Building HandBrake for Windows

Command line interface and LibHB

Building the HandBrake CLI and LibHB (hb.dll) for Windows requires Linux and a recent MinGW-w64 toolchain. Fedora 28 or later, or Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) or later are recommended; other distros may work as well. In all cases, we recommend you build the MinGW-w64 toolchain using our instructions and the included script, as some packaged versions have issues that can produce non-functioning builds.

Installing dependencies on Fedora

The following instructions are for Fedora 30 through 32.

Basic requirements to run commands:

Dependencies:

Install dependencies.

sudo dnf update
sudo dnf groupinstall "Development Tools" "C Development Tools and Libraries"
sudo dnf install cmake gcc-c++ git libtool m4 make meson nasm ninja-build patch python tar zlib-devel

Install the additional dependencies required to build the MinGW-w64 toolchain.

sudo dnf install bison bzip2 curl flex g++ gzip pax

Installing dependencies on Ubuntu

The following instructions are for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) through 20.04 (Focal Fossa).

Basic requirements to run commands:

Dependencies:

Additional dependencies for Ubuntu 18.10 and later:

Additional Ubuntu 18.04 LTS dependencies:

Additional MinGW-w64 toolchain dependencies:

Install dependencies.

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install automake autoconf autopoint build-essential cmake gcc git intltool libtool libtool-bin m4 make nasm ninja-build patch pkg-config python tar zlib1g-dev

If you are running Ubuntu 18.10 or later, install the additional dependencies.

sudo apt-get install meson

If you are running Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, the meson package is too old. Install a newer version provided by the Python Package Index.

sudo apt-get install python3-pip
sudo pip3 install meson

Install the additional dependencies required to build the MinGW-w64 toolchain.

sudo apt-get install bison bzip2 curl flex g++ gzip pax

Building the MinGW-w64 toolchain and HandBrake

Clone the HandBrake repository.

git clone https://github.com/HandBrake/HandBrake.git && cd HandBrake

List available tags in the HandBrake 1.3.x release series, and check out the most recent.

git tag --list | grep ^1\.3\.
git checkout refs/tags/$(git tag -l | grep -E '^1\.3\.[0-9]+$' | tail -n 1)

Build the MinGW-w64 toolchain using the included script, where username is your user name. Feel free to choose a different output path, if desired.

scripts/mingw-w64-build x86_64 /home/username/toolchains/

This process will take a few minutes, then provide you with instructions for adding the resulting binaries location to your environment’s PATH. Do this now.

Build HandBrake. For higher quality audio, enable the FDK AAC encoder by appending --enable-fdk-aac. Builds including FDK AAC must be for personal use only and may not be distributed.1

./configure --cross=x86_64-w64-mingw32 --launch-jobs=$(nproc) --launch

When complete, you will find HandBrakeCLI.exe in the build directory and hb.dll in build/libhb.

To start over, simply remove the build directory.

rm -rf build

Graphical interface

The following tools are required to build and run the GUI.

Clone https://github.com/HandBrake/HandBrake.git using your git client, and check out the most recent tag in the 1.3.x release series.

Source code for the GUI resides in the win\CS folder and the solution file is named HandBrake.sln. Make sure HandBrakeWPF is set as the startup project in the Solution Explorer by right-clicking the name and selecting “Set as startup project”.

To build the GUI, select Build Solution from the Build menu.

When complete, locate the output folder where HandBrake.exe is created (typically in win\CS\HandBrakeWPF\bin\..., depending on the selected build profile). Copy hb.dll to this folder. This completes the build process.


  1. The FDK AAC encoder is only provided in source code form and is not fully compatible with the GNU General Public License Version 2 used by HandBrake. Builds including FDK AAC must be for personal use only and may not be distributed. Do not share the build product with others.