Downloading Source Code of Dependencies to Build CPython in Visual Studio

I found this link in the Python Developer’s Guide, and I have been following the instructions to get started:

In the “Install tools and dependencies” section, I have an error in the last step. When I type “PCbuild\get_externals.bat” in the Command Prompt within the Python directory, I get the following message:

“>>> PCbuild\get_externals.bat
File “”, line 1
SyntaxError: unexpected character after line continuation character”

I am planning to open the PCBuild\pcbuild.sln solution in Visual Studio after installing the tools and dependencies.

You are apparently typing a Windows shell command in a Python shell. You want to enter it in the system’s shell, which you can open as described in this article:

I typed in “PCbuild\get_externals.bat” into the command prompt, and I got an error reading “The system cannot find the path specified.”

Howdy Winter,

maybe you could provide us a screenshot of the situation?

Cheers, Dominik

You’ll have to navigate to the CPython repo folder first.

Moving this from #core-dev to #users.

I have navigated to the CPython repo folder. Thank you. I typed in “PCbuild\build.bat” into the CPython repo folder, and the following text is in the Command Prompt

“Using py -3.9 (found 3.9 with py.exe)
Fetching external libraries…
bzip2-1.0.6 already exists, skipping.
sqlite- already exists, skipping.
xz-5.2.2 already exists, skipping.
zlib-1.2.11 already exists, skipping.
Fetching external binaries…
libffi already exists, skipping.
openssl-bin-1.1.1k-1 already exists, skipping.
tcltk- already exists, skipping.
Cannot locate MSBuild.exe on PATH or as MSBUILD variable”

I would like to start contributing, so I am trying to go through the steps to do so.

You do have Microsoft Visual Studio installed?

Yes, I do have Microsoft Visual Studio installed.