Helpful Instructions for Setting up ACL2 and Windows

We thank David Rager for providing instructions, which we include verbatim below and expect apply to future versions. Note: We recommend using CCL for Windows builds, in part so that interrupts (Control-C) will work. But first, a remark:

At least one user has built ACL2 on Windows 10 in July, 2016 by following the instructions below, using the "bleeding edge" versions of CCL, mingw, and ACL2. This user said the the bleeding edge versions might not be necessary, but with older versions there were too many times that the ACL2 build was hanging. Even with the bleeding edge versions there were some hangs, but it wasn't clear if that was the fault of CCL, Mingw, MSys, or something else. This user explained further:

The problem with hangs: It seems that while compiling ACL2 there were a few times when it simply hung. But apparently this is non-deterministic. Simply cleaning and retrying several times managed to get me out of the problem.

Here are David Rager's instructions.

I was able to get ACL2 3.6.1 to install and build the regression suite on Windows 7 with the following steps. I did not have to install cygwin.

  1. Install MinGW. At the time of this writing, the following direct link works

    If that direct link doesn't work, click on "Automated MinGW Installer" on the more general MinWG project files page.

  2. Install MSys. At the time of this writing, the following direct link works

    If that direct link doesn't work, click on "MSYS Base System" on the more general MinWG project files page.

  3. Add "C:\msys\1.0\bin" to my environment variable "path". The way you do this varies with each Windows XP/Vista/7. Roughly speaking, you need to go to the control panel, and open up your system settings. Get to the advanced system settings and click on environment variables. Edit the "path" environment variable and add ";C:\msys\1.0\bin" to it. At this point you might need to restart your computer, but I did not have to do so on Windows 7. I did, however, have to restart my emacs.
  4. Realize that using "\" to indicate paths in windows confuses some linux programs and that you might need to use "/" sometimes.

  5. After expanding the ACL2 sources, cd to that directory and type something similar to the following (modify it to set LISP to your LISP executable1)
    make LISP=c:/ccl/wx86cl64.exe
    The "make.exe" that will be used is intentionally the MSys version, not the MinGW version.

  6. After your ACL2 image builds, make acl2 executable, specifically
  7. You can now make the regression suite by typing
    make regression ACL2=c:/acl2-3.6.1/acl2-sources/saved_acl2.bat

    [Note added later: you may need to add `make' option ACL2_CENTAUR=skip, for example if you have issues with Perl.]

1I have intentionally ommitted instructions on how to setup a LISP on windows. However, I include one link that should suffice: Obtaining CCL