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. A recent Ubuntu LTS release is recommended; recent releases from other distros may work as well. Virtual machines and Windows Subsystem for Linux are supported. 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 Ubuntu

The following instructions are for Ubuntu 22.04 (Jammy Jellyfish)

Basic requirements to run commands:


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 meson nasm ninja-build patch pkg-config tar zlib1g-dev clang curl
curl -sSf | sh
source "$HOME/.cargo/env"
cargo install cargo-c
rustup target add x86_64-pc-windows-gnu

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 && cd HandBrake

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 using your git client.

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.