How to compile iperf for Windows using Cygwin

Iperf is a very versatile open source program that can be used for network performance testing.  It can generate TCP or UDP data streams for measuring network throughput and can also be used for testing network latency and jitter.  There are some older versions of iperf compiled for Windows available on the web but I couldn’t find a working link for iperf version 2.0.5 so I decided to try compiling it using Cygwin and it worked!

You can download iperf version 2.0.5 for Windows that I compiled from source or continue reading if you want to learn how to compile your own copy.  You’ll need to copy iperf.exe and also the 3 cygwin DLL files included in the zip archive into your system in order for it to work.

1.  Setting up Cygwin

Cygwin is basically a Linux emulation environment for Windows.  Although your Linux apps will have to be recompiled from source before they will run in the Cygwin environment.  To get started you will need to download and run setup.exe from the Cygwin site.  You can use the default install options but when you reach the package selection screen click on ‘Devel’ so that ‘Default’ changes to ‘Install’ , this will install all of the development tools you will need.

You should have a shortcut to Cygwin on your desktop when the installation is finished.








2.  Download the iperf source code

Next download and extract the iperf source code to C:\cygwin\iperf-2.0.5 , 7-zip works well for extracting tar and gzip files in Windows.


3. Configure the compiler

Start the Cygwin shell from the start menu or the shortcut on your desktop.

Enter the directory where you extracted the iperf source

cd /iperf-2.0.5

Configure the compiler (this might take a couple minutes)


If everything went well your output should look something like this.







4.  Compile the source

To get the compile process started just type make and hit enter.  It shouldn’t take very long for the compile to finish.

5.  Make install

Assuming your build completed without errors your going to want to run ‘make install’, to do this just type make install in the shell and hit enter.  As you can see from the output below iperf.exe was copied to /usr/local/bin/







6.  Running iperf

You can run iperf directly from the Cygwin environment but you will have to specify the full path to the executable eg: /usr/local/bin/iperf.  If you prefer to run iperf directly from a Windows command prompt or from another machine you can copy the iperf binary and the nessasary DLL files out of the cygwin environment.

If you installed Cygwin to the default location then iperf.exe will be located in C:\cygwin\usr\local\bin

You will also need the following DLL files found in C:\cygwin\bin.

  • cygwin1.dll
  • cyggcc_s-1.dll
  • cygstdc++-6.dll

Copy the three DLL files and iperf.exe somewhere on your system that is in your path like c:\windows\system32 for example.  You can then run iperf directly from a command prompt.









I’m working on a separate post with some sample uses for iperf which should be completed in the near future.

Sam Kear

Sam graduated from the University of Missouri - Kansas City with a bachelors degree in Information Technology. Currently he works as a network analyst for an algorithmic trading firm. Sam enjoys the challenge of troubleshooting complex problems and is constantly experimenting with new technologies.

28 thoughts to “How to compile iperf for Windows using Cygwin”

  1. Thanks for the work. I’ve been trying to find an updated version for Windows for awhile. I have a question though. The documentation page references a option -S, which allows you to set the type-of-service on the outgoing packets. It does not appear that this version supports that flag. Could you confirm please? Thanks again!

    1. Iperf 3 has this issue on Windows as well. It’s somewhat annoying to deal with but I haven’t been able to produce a solution to the problem.

  2. Thank you for putting this up. Working from Sourceforge and other places that Google searches show, it seems unnecessarily obtuse for a plain old Windows user to run an iperf test. Do I really need to figure out how to compile an executable??? Sheesh. With your files I got it going in a matter of minutes. Simple. THANK YOU.

  3. Hi sam,
    i use iperf-3.0b4 in window 7 and i also use cygwin tool
    i follow all procedure as you write above but i couldn’t compile
    i have successfully run configure file after that make hit enter than show command not found
    so i have problem for compile please help me bro……..

    1. Hey Mukesh,

      I didn’t have any luck trying to compile iperf-3.0b4 in cygwin either.

      It turns out someone has already accomplished it though, you can download the precompiled version from the link below. It runs fine on my Win7 X64 box.

      Just make sure you extract iperf3.exe along with all of the cygwin dll files to the same directory.

      Let me know if that works for you.

  4. hey sam ,
    Thanks for reply
    i was wrong because i didn’t add make pkg in my cygwin so i trouble, after read your blog very carefully i have add make pkg than it’s work well i have got iperf3.exe.

      1. Hey sam,
        Thanks for reply
        But i have already iperf2 i want iperf3 for windows without .dll files
        if you have any idea than share with me

  5. Tnx for the artice.

    I’d like to share some expirience with some modern builds, mb it will help someone.

    I’v faced with some problems building iperf modern versions with current head commit.
    Ok, I decided to build some stable version so choosed 03eb163 commit this is 3.0.2 stable.

    git checkout 03eb163t

    First i made some function name replacement with:

    cd ./src
    find ./ -iname "*.[ch]" |xargs -n1 sed -i s'#iprintf#newprintf#g'

    because there were some func name “redifinition” in iperf_api.h iprintf function – name collisiosn with cygwin stdio.h definition.

    Ok next errors appeared during make process. I’v researched a bit and found that generated libtool script seemed to be broken in my enviroment. There were no usefull code inside, just enviroment variables set and nothing. Its size was about 600 lines, when at the same time it should be much greater and with some code logic. As a result all calls to

    /bin/sh ../libtool --tag=CC --mode=compile gcc

    produced NO output files. So build process was stuck.
    I am not an autoconf guru, so I decided to use not generated libtool but cygwin installed libtool script.(in my case it was in /bin/libtool)

    I’v reseted all generated files with(or you can dele all the dir with iperf and clone it again then checkout to correct commit version)

    git reset --hard HEAD
    echo > ./.gitignore
    git clean -f -d

    Gitignore cleaned to make it easy to clean all builded already object files and other generated.

    then durty fix to function redifinition again(cause wi did reset –hard) with

    cd ./src
    find ./ -iname "*.[ch]" |xargs -n1 sed -i s'#iprintf#newprintf#g'

    then launched configuration script again but this time setting system libtool

    export LIBTOOL=/bin/libtool ./configure

    And voila, while make process there was system libtool script used and everything went ok.
    I understand that its ugly hack, but in my case it worth it and i have no time to deeply investigate cygwin generation nuances caosing libtool to be broken.

    good luck everyone!

    1. I didn’t have any trouble with libtool, but ran into the same iprintf signature mismatch. Smiley’s sed command line worked perfectly (this one):

      find ./ -iname "*.[ch]" |xargs -n1 sed -i s'#iprintf#newprintf#g'

  6. When .configure is given in Cygwin it shows ./configure: No such file or directory, please help me

    1. Configure scripts are usually included inside the source tarball of a package. Can you provide a link to the package you are trying to compile?

  7. $ make install
    Making install in src
    make[1]: Entering directory ‘/iperf-3.0.3/iperf-3.0.3/src’
    /bin/sh ../libtool –tag=CC –mode=compile gcc -DHAVE_CONFIG_H -I. -g -O2
    -MT iperf_api.lo -MD -MP -MF .deps/iperf_api.Tpo -c -o iperf_api.lo iperf_api.c
    libtool: compile: gcc -DHAVE_CONFIG_H -I. -g -O2 -MT iperf_api.lo -MD -MP -MF .
    deps/iperf_api.Tpo -c iperf_api.c -DDLL_EXPORT -DPIC -o .libs/iperf_api.o
    In file included from iperf_api.c:40:0:
    iperf_api.h:220:5: error: conflicting types for ‘iprintf’
    int iprintf(struct iperf_test *test, const char *format, …) __attribute__ ((f
    In file included from /usr/include/stdio.h:29:0,
    from iperf_api.c:13:
    /usr/include/stdio.h:259:5: note: previous declaration of ‘iprintf’ was here
    int _EXFUN(iprintf, (const char *, …)
    iperf_api.c:2464:1: error: conflicting types for ‘iprintf’
    iprintf(struct iperf_test *test, const char* format, …)
    In file included from /usr/include/stdio.h:29:0,
    from iperf_api.c:13:
    /usr/include/stdio.h:259:5: note: previous declaration of ‘iprintf’ was here
    int _EXFUN(iprintf, (const char *, …)
    Makefile:541: recipe for target ‘iperf_api.lo’ failed
    make[1]: *** [iperf_api.lo] Error 1
    make[1]: Leaving directory ‘/iperf-3.0.3/iperf-3.0.3/src’
    Makefile:270: recipe for target ‘install-recursive’ failed
    make: *** [install-recursive] Error 1

  8. For iperf-2.0.9 compile with cygwin, need to copy “cygstdc++-6.dll” from “C:\cygwin64\usr\local\lib” to “C:\cygwin64\usr\local\bin”

  9. It’s a great article.
    I am developing one Android APP where i need to integrate iperf for Android.
    Could you help me to compile iperf for android in cygwin? What are the procedures?

  10. Hi folks. Thanks for the tuto by the way.

    heres what i get when I try to configure it:

    $ ./configure
    checking for a BSD-compatible install… /usr/bin/install -c
    checking whether build environment is sane… yes
    checking for gawk… gawk
    checking whether make sets $(MAKE)… yes
    checking for g++… no
    checking for c++… no
    checking for gpp… no
    checking for aCC… no
    checking for CC… CC
    checking whether the C++ compiler works… no
    configure: error: in `/iperf-2.0.5′:
    configure: error: C++ compiler cannot create executables
    See `config.log’ for more details.

    any clues ? thank you

    1. that’s what I have now.. :/

      checking whether to enable maintainer-specific portions of Makefiles… no
      checking for dpkg-architecture… no
      configure: error: The dpkg development files (dpkg-dev) must be installed to build this package.

  11. Hi, Thanks for the tuto.
    i have a question for you.
    when i run make cmd, i found a warning:

    “/bin/sh ../libtool –tag=CC –mode=link gcc -g -O2 -Wall -o -rpath /usr/local/lib cjson.lo iperf_api.lo iperf_error.lo iperf_auth.lo iperf_client_api.lo iperf_locale.lo iperf_server_api.lo iperf_tcp.lo iperf_udp.lo iperf_sctp.lo iperf_util.lo iperf_time.lo dscp.lo net.lo tcp_info.lo timer.lo units.lo -lssl -lcrypto
    libtool: warning: undefined symbols not allowed in x86_64-unknown-cygwin shared libraries; building static only”

    can you explain this warning? how can i fix it.
    Thanks you

  12. Hello,

    i have a problem with newest iPerf 3.1.3 where there are only two files (cygwin1.dll and iperf3 as an app).
    It should be compiled with cygwin but when i type proper folder to this iperf with cd command and then i type ./configure there is answer ./configure: No such file or directory.

    Can someone help me with this problem?

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