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Installing Phobos and Tango Side by Side

The Simple Route: use Tangobos

Tangobos represents the phobos API running within Tango. You can download Tangobos as part of a Tango bundle, or get it from the source instead. See this page for more on Tangobos.

Alternate Routes

Methods 1 through 3 are about DMD on Windows. Method 4 for DMD on Linux. Tips for other setups (GDC, ...) are welcome.

NB: Some of this may be out of date for newer compiler releases, where the -defaultlib switch can be utilized.

Method 0: Two Installations

The simplest way to have both Phobos and Tango installed is to have two installations of the D compiler, each with their own sc.ini. However, this is annoying for any number of reasons. But it works "OK" with GDC as well as DMD.

Method 1 (windows): Environment variables

Another approach is to configure DMD via environment variables, and leave sc.ini almost empty.

Edit sc.ini

The sc.ini file looks something like this:


The LIB and DFLAGS settings are the important ones, with respect to configuring Tango. We want to comment them out:


Write batch files

Create two batch files, call them dmd-phobos.bat and dmd-tango.bat. In each, set the DFLAGS and LIB environment variables to appropriate values. Below are some reasonable examples. You will want to change the D_ROOT and TANGO_ROOT variables to suit your own system.

@echo off
REM dmd-phobos.bat
Set PATH=%D_ROOT%\dmd\bin;%D_ROOT%\dm\bin;%PATH%
Set DFLAGS=-I%D_ROOT%\dmd\src\phobos
Set LIB=%D_ROOT%\dmd\lib;%D_ROOT%\dm\lib

echo Environment configured for DMD/Phobos
@echo off
REM dmd-tango.bat
Set TANGO_ROOT=C:\tango
Set PATH=%D_ROOT%\dmd\bin;%D_ROOT%\dm\bin;%PATH%
Set DFLAGS=-I%TANGO_ROOT% -version=Tango

echo Environment configured for DMD/Tango

Configuring Rebuild

Gregor Richards recently added a feature to his Rebuild utility allowing users to override the "default" profile with the REBUILDPROFILE environment variable. If your "default" profile is set to dmd-win, simply add this to dmd-tango.bat:

Set REBUILDPROFILE=dmd-win-tango

Configuring shortcuts

Now that you have your two batch files, create a shortcut for each of them. Set the "Target" field of the DMD-Phobos shortcut to this:

%comspec% /k dmd-phobos.bat

And set the "Target" of the DMD-Tango shortcut to this:

%comspec% /k dmd-tango.bat

The COMSPEC environment variable always points to the command prompt utility. The /k option causes it to run a program before giving the user the prompt.

Method 2 (windows, possibly posix): Using Separate INI Files

You can also set up two separate sc.ini files: one for compiling Phobos programs, and one for compiling Tango programs. This will allow you to switch between the two on the command-line.

This should also work on POSIX platforms with dmd.conf, but it has not been tested.

  1. Copy the files that came in DMD's lib directory to a peer directory called lib.phobos.
    • Note: you will want to keep the lib directory for storing shared libraries.
  2. Install Tango so that its library files are in a peer directory called lib.tango.
  3. Copy-and-paste your sc.ini file to new files named sc.phobos.ini and sc.tango.ini. Delete the old sc.ini file after you have done this.
  4. Edit the LIB= line of sc.phobos.ini to read:
  5. Edit the LIB= line of sc.tango.ini to read:
  6. Edit the DFLAGS= line of sc.tango.ini to read:
  7. Edit the inifile=... line in the dmd-win file in your Rebuild configuration directory to read:
  8. Edit the inifile=... line in the dmd-win-tango file in your Rebuild configuration directory to read:

This should complete the changes. To compile a Phobos program, add -dc=dmd-win to your Rebuild command line, and to compile a Tango program, add -dc=dmd-win-tango. The default compiler profile is indicated by the default file in your Rebuild configuration directory. You can also set the profile using the aforementioned environment variable.

Method 3 (windows): NTFS Junctions (two installations)


  1. Windows 2000 or above (not 9x!).
  2. You must use the NTFS file system.
  4. DMD + Phobos from Digital Mars
  5. DMD + Tango from the Tango downloads page


  1. Extract "junction.exe" into your PATH, I simply extracted it into C:\Windows.
  2. Extract DMD/Phobos into c:\dmd1_phobos.
  3. Extract DMD/Tango into c:\dmd1_tango.
  4. Open notepad, copy/paste this into a new file, "dmd1_phobos.bat":
@echo off
junction -d c:\dmd
junction c:\dmd c:\dmd1_phobos
  1. Repeat step 4, but call it "dmd1_tango.bat" and replace "c:\dmd1_phobos" with "c:\dmd1_tango".

To switch between Phobos and Tango, simply double click the corresponding batch file. The location of the batch files does not matter. I recommend creating shortcuts and placing them on your desktop, and binding them to shortcuts in your IDE.

Method 4 (posix): Switching dmd.conf, multiple import directories

Install DMD, with a common import directory (empty for now) and a separate phobos import directory, e.g.:

$PREFIX/include/d (this is for any libraries you install and want available regardless of whether tango or phobos is in use)


Edit your dmd.conf file to include both these directories (-I.../d -I.../d-phobos) and name it dmd.conf.phobos.

Install tango, and put the imports (object.di, std, tango) in a third import directory, e.g.:


Edit another dmd.conf file, dmd.conf.tango, as above (but with d-tango not d-phobos), as well as what the tango install instructions say.

Make sure you have both tango and phobos libraries installed (from tango 0.99.3 or later).

Now just switch between the two dmd.conf files to switch from tango to phobos and back. Here's one script using symlinks:

(Paste this into an executable script called dmd-switch-to and put it inside your $PATH. Make sure to change the DMDHOME variable value. Make your dmd.conf files dmd.conf.tango & dmd.conf.phobos .)

case $1 in
		if [ -f $DMDHOME/bin/dmd.conf.tango ] ; then
			ln -fs $DMDHOME/bin/dmd.conf.tango $DMDHOME/bin/dmd.conf
		if [ -f $DMDHOME/bin/dmd.conf.phobos ] ; then
			ln -fs $DMDHOME/bin/dmd.conf.phobos $DMDHOME/bin/dmd.conf
		if [ -e $DMDHOME/bin/dmd.conf ] ; then
			ls -al $DMDHOME/bin/dmd.conf | awk '{ print $10 }'
			echo "${DMDHOME}/bin/dmd.conf does not exist"

Here's another (very similar functionally, but it'll tell you what's currently in use) which renames the files: (Edit the PREFIX variable; make one of your dmd.conf files dmd.conf and the other dmd.conf.tango/phobos .)