/_vimrc
  • Comment the lines source $VIMRUNTIME/mswin.vim and behave mswin
  • Add custom config

Mount Windows directory on Linux

Command to mount the Widows “test” directory locally to ~/mnt, local files will be owned by the user haypo:haypo:

sudo mount.cifs '//' ~/mnt -o 'user=USERNAME,pass=PASSWORD,uid=haypo,gid=haypo'

Visual Studio


  • Express
  • Professional: enough to build Python
  • Ultimate


Visual Studio MSVC++ _MSC_VER
2017 14.1 1910
2015 14.0 1900
2013 12.0 1800
2012 11.0 1700
2010 10.0 1600
2008 9.0 1500
2005 8.0 1400
2003 7.1 1310
7.0 1300
6.0 1200
5.0 1100

Configure a shell to use the VS C compiler in 64-bit mode:

"%VS140COMNTOOLS%\..\..\VC"\vcvarsall.bat amd64


  • x86: compile in 32-bit mode
  • amd64: compile in 64-bit mode
  • x86_amd64: cross-compile to 64-bit mode on a 32-bit system

Git configuration file

Filename: C:\Users\haypo\.gitconfig. Run cmd.exe as administrator to be allowed to create symbolic links.