Download and install (in their default install paths):

Source code

Download the HexChat source code and extract it to somewhere. You will work in the extracted hexchat folder from now.


Create a folder for GTK+, referred to as YourDepsPath from now (C:\gtk-build\gtk by default). Specify the absolute path to YourDepsPath in win32\hexchat.props with the YourDepsPath property. Download:

Extract them to Win32 and x64 in YourDepsPath.

See also

If you would like to build GTK+ yourself, see this repo.

Language interfaces

You can skip this step, but then you won’t be able to generate the installer. Download:

  • Perl 5.20 x86 (install to C:\gtk-build\perl-5.20\Win32)

  • Python 2.7 x86 (install to C:\gtk-build\python-2.7\Win32)

  • Python 3.6 x86 (install to C:\gtk-build\python-3.6\Win32)

  • Perl 5.20 x64 (install to C:\gtk-build\perl-5.20\x64)

  • Python 2.7 x64 (install to C:\gtk-build\python-2.7\x64)

  • Python 3.6 x64 (install to C:\gtk-build\python-3.6\x64)

You can use other paths, but then you must update the related properties in win32\hexchat.props accordingly.


Open PowerShell as administrator and run:

Set-ExecutionPolicy RemoteSigned -Scope CurrentUser
  • If you’re on 32-bit Windows, this is C:\Windows\System32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\powershell.exe

  • If you’re on 64-bit Windows, this is C:\Windows\SysWOW64\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\powershell.exe (notice that this is the 32-bit PowerShell executable)

Open win32\hexchat.sln, right click on the release/installer (or release/copy if you skipped the language interfaces) project and set it as the startup project. Now you can compile from under the Build menu to your taste.

If everything went fine, the resulting binaries will be found in hexchat-build\Win32 and/or hexchat-build\x64. It was easy, wasn’t it?


First of all, you have to install the build dependencies. Package names differ across distros, so be creative and check meson’s output if you get an error.

Most package-managers can get the dependencies for you:

  • dnf: dnf install meson ‘dnf-command(builddep)’ && dnf builddep hexchat && dnf install python3-cffi

  • apt: apt-get install -y meson libcanberra-dev libdbus-glib-1-dev libglib2.0-dev libgtk2.0-dev libluajit-5.1-dev libpci-dev libperl-dev libssl-dev python3-dev python3-cffi desktop-file-utils

HexChat has its source code hosted using Git, so you have to install Git as well. When it’s ready, you can start the actual compilation, which is basically:

git clone
cd hexchat
meson build
ninja -C build
sudo ninja -C build install

This will compile with defaults. See meson configure build for more info about flags.

Building Theme Manager

The theme manager isn’t built by default on Unix. To do so get hexchat’s source as mentioned above and install MonoDevelop with your package manager of choice then run this:

meson configure build -Dtheme-manager=true
ninja -C build
sudo ninja -C build install



macOS is not officially supported, is not simple to build for, and the end result will not be great.


JHBuild allows you to build the entire stack required by HexChat. It uses the quartz backend as well as a more native theme. It can be more hands on and complex than the automated Homebrew method.

  1. Follow the instructions on Gnome’s site for Building on OSX


Some of these builds may fail and require dropping to a shell to fix them. Most are trivial but the packages are always changing so you are on your own.

Once everything is set up we can build hexchat:

git clone && cd hexchat
./ --prefix=$JHBUILD_PREFIX
make && make install

If you want to make the bundle it will take some more work.

  1. Follow the instructions on Gnome’s site for Bundling on OSX

  2. Build and install these packages

cd osx && ./