To install Mercurial from sources under Windows, you need

This pages describes some issues you may meet when trying to install Mercurial, and how to solve them.

Normally, you would only need to run

python install

in the directory where you unpacked the sources, and everything would "just work".

Where is my Mercurial?

By default, Mercurial (the executable) gets installed in a Scripts folder under your Python installation folder.

You can create a small batch file in a folder which is present in your path (e.g. your Windows installation folder) to help you launch Mercurial.

If you are running a Windows of the 9x series (Windows 95, 98 or ME), create a file called hg.bat with the following content:

@echo off
python <path-to-Scripts-folder>\hg %0 %1 %2 %3 %4 %5 %6 %7 %8 %9

For example, if you installed Python in c:\python, the content of the file would be

@echo off
python c:\python\hg %0 %1 %2 %3 %4 %5 %6 %7 %8 %9

Under Windows NT, create a file called hg.cmd with the following content:

@python <path-to-Scripts-folder>\hg %*

For example, if you installed Python in c:\python, the content of the file would be

@python c:\python\Scripts\hg %*

Python and MingW32

By default, Python and ActivePython will look for Microsoft Visual C to compile the extensions, so you have to tell to use the MingW32 compiler instead. You can do this by running

python build -c mingw32
python install --skip-build

If you are not familiar with mingw32, you will first need to download and install the following packages, in the order given:


Afterwards, download and install the following package, installing it in the directory where you installed the msys package (i.e. c:\msys\1.0\)


You can find them at

Then add the Python and mingw directories to your PATH, and run your build from the command prompt:

set PATH=%PATH%;c:\python24;c:\msys\1.0\mingw\bin

ActivePython and MS Visual C

If you are going to use MS Visual C, you may need to install an appropriate version of ActivePython:

A less than ideal work-around for the version check is to change your distutils notion of what version of MSVC Python was built with. Do this by editing your file in your python/Lib/distutils directory to match the version of MSVC you actually have, for example:

   def __init__ (self, verbose=0, dry_run=0, force=0):
       CCompiler.__init__ (self, verbose, dry_run, force)
       self.__version = get_build_version()
 +     self.__version = 6 # override build version to match compiler

Other miscellaneous issues

WinZip7 does not seem to create empty files when extracting from .tar files. But WinZip9 is fine.

Fix the path problem on Windows

See the mail list thread "Fix the path problem on Windows..." but essentially Python on Windows ends up with the current directory automatically added to the python search path before the site libraries. So if you run hg in its own repository python gets confused, and can't find the extensions needed. There is a candidate patch that removes the current directory, but there is an arguably better workaround from K.Thananchayan. Simply add a registry entry (replacing 2.4 with the version of Python)