Copyright 2008 Google Inc.
To build protobuf from source, the following tools are needed:
On Ubuntu/Debian, you can install them with:
sudo apt-get install autoconf automake libtool curl make g++ unzip
On other platforms, please use the corresponding package managing tool to install them before proceeding.
To get the source, download one of the release .tar.gz or .zip packages in the release page:
For example: if you only need C++, download
protobuf-cpp-[VERSION].tar.gz; if you need C++ and Java, download
protobuf-java-[VERSION].tar.gz (every package contains C++ source already); if you need C++ and multiple other languages, download
You can also get the source by “git clone” our git repository. Make sure you have also cloned the submodules and generated the configure script (skip this if you are using a release .tar.gz or .zip package):
git clone https://github.com/protocolbuffers/protobuf.git cd protobuf git submodule update --init --recursive ./autogen.sh
To build and install the C++ Protocol Buffer runtime and the Protocol Buffer compiler (protoc) execute the following:
./configure make -j$(nproc) # $(nproc) ensures it uses all cores for compilation make check sudo make install sudo ldconfig # refresh shared library cache.
If “make check” fails, you can still install, but it is likely that some features of this library will not work correctly on your system. Proceed at your own risk.
For advanced usage information on configure and make, please refer to the autoconf documentation:
Hint on install location
By default, the package will be installed to /usr/local. However, on many platforms, /usr/local/lib is not part of LD_LIBRARY_PATH. You can add it, but it may be easier to just install to /usr instead. To do this, invoke configure as follows:
If you already built the package with a different prefix, make sure to run “make clean” before building again.
Compiling dependent packages
To compile a package that uses Protocol Buffers, you need to pass various flags to your compiler and linker. As of version 2.2.0, Protocol Buffers integrates with pkg-config to manage this. If you have pkg-config installed, then you can invoke it to get a list of flags like so:
pkg-config --cflags protobuf # print compiler flags pkg-config --libs protobuf # print linker flags pkg-config --cflags --libs protobuf # print both
c++ my_program.cc my_proto.pb.cc `pkg-config --cflags --libs protobuf`
Note that packages written prior to the 2.2.0 release of Protocol Buffers may not yet integrate with pkg-config to get flags, and may not pass the correct set of flags to correctly link against libprotobuf. If the package in question uses autoconf, you can often fix the problem by invoking its configure script like:
configure CXXFLAGS="$(pkg-config --cflags protobuf)" \ LIBS="$(pkg-config --libs protobuf)"
This will force it to use the correct flags.
If you are writing an autoconf-based package that uses Protocol Buffers, you should probably use the PKG_CHECK_MODULES macro in your configure script like:
See the pkg-config man page for more info.
If you only want protobuf-lite, substitute “protobuf-lite” in place of “protobuf” in these examples.
Note for Mac users
For a Mac system, Unix tools are not available by default. You will first need to install Xcode from the Mac AppStore and then run the following command from a terminal:
sudo xcode-select --install
To install Unix tools, you can install “port” following the instructions at https://www.macports.org . This will reside in /opt/local/bin/port for most Mac installations.
sudo /opt/local/bin/port install autoconf automake libtool
Then follow the Unix instructions above.
Note for cross-compiling
The makefiles normally invoke the protoc executable that they just built in order to build tests. When cross-compiling, the protoc executable may not be executable on the host machine. In this case, you must build a copy of protoc for the host machine first, then use the --with-protoc option to tell configure to use it instead. For example:
This will use the installed protoc (found in your $PATH) instead of trying to execute the one built during the build process. You can also use an executable that hasn't been installed. For example, if you built the protobuf package for your host machine in ../host, you might do:
Either way, you must make sure that the protoc executable you use has the same version as the protobuf source code you are trying to use it with.
Note for Solaris users
Solaris 10 x86 has a bug that will make linking fail, complaining about libstdc++.la being invalid. We have included a work-around in this package. To use the work-around, run configure as follows:
See src/solaris/libstdc++.la for more info on this bug.
Note for HP C++ Tru64 users
To compile invoke configure as follows:
./configure CXXFLAGS="-O -std ansi -ieee -D__USE_STD_IOSTREAM"
Also, you will need to use gmake instead of make.
Note for AIX users
Compile using the IBM xlC C++ compiler as follows:
Also, you will need to use GNU
gmake) instead of AIX
If you only need the protoc binary, you can download it from the release page:
In the downloads section, download the zip file protoc-$VERSION-win32.zip. It contains the protoc binary as well as public proto files of protobuf library.
Protobuf and its dependencies can be installed directly by using
>vcpkg install protobuf protobuf:x64-windows
If zlib support is desired, you'll also need to install the zlib feature:
>vcpkg install protobuf[zlib] protobuf[zlib]:x64-windows
See https://github.com/Microsoft/vcpkg for more information.
To build from source using Microsoft Visual C++, see cmake/README.md.
To build from source using Cygwin or MinGW, follow the Unix installation instructions, above.
Due to the nature of C++, it is unlikely that any two versions of the Protocol Buffers C++ runtime libraries will have compatible ABIs. That is, if you linked an executable against an older version of libprotobuf, it is unlikely to work with a newer version without re-compiling. This problem, when it occurs, will normally be detected immediately on startup of your app. Still, you may want to consider using static linkage. You can configure this package to install static libraries only using:
The complete documentation for Protocol Buffers is available via the web at: