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Installation Guide for Tango used with DMD on Windows

This page details two ways of installing Tango for DMD on Windows. The first is recommended unless you want to hack Tango itself.

For some, it may make more sense to use DSSS for installation, or use a tool like build/bud or rebuild, the alternatives are suggested at further down on the page.

Note: These installation instructions assume a default DMD installation and that the archive has been extracted into C:\, creating C:\dmd as the home of the DMD compiler. The basic goal of this process is to replace Phobos with Tango by placing the Tango object.d and root directories at the head of the DMD include path, and replacing the Phobos libphobos.a with its Tango equivalent of the same name. Note that if your first download of DMD is from the Tango pages, there will be no Phobos to replace.

Install Binary Bundle

  1. Download Tango, one of the .zip options will suffice
  2. Extract the Tango archive into a new directory named C:\dmd\import. If you chose another path, consider avoiding names that contain spaces or parenthesis as these cause problems with some windows command line tools.
  3. Open C:\dmd\bin\sc.ini in a text editor. The contents if tango has not been enabled look like this:

As all .ini files in Windows, any line beginning with a semicolon ';' will be considered a comment and will therefore be ignored by DMD. To ensure removal of Tango is as painless as possible, it is a good idea to leave the original lines in the file as comments with the edited line below.

Now, on to the editing:

3.1. Replace the reference to the Phobos include directory in the DFLAGS line with a reference to the Tango root directory. This will ensure that the Tango import modules will be used in place of those in Phobos, and replacing the reference reduces the risk of hard to diagnose compile errors. Either a relative or absolute path may be used, as appropriate:

Relative: "%@P%\..\import"
Absolute: "C:\dmd\import"

e.g. DFLAGS="-I%@P%\..\import"

3.2. Append "-version=Tango" to the DFLAGS line modified above. This version flag is useful for determining whether Tango is the current default library:

e.g. DFLAGS="-I%@P%\..\import" -version=Tango

3.3. Since version 1.023 DMD has a flag to set the name of the runtime library that should be linked in. (It was formerly hardcoded to "phobos.lib" and "libphobos.a") This basically means, you have to append another switch in order to make Tango the standard runtime in your sc.ini:

-defaultlib=tango-base-dmd -debuglib=tango-base-dmd Note: -debuglib is necessary, as of now DMD would fall back to Phobos when compiling with -g.

After making these changes, sc.ini should look like this:

; LIB="%@P%\..\lib";\dm\lib
; DFLAGS="-I%@P%\..\src\phobos"
DFLAGS="-I%@P%\..\import" -version=Tango -defaultlib=tango-base-dmd -debuglib=tango-base-dmd
  1. Please note that while tango-base-dmd.lib and tango-win32-dmd.lib will be automatically linked, tango-user-dmd.lib will not. This is to allow for configurations where tango-user-dmd.lib does not exist (such as when using Bud or Rebuild). To ensure that tango-user-dmd.lib is linked to an application, either of the following two methods should work.
    • a. Add -L+tango-user-dmd.lib to the end of the DFLAGS line in sc.ini.
    • b. Add the following to files being compiled.
      pragma(lib, "tango-user-dmd.lib");
    • c. Include tango-user-dmd.lib in the list of files to be compiled when using dmd.exe.

Manual Build and Install

Note that these instructions are applicable to the current trunk (post-0.99.8 release) and DMD 1.046 or higher. They may not apply to older releases of Tango and/or DMD.

Also note that these instructions assume a pristine environment. If you wish to install Tango into an already configured compiler, make sure you follow the instructions for "Manual Install" in the section on Compiling.


You will need both the DigitalMars? D and C compilers. You can download DMD from the DigitalMars D download page. If you are compiling trunk, you will need DMD version 1.045 or higher. Note that Tango is not currently compatible with D 2.x.

You can download DMC from the same link; specifically, you want

Next, extract the DMD and DMC compilers somewhere. For our purposes, we will assume both were extracted to the same directory. You should have a dm directory and a dmd directory. Most paths in this guide are relative to the directory where you extracted them.

Finally, you will need the Tango source. You can obtain this from SourceDownloads. Whether you download a snapshot or check out from source control, you should ensure the tango directory (containing README.txt) is located at dmd\windows\tango.

Bootstrap Tango

This only needs to be done once; once you have compiled Tango at least once, this step is unnecessary.

Firstly, delete (or rename) the dmd\src\phobos directory, then create a new, empty dmd\src\phobos directory. Copy the dmd\windows\tango\object.di file to dmd\src\phobos\object.di.

Once Tango has been installed, your temporary bootstrap dmd\src\phobos directory can be removed.


First, ensure that the D compiler you are installing Tango into is the first D compiler on your system PATH. If you do not have any other copies of DMD installed on your system, you don't need to worry about this.

You also need to ensure that dm\bin is on your PATH.

If you are unsure as to what your PATH should look like, the following batch file configures a minimal PATH for a Windows XP system, and opens a command prompt:


SET PATH=%DMD%\windows\bin;%DMC%\bin;%SYSTEMROOT%\system32;%SYSTEMROOT%;%SYSTEMROOT%\system32\Wbem


Note that you will have to change the first two lines to reference the correct directories.

Automated Build and Install

This section is out of date.

Is there an installer at all?

Manually Build and Install

This is recommended for end users who are installing into an existing compiler, and for developers who wish to work on Tango itself.

This section is out of date.


Finally, you need to configure DMD to use Tango. To do this, open the dmd\windows\bin\sc.ini file in a text editor. One line of this file will look like this:


You want to delete "-I%@P%\..\..\src\phobos" and replace it with "-I%@P%\..\tango".

You will also want to add the following to the DFLAGS setting (note: you do not need to insert these within quotes; the quotes surround the -I flag to guard against spaces in the path.)



Create a file called happy.d (in dmd\windows is fine) with the following contents:


void main()
    Stdout("Don't Worry, Be Happy!").newline;

Compile with the command dmd happy and run it to ensure it correctly outputs "Don't Worry, Be Happy!" and terminates without error.

If you installed manually and chose not to add the -L+tango-user-dmd.lib switch to DFLAGS, you will need to compile with dmd -L+tango-user-dmd.lib happy.


You can now remove the following superfluous files and directories if you desire:

  • dmd\freebsd
  • dmd\linux
  • dmd\man
  • dmd\osx
  • dmd\src\phobos (the temporary bootstrap directory you created)

With that, you are done! You can update to the latest trunk version of Tango by updating the dmd\windows\tango directory, and then following the instructions for compilation.

Trouble Shooting

Problems you may encounter with the DM toolchain

Using DSSS

DSSS can be used to install Tango, either just the user targeted API, or all of it. All of Tango, including the runtime, can be installed using DSSS' net install feature. Also, if you have installed the runtime, the user API can be installed for use with DSSS by doing

> dsss build
> dsss install

in the Tango root directory.

Using Rebuild / Bud (build)

This is similar to using DSSS (rebuild is indeed a part of DSSS), but where you instead of installing libraries, give the build tools the path to Tango, having the objects rebuilt when needed by the built application.

User Comments

Author Message

Posted: 02/19/08 16:04:21

I followed the steps in Section "Install Binary Bundle". My compiles have stopped working. I get the following output when doing a compile.

object.d: module object cannot read file 'object.d'

Tool completed with exit code 1

My sc.ini is as follows

[Version] version=7.51 Build 020

[Environment] ;LIB="%@P%\..\lib";\dm\lib LIB="%@P%\..\import\lib;%@P%\..\lib;%@P%\..\..\dm\lib" ;DFLAGS="-I%@P%\..\src\phobos" DFLAGS="-I%@P%\..\import" -version=Tango -defaultlib=tango-base-dmd -debuglib=tango-base-dmd LINKCMD=%@P%\..\..\dm\bin\link.exe

What am I missing?

Posted: 03/06/08 12:38:10

I'm not sure. Could you try the latest binary install and see if it works?

Posted: 04/19/08 18:35:29 -- Modified: 04/19/08 18:36:01 by

Not related to the above posts but if you download one of the inclusive ZIP files (I grabbed it is sufficient to:

1) extract to c:\dmd

2) set path to %PATH%;c:\dmd\bin by doing "PATH=%PATH%;c:\dmd\bin" on the command line or setting it permanently (Control Panel->System->Advanced choose "Environmental Variables" at the bottom and then select Path under "System Variables" and add ";c:\dmd\bin" at the end)

Then hello.d was just a few steps away!

Posted: 07/27/08 12:00:11

Avoid decompressing somewhere where the path have a space (anywhere in "Documents and Settings" is wrong). See my bug report: BTW, confirming it would be nice, if you can test it.

Posted: 03/10/09 02:02:20

I think there is a error in step 3,assume that the directories "import" and "lib" which in the zip file have been extracted to C:\dmd\import,then we should modify the DFLAGS line as follws:

DFLAGS="-I%@P%\..\import\import" -version=Tango -defaultlib=tango-base-dmd -debuglib=tango-base-dmd

or the compiler will show "object.d: module object cannot read file 'object.d'"