Thursday, 22 September 2011

Setting up a development environment

Before we can start playing around with some assembly we're going to download a development environment.  Although I will be playing around with Linux and Mac OS assembly in the future, at present I'm going to stick to Windows to begin with.  This means we're going to need an assembler and a C compiler suite.

Why are we going to use a C compiler suite?  Well, because we're going to link C code to assembly to show how we interact with normal code, and because it provides us with a linker.

Here's what you're going to need:
  1. A text editor.  I suggest Vim but feel free to use your favorite.  If you do end up using Vim, can I suggest you head over to - one man's love affair with Vim taken to scary new levels.
  2. An assembler.  We're going to use the Netwide Assembler - because it uses the Intel assembly syntax (we'll get to that later) and it's regularly updated.
  3. A C compiler suite.  Cygwin is just too bloated for my liking so I'm going to use MinGW.  You go to the main site here but it's probably easier to go straight here to find the Windows installer.
Make sure that when you install MinGW, that you select the MSYS Basic System as shown below:

Next time we'll look at setting up our MSYS environment so we can use all our tools in the one terminal.

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