I just got my hands on a raspberry PI B+ and want to write programs for it. Writing these programs on the PI itself is not an option since this is very slow.

I have the OS raspbian installed on my pi and want to develop GUI apps.

I searched the entire afternoon to find a way to set up visual studio to write and develop GUI programs on a windows computer for the PI. I found one 2 ways to do so but these are not free.

Are there any other, free, ways to do so?

  • Presumably you would need a cross-compilation version of gcc built to run on windows, and to configure visual studio to drive that rather than microsoft's compiler (which at least used to be quite straightforward). Re-formatting the error output to make the messages clickable may be the hardest part - ages ago I once resorted to a complicated sed incantation to hook that up, but soon just installed Linux on the engineering workstation. Regardless of host platform, CodeBlocks or Eclipse is likely to be a better integration fit and support controlling a gdb debugger / gdbserver stub. Feb 14, 2015 at 22:37

2 Answers 2


If you wait a month or so Microsoft will be releasing Windows 10 IoT for the Raspberry Pi which will be free. I would imagine you will then be able to develop using .net framework languages using Visual Studio.

See the announcement here and sign up

  • 1
    I'm fairly sure there will be no GUI with Windows 10 IoT (unless you count an ASCII terminal window as a GUI).
    – joan
    Feb 14, 2015 at 19:51
  • Will this versions of windows 10 on the raspbarry pi also be free for endusers?
    – ChThy
    Feb 14, 2015 at 19:51
  • 1
    Microsoft says " This release of Windows 10 will be free for the Maker community through the Windows Developer Program for IoT."
    – sarin
    Feb 14, 2015 at 19:53
  • And the maker community is all of us. So yes free to everybody. Debugging will work but you will have to create Windows Universal Apps. I am not sure if that includes C++ but it should. Universal Apps expose Windows 10 API to create GUI across any device. I suspect its DirectX driven but not sure if it will hardware driven on the Pi.
    – Piotr Kula
    Feb 18, 2015 at 21:11

You shouldn't. Even if you can get a cross-compiler-chain up and running under VS, you would still need the graphics libraries for GTK or qt or whatever you decide, and getting that to connect smoothly in VS would be a hassle.

Then you need to transfer it all to your pi to run it anyway, or else emulate in a virtual machine of some sort. Better just to do the development on the pi - it is capable of that.

Have a look at qt

  • I would also go for a virtual machine solution if not much machine-dependent code. Install a virtual machine (VirtualBox) with debian, for example, where you can write the program. Once it works, copy the code to raspberry an compile for arm.
    – user236012
    Feb 18, 2015 at 10:40

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