Compiling CircleMUD using Microsoft Visual C++ v4.x
                        by Jeremy Elson
              For help, write to

CircleMUD compiles relatively easily under Windows 95 and NT using the Microsoft Visual C++ compiler version 4.x. These instructions won’t work for any compiler except for MSVC++ 4.0; if you have a different compiler, take a look at the main README.WIN file for instructions.

Note MSVC++ 4.x is a commercial product and must be bought from your local software store. It can’t be downloaded from any (legal) FTP sites, and I will not send you a copy, so please don’t ask. Use the FREE GNU-Win32 package mentioned in the README.WIN file if you don’t want to buy MSVC.

1) Download the latest version of CircleMUD. You can always find the latest version at the following anonymous FTP sites:

You can also find information at the WWW site:

The latest version will be called something ending in .zip, like “”. (where ‘XX’ is the patchlevel)

2) When you unzip the .zip archive, MAKE SURE to use an unzip program that can handle long filenames. Old versions of pkunzip (e.g. 2.x) do NOT handle long filenames. WinZip ( can.

3) Open a window with an MS-DOS prompt. Note, this does not mean you are “compiling under DOS” – the MS-DOS prompt is just a command-line interface to Windows 95. This step can be done by going to the Start menu, going to the Programs submenu, and selecting “MS-DOS prompt”. All the following commands are performed at the MS-DOS prompt.

4) Use the CD command to switch to the main CircleMUD directory. For example, type “CD \circle30bplXX”, where ‘XX’ is the patchlevel of the version of Circle you downloaded. Also note that the full path will depend on where you decided to uncompress it.

5) Go to the src directory and rename to conf.h, and replace the Makefile with Makefile.msvc. This can be accomplished with the following commands:

cd src
copy conf.h
del Makefile
copy Makefile.msvc Makefile

6) If you have MSVC++ 4.x installed in C:\MSDEV, skip to the next step. Otherwise, bring up the Makefile in your favorite text editor (for example, to use the DOS EDIT command, type “EDIT MAKEFILE”.) Find the two lines that start with “CLFAGS =” and “LIB=”, respectively. On BOTH lines, change the part that says “C:\MSDEV" to reflect where your copy of MSVC++ 4.x is installed. Then, save the Makefile and exit the editor. You should still be in the “src” directory.

7) Make sure that MSVC++ binary directory (i.e., the directory where the actual programs are kept, such as NMAKE.EXE) is in your PATH. You can see what your path is by typing PATH. Your MSVC++ binary directory should be listed (for example, C:\MSDEV\BIN). Add MSVC’s binary directory to your path if it’s not already there. If you do not know how to change your path, contact someone who knows how to use the DOS command prompt for help, or check the manual to learn how to use the PATH command.

8) To compile Circle, stay in the src directory and type:


This will invoke Microsoft’s make program and should build the entire CircleMUD server and create a file called ‘circle.exe’. If you see the error message “Bad command or filename”, then MSVC++’s binary directory is not in your path, so your computer can’t find MS’s NMAKE program. Go back to step 7.

9) Make sure your TCP/IP stack is installed, correctly configured, and running. If you are already using TCP/IP applications from your Windows machine such as Netscape or telnet, then no changes should be necessary; otherwise go to the Control Panel’s “Network” settings, select “Add Protocol”, and add Microsoft’s TCP/IP. Consult the documentation for Windows 95 (do not write me mail) if you have any additional questions about how to set up TCP/IP under Windows 95.


10) Go back to Circle’s main directory (like in Step 4), and run the server by typing “src\circle”. You should see boot messages appearing on the screen. Wait until the line “No connections. Going to sleep.” appears at the bottom of the screen – this means Circle is ready to accept connections. Go on to step 11 if you see this.

If you see “Winsock Error #10047”, your TCP/IP stack is not correctly configured; go back to Step 9.

If you see “Fatal error changing to data directory: No such file or directory”, that means you are trying to run Circle from the “src” directory. Your current directory must be Circle’s top-level directory – the same directory that you were in during Step 4.

11) Start a telnet program (SEE NOTE BELOW). Open a connection to your own machine (“localhost”, or whatever the name of your machine happens to be) on port 4000. You should see the MUD’s login screen welcoming you and asking for your name.

VERY IMPORTANT NOTE: The standard telnet program that comes free with Windows 95 and NT does not work correctly for connecting to any MUD because it does not support telnet’s line-mode interface (so you can’t see what you are typing). Note that simply turning on the “local echo” option does not fix the problem; this prevents echo from being turned off while you’re typing your password, and screws up the display if you try to hit the backspace key too many times.

Do not use Microsoft’s telnet applet – instead, use EWAN, CRT, zMUD, or any other Winsock telnet application. EWAN and CRT can be downloaded from any number of sites (for example, zMUD is an excellent MUD client; for more information, see the official home page at .

If you have problems, read this document again. Most of the questions I receive in email are answered in this README file. If you’re still having problems and you’re sure that this document doesn’t answer your question, try reading the CircleMUD FAQ at If all else fails, you can get help by sending mail to Note, however, that if you ask a question that is answered in this document, all I’ll do is mail it to you.

Have fun!

Jeremy Elson (To get help, write to