tree: 11a5dc7261ec208639dfc4cf22d4c1989f92180d [path history] [tgz]
  2. compatibility_tests/
  3. core/
  4. lite/
  5. pom.xml
  6. util/

Protocol Buffers - Google's data interchange format

Build Status

Copyright 2008 Google Inc.

This directory contains the Java Protocol Buffers runtime library.

Installation - With Maven

The Protocol Buffers build is managed using Maven. If you would rather build without Maven, see below.

  1. Install Apache Maven if you don't have it:

  2. Build the C++ code, or obtain a binary distribution of protoc (see the toplevel If you install a binary distribution, make sure that it is the same version as this package. If in doubt, run:

    $ protoc --version

    You will need to place the protoc executable in ../src. (If you built it yourself, it should already be there.)

  3. Run the tests:

    $ mvn test

    If some tests fail, this library may not work correctly on your system. Continue at your own risk.

  4. Install the library into your Maven repository:

    $ mvn install

  5. If you do not use Maven to manage your own build, you can build a .jar file to use:

    $ mvn package

    The .jar will be placed in the “target” directory.

The above instructions will install 3 maven artifacts:

  • protobuf-java: The core Java Protocol Buffers library. Most users only need this artifact.
  • protobuf-lite: The lite version of core Java Protobuf Buffers library. It is a subset of the core library and is used together with the ‘lite’ code generator flag to reduce generated code size for mobile.
  • protobuf-java-util: Utilities to work with protos. It contains JSON support as well as utilities to work with proto3 well-known types.

Installation - Without Maven

If you would rather not install Maven to build the library, you may follow these instructions instead. Note that these instructions skip running unit tests and only describes how to install the core protobuf library (without the util package).

  1. Build the C++ code, or obtain a binary distribution of protoc. If you install a binary distribution, make sure that it is the same version as this package. If in doubt, run:

    $ protoc --version

    If you built the C++ code without installing, the compiler binary should be located in ../src.

  2. Invoke protoc to build

    $ protoc --java_out=core/src/main/java -I../src

  3. Compile the code in core/src/main/java using whatever means you prefer.

  4. Install the classes wherever you prefer.

Compatibility Notice

  • Protobuf minor version releases are backwards-compatible. If your code can build/run against the old version, it's expected to build/run against the new version as well. Both binary compatibility and source compatibility are guaranteed for minor version releases if the user follows the guideline described in this section.

  • Protobuf major version releases may also be backwards-compatbile with the last release of the previous major version. See the release notice for more details.

  • APIs marked with the @ExperimentalApi annotation are subject to change. They can be modified in any way, or even removed, at any time. Don't use them if compatibility is needed. If your code is a library itself (i.e. it is used on the CLASSPATH of users outside your own control), you should not use experimental APIs, unless you repackage them (e.g. using ProGuard).

  • Deprecated non-experimental APIs will be removed two years after the release in which they are first deprecated. You must fix your references before this time. If you don't, any manner of breakage could result (you are not guaranteed a compilation error).

  • Protobuf message interfaces/classes are designed to be subclassed by protobuf generated code only. Do not subclass these message interfaces/classes yourself. We may add new methods to the message interfaces/classes which will break your own subclasses.

  • Don't use any method/class that is marked as “used by generated code only”. Such methods/classes are subject to change.

  • Protobuf LITE runtime APIs are not stable yet. They are subject to change even in minor version releases.


The complete documentation for Protocol Buffers is available via the web at: