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Building GStreamer text rendering and overlays on Windows with gst-build

Aaron Boxer avatar

Aaron Boxer
September 28, 2020

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Note: In September 2021, the GStreamer project merged all its git repositories into a single, unified repository, often called monorepo. The build system referred in this post as "gst-build" is now in the root of this combined/mono repository.

There are two ways of building GStreamer on Windows - using either cerbero or gst-build. As gst-build is a lot quicker, we will use this approach in this post.

GStreamer relies on various 2D font rendering and layout libraries such as Pango and Cairo to generate text for the Pango plugin, which contains elements such as textoverlay. However, building GStreamer on Windows using gst-build does not currently include support for Pango.

In this post, we will learn how to add the Pango plugin to a gst-build installation on Windows.

Building Pango

If you haven't already followed my previous guide on GStreamer and Windows, please follow the steps there to build GStreamer from source.

Now, we will need to clone a few more repositories into our source directory :

  1. freetype2 https://gitlab.collabora.com/gstreameronwindows/freetype2.git
  2. pixman https://gitlab.freedesktop.org/pixman/pixman
  3. harfbuzz https://github.com/harfbuzz/harfbuzz
  4. cairo https://gitlab.collabora.com/gstreameronwindows/cairo.git
  5. pango https://gitlab.gnome.org/GNOME/pango.git

Next we open a Visual Studio x64 command prompt and execute the following:

> cd freetype2 && meson build --prefix=%GSTREAMER_1_0_ROOT_X86_64% --buildtype=release && ninja -C build install
> cd ..\pixman && meson build --prefix=%GSTREAMER_1_0_ROOT_X86_64% --buildtype=release && ninja -C build install
> cd ..\harfbuzz && meson build --prefix=%GSTREAMER_1_0_ROOT_X86_64% --buildtype=release && ninja -C build install
> cd ..\cairo && meson build --prefix=%GSTREAMER_1_0_ROOT_X86_64% --buildtype=release && ninja -C build install
> cd ..\pango && meson build -Dintrospection=false --prefix=%GSTREAMER_1_0_ROOT_X86_64% --buildtype=release && ninja -C build install
> cd ..\gst-build-x64 && meson build --reconfigure --prefix=%GSTREAMER_1_0_ROOT_X86_64% --buildtype=release && ninja -C build install

At this stage, it is a good idea to delete our plugin cache:

> rmdir /Q /S  c:\\Users\YOUR_USER_NAME\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\INetCache\gstreamer-1.0

And finally:

> gst-inspect-1.0 textoverlay

should find the overlay plugin!

If you have any questions about GStreamer text rendering on Windows, or any other platform, please contact us.

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