gRPC C++ - Building from source



 $ [sudo] apt-get install build-essential autoconf libtool pkg-config

If you plan to build from source and run tests, install the following as well:

 $ [sudo] apt-get install libgflags-dev libgtest-dev
 $ [sudo] apt-get install clang libc++-dev


On a Mac, you will first need to install Xcode or Command Line Tools for Xcode and then run the following command from a terminal:

 $ [sudo] xcode-select --install

To build gRPC from source, you may need to install the following packages from Homebrew:

 $ brew install autoconf automake libtool shtool

If you plan to build from source and run tests, install the following as well:

 $ brew install gflags

Tip: when building, you may want to explicitly set the LIBTOOL and LIBTOOLIZE environment variables when running make to ensure the version installed by brew is being used:

 $ LIBTOOL=glibtool LIBTOOLIZE=glibtoolize make


To prepare for cmake + Microsoft Visual C++ compiler build

  • Install Visual Studio 2015 or 2017 (Visual C++ compiler will be used).
  • Install Git.
  • Install CMake.
  • Install Active State Perl (choco install activeperl) - required by boringssl
  • Install Go (choco install golang) - required by boringssl
  • Install yasm and add it to PATH (choco install yasm) - required by boringssl
  • (Optional) Install Ninja (choco install ninja)


By default gRPC uses protocol buffers, you will need the protoc compiler to generate stub server and client code.

If you compile gRPC from source, as described below, the Makefile will automatically try compiling the protoc in third_party if you cloned the repository recursively and it detects that you do not already have ‘protoc’ compiler installed.

If ‘protoc’ compiler has not been installed, following commands can be used for installation.

$ cd grpc/third_party/protobuf
$ sudo make install   # 'make' should have been run by core grpc

Clone the repository (including submodules)

Before building, you need to clone the gRPC github repository and download submodules containing source code for gRPC‘s dependencies (that’s done by the submodule command or --recursive flag). The following commands will clone the gRPC repository at the latest stable version.


 $ git clone -b $(curl -L
 $ cd grpc
 $ git submodule update --init


> @rem You can also do just "git clone --recursive -b THE_BRANCH_YOU_WANT"
> powershell git clone --recursive -b ((New-Object System.Net.WebClient).DownloadString(\"\").Trim())
> cd grpc
> @rem To update submodules at later time, run "git submodule update --init"

Build from source

In the C++ world, there's no “standard” build system that would work for in all supported use cases and on all supported platforms. Therefore, gRPC supports several major build systems, which should satisfy most users.

Note that this section only covers the build of gRPC itself, not the installation. See the How to use instructions for guidance on how to add gRPC as a dependency to a C++ application (there are several ways and system wide installation is often not the best choice).

make (on UNIX systems)

From the grpc repository root

 $ make


See Installing Bazel for instructions how to install bazel on your system.

From the grpc repository root

$ bazel build :all

cmake: Windows, Using Visual Studio 2015 or 2017 (can only build with OPENSSL_NO_ASM).

When using the “Visual Studio” generator, cmake will generate a solution (grpc.sln) that contains a VS project for every target defined in CMakeLists.txt (+ few extra convenience projects added automatically by cmake). After opening the solution with Visual Studio you will be able to browse and build the code.

> @rem Run from grpc directory after cloning the repo with --recursive or updating submodules.
> md .build
> cd .build
> cmake .. -G "Visual Studio 14 2015"
> cmake --build . --config Release

cmake: Windows, Using Ninja (faster build, supports boringssl's assembly optimizations).

Please note that when using Ninja, you will still need Visual C++ (part of Visual Studio) installed to be able to compile the C/C++ sources.

> @rem Run from grpc directory after cloning the repo with --recursive or updating submodules.
> md .build
> cd .build
> call "%VS140COMNTOOLS%..\..\VC\vcvarsall.bat" x64
> cmake .. -GNinja -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Release
> cmake --build .