Find boost header files using gnu make (MinGW) on Win 7

Posted on 2013-10-26
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2016-05-09
I am using the gnu c++ compiler and make under MinGW on Win 7.  I want to use several boost libraries.    The problem is that the top level .hpp files are in the boost directory and they reference .hpp files in sub-directories which may reference other .hpp files either at the top level or in sibling sub-directories.  

With Visual Studio I would just point to the top level directory for the headers and it would search sub-directories as needed.

Is there a way to tell gnu make to search that way or do I need to track down each sub-directory that will be used an set up a -I for it?

Thank you!
Question by:anAppBuilder
  • 4
  • 3
LVL 86

Accepted Solution

jkr earned 2000 total points
ID: 39603889
Just set your INCLUDE environment variable the same way. Go to the Control Panel, then "System and Security|System|Advanced Settings" and with the dialog that shows up, click "Environement Variables" and either add INCLUDE or modify an existing variable of the same name.
LVL 86

Assisted Solution

jkr earned 2000 total points
ID: 39603952
BTW, alternatively you also can specify 'INCLUDE' in your Makefile, i.e.

LVL 40

Expert Comment

ID: 39604100
If cmake is struggling to find the boost installed on your platform there are 3 cache variables you can use to provide it a hint. These can either be set in your cmake script or (better) they can be set when you configure cmake on the command line.


If you want to "hard code" them in your script add them BEFORE your call to find Boost.

This is an example of setting it in your cmake script
SET(BOOST_ROOT "<path to boost root folder>")

This is an example of doing the same on the command line when you first configure cmake:

cmake . -DBOOST_ROOT:string="<path to boost root folder>" -D${BOOST_ROOT}/include -D${BOOST_ROOT}/lib

Personally, I would go with the latter. If you hard code it then it'll work on your dev machine but will possibly fail on others.

You want to avoid setting any other variables since these should be set by the FindBoost module.

More info:

Industry Leaders: We Want Your Opinion!

We value your feedback.

Take our survey and automatically be enter to win anyone of the following:
Yeti Cooler, Amazon eGift Card, and Movie eGift Card!


Author Comment

ID: 39607334
Thank you jkr and evilrix.  

evilrix, I'm using gnu make under MinGW on Win 7. not cmake.  I don't see the SET(<path>) syntax in the gnu manual.  Am I missing something?

jkr, I plan to compile for several platforms, so I prefer to set the INCLUDE in the makefile.  I tried several variations on INCLUDE=<Path_to_boost_root> and none of them works.  The other variations I tried are are commented out in the attached makefile.

The Win 7 path to the boost headers is C:\Program Files (x86)\boost\boost_1_51\boost.  So the path for
should be
     C:/Program Files (x86)/boost/boost_1_51
For gnu I reversed the \'s to /'s because it does not seem to process \ in a path.

The error in every case is:
$ mingw32-make
g++    -c -o hellomake.o hellomake.c
In file included from hellomake.c:4:0:
hellomake.h:9:32: fatal error: boost/filesystem.hpp: No such file or directory
 #include <boost/filesystem.hpp>
LVL 86

Expert Comment

ID: 39607339
Your path contains spaces, so try to quote it, e.g.

INCLUDE="C:/Program Files (x86)/boost/boost_1_51"

Author Comment

ID: 39607372
Thank you, jkr.  That did not change anything.

Note that commented out in the makefile I show the other variations I have tried that did not work.

Author Comment

ID: 39636402
I finally solved the problem.  I had to separate my link from my compiles and put a -I in my compiles.

I then encountered a second problem in my linking:
undefined reference to `boost::system::...

Open in new window

 That was caused because boost/filesystem depends on boost/system, so I had to add the boost/system library to my link.

I've attached the entire working set of test code.

Author Comment

ID: 41578854
evilrix, you also posted comments.  Shouldn't you give yourself some points?  

And my apologies.  I thought I closed this long ago splitting the points between you and jkr

Featured Post

Concerto's Cloud Advisory Services

Want to avoid the missteps to gaining all the benefits of the cloud? Learn more about the different assessment options from our Cloud Advisory team.

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

Written by John Humphreys C++ Threading and the POSIX Library This article will cover the basic information that you need to know in order to make use of the POSIX threading library available for C and C++ on UNIX and most Linux systems.   [s…
Many modern programming languages support the concept of a property -- a class member that combines characteristics of both a data member and a method.  These are sometimes called "smart fields" because you can add logic that is applied automaticall…
The goal of the video will be to teach the user the concept of local variables and scope. An example of a locally defined variable will be given as well as an explanation of what scope is in C++. The local variable and concept of scope will be relat…
The viewer will learn how to clear a vector as well as how to detect empty vectors in C++.
Suggested Courses

615 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question