Here are the directions I followed, and gave to the Computing Center over the summer.

  1. Download the MinGW installer, version 4, by visiting and picking a nearby mirror (I used McLean, VA).
    Note: This is not the latest version of MinGW, but I wasn't able to get the installers for version 5 to work.
  2. Run the MinGW installer
    1. accept the license agreement
    2. choose a mirror (I used easynews)
    3. choose the default install location
    4. check at least "minimal set of packages required to build C/C++" and "full set of Utilities packages", optionally "full set of compilers packages"
    5. It MAY (or may not) claim that the full set of compilers are already installed. Don't worry about it either way; just go on.
    6. check all "additional tasks"
    7. The installer will download and install a bunch of stuff.
  3. Download the MSYS installer, version 1.0.10, by visiting and picking a nearby mirror (I used McLean, VA).
  4. Run the MSYS installer:
    1. accept the license agreement
    2. choose the default install location c:\msys\1.0
    3. choose the default components
    4. choose the default startup menu item MinGW
    5. The installer will install a bunch of stuff (no need to download; it's in the installer), and will eventually show a black-and-white CLI window with the question
      Do you wish to continue with the post install? [yn]
      Answer "y"
    6. Next question:
      do you have MinGW installed?
      Answer "y".
    7. Next question:
      Where is your MinGW installation?
      YES, THAT'S A FORWARD SLASH! However, it appears not to be case-sensitive.
    8. Press any key to continue
  5. Using "My Computer->Properties->Advanced->Environment Variables", add
    to the end of the system path variable.
  6. Download Eclipse (as a ZIP file; current version is apparently 3.1) from
  7. Unzip it, and move the resulting "eclipse" folder into
    c:\Program Files
  8. Add a desktop shortcut to
  9. Double-click this shortcut, and you should see the Eclipse splash screen. It'll ask for a workspace location, defaulting to
     Files\eclipse workspace
    . This is a stupid default; if you're setting up lab computers with writable D: drives, I would use something like "d:\eclipse workspace" instead. In any case, DON'T check the box "Use this as the default and don't ask again", so users can put their workspaces on their floppies, or flash drives, or network drives, or whatever.
  10. In Eclipse, install the C/C++ Developer Tools:
    1. open the "Help" menu, then "Software Updates", then "Find and Install...", then "Search for new features to install", then "New Remote Site".
    2. Type in the name "CDT" (or something; it doesn't matter) and the URL
    3. Make sure "CDT" is checked, and nothing else is, then click "Finish".
    4. Click the "+" sign to expand "CDT" to "cdt 3.0.2"
    5. Click another "+" sign to expand "cdt 3.0.2" to "Development Tools 3.0.2" and "Development Tooling SDK 3.0.2".
    6. Check the former ("Tools"), not the latter ("Tooling SDK") and click "Next"
    7. Accept the license agreement and click "Next", then "Finish".
    8. Agree to install an unsigned feature.
    9. Upon completion, a dialog box will recommend that you restart Eclipse. Answer "yes".
  11. Test the C/C++ installation as follows:
    1. In Eclipse, go to the "File" menu, then "New", then "Project".
    2. Click the "+" sign to expand "C++" to "Managed Make C++ Project" and "Standard Make C++ Project".
    3. Choose the former.
    4. Pick a project name like "hello"
    5. A dialog box will ask whether to open the C/C++ perspective. Answer "yes", and remember this decision.
    6. "File" menu, then "New", then "Source File".
    7. Pick a name like "hello.cpp".
    8. In the new file window, type
       	#include <iostream>
       	using namespace std;
       	int main () {
       	  cout << "Hello!" << endl;
       	  return 0;
    9. Press control-S to save and compile the program.
    10. In the "C/C++ Projects" pane should be a blue diamond labelled "Binaries". Click the "+" sign next to it to expand it, showing "hello.exe".
    11. Right-click "hello.exe" and choose "Run As...", then "Local C/C++ Application".
    12. Choose the default configuration.
    13. You should see a console pane near the bottom of the window with the word "Hello!"