beshtaa beshtaa - 9 months ago 94
C++ Question

cURL with Visual Studio 2013

So i have came along with cURL as a very nice library and working very fine in OSX.
But on windows now i have got big troubles with getting ready with this library. I googled now for about 2 days and tried over a dozen (in detail) different ways to get this ready. Without any success at all.

Here are some ways I basically tried:

  1. The direct Download: The problem here already starts with the right download. The official download page is pretty confusing, so i considered this "cURL Download Wizard" > "libcurl development" which gives me a version, that i should be able to include into any project. But how exactly to include it? In ANY instructions out there it leads me to directories i dont even have. Almost always this "curllib.lib" is mentioned. I downloaded about 6 different versions on that downloadpage, in none of them there is this file. (See for example this instruction)

  2. Git + CMake: As a solution on the aboves Link there is suggested to use git clone on this. I did all the instructions there and also get the Projects generated with just warnings. But here it says as well:

    After building install target, your will find bin/include/lib folders in C:\curl.vc12
    Well, i did not really get his point of "build install target", i just build the entire project map as it comes. Compiles fine (115 succeeded, 0 failed, 2 skipped). But now C:\curl.vc12 is not there. What do i have to pre-setup before compiling this?

  3. NuGet: The idea comes from the link in point (1) again, a different solution with NuGet.

    Successfully added 'curl' to test.
    it also seemed nice, but compiling
    leads to a bunch of
    unresolved external symbol
    linker errors. But a solution is provided:

    Make sure the include directory and lib directory are specified under the Visual C++ directories in project properties.

    So in
    Project > Properties > VC++ Properties > "Include Directories"
    Project > Properties > VC++ Properties > "Library Directories"

    as well as in
    Project > C/C++ > General > "Additional Include Directories"
    and in
    Project > Linker > General > "Additional Library Directories"
    I desperately added the \packages\ path from my project folder.

    As mentioned in the instructions, I added
    Project > Linker > Input > "Additional Dependencies"

    All that done, the
    unresolved external symbol
    errors are gone! Therefore I get just one error saying
    cannot open file 'libcurl.lib'
    . What can I do here?

I am pretty new to all that. But I am trying really hard now to get this finally to work. So what can I do?

I work with Visual Studio 2013 Community Edition. The currently most recent version of cURL is
Any help is highly welcome!

Answer Source

Had problems myself, finally got it working now. I downloaded from the official website. Within the archive you'll find the source code and winbuild/BUILD.WINDOWS.txt, which basically contains the instructions I followed. I'll assume that it has been unzipped to C:\curl-7.42.1.

Open the Visual Studio command prompt located at

C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 12.0\Common7\Tools\Shortcuts

This automatically sets the environment variables needed to use Visual Studio tools like the compiler. Then move to the winbuild directory and call

nmake /f mode=dll

as described in the text file I mentioned above.

That will create the directory


containing libcurl.dll, libcurl.lib and the necessary header files. Let's rename it to C:\curl-7.42.1\builds\release :'D

  1. Then open your project.
  2. Open your project's properties.
  3. Make sure you choose Release as configuration (top left corner)!
  4. Navigate to VC++ Directories > Include directories and add C:\curl-7.42.1\builds\release\include
  5. Add C:\curl-7.42.1\builds\release\lib to VC++ Directories > Library directories.
  6. Go to Linker > Input > Additional Dependencies and add libcurl.lib.
  7. Finally copy C:\curl-7.42.1\builds\release\bin\libcurl.dll to your project folder.

That should do the trick! :D If you want to use cURL in debug mode, you can do almost the same, recompile using nmake /f mode=dll debug=yes, go to your project's properties, add the newly created directory paths (changing libcurl.lib to libcurl_debug.lib) and you should be done.