Clang Plugins on Windows

Good Afternoon All,

I have written a plugin for Clang which does additional type checking around format strings. It is currently running as a plugin on Linux and macOS machines.
We are hoping to also run it on our Windows builds, in order to boost our coverage, however I understand that the ‘normal’ way to use a clang plugin doesn’t work on Windows.

The plugin currently works via a RecursiveASTVisitor, and then having found an instance of a var-args function call runs the custom type checker.

This ( implies that it would be possible to alter something in the build system to compile in the plugin library statically. This would be ideal for our use case, because we are building clang from source already, and we are only using it with the plugin, never alone.
Unfortunately I can’t find any information on how to go about statically linking the library into the main executable, or about other ways we could go about getting this working.

I am more than happy to modify the existing code to a new architecture if necessary, either on all 3 OSs or just on Windows,

Thanks very much for any help offered


We're using such a dynamic library plugin for LibreOffice. I can't remember all the details of how I got it working on Windows, but what probably is relevant is building LLVM/Clang with -DLLVM_EXPORT_SYMBOLS_FOR_PLUGINS=ON and maybe some of the options we pass to cl.exe (aka $(COMPILER_PLUGINS_CXX) in our makefile) when linking the plugin DLL at <>. Maybe that helps a bit...

Hi Chris,

This patch by Serge Guelton automates integration of static pass plugins:

I'm not sure whether your plugin falls into similar category, but it's
definitely worth having a look.


In Chromium, we use a hack to add the plugin sources to the "clang"
CMake target, see

Good Afternoon All,

Thank you very much for all of your help. A combination of these suggestions got it working for me.
For future reference:

Run the clang.exe binary, but pass “–driver-mode=cl” to it so that it took clang-cl style flags. This was because clang-cl wouldn’t work with the plugin.

This was a summer internship for me, so this email address will become inactive. If anyone is trying to do anything similar in the future, my boss can be contacted at and is happy to answer questions.

Kind Regards

Chris Baish