Skip to content


Switch branches/tags

Name already in use

A tag already exists with the provided branch name. Many Git commands accept both tag and branch names, so creating this branch may cause unexpected behavior. Are you sure you want to create this branch?

Latest commit


Git stats


Failed to load latest commit information.
Latest commit message
Commit time


Cerbero is a cross-platform build aggregator for Open Source projects that builds and creates native packages for different platforms, architectures and distributions. It supports both native compilation and cross compilation and can run on macOS, Linux, and Windows.

Projects are defined using recipe files (.recipe), which provide a description of the project being built such as name, version, licenses, sources and the way it's built. It also provide listing of files, which is later used for the packaging.

Packages are defined using package files (.package), describing the package name, version, license, maintainer and other fields used to create the packages. A package wraps a list of recipes, from which the list of files belonging to the package will be extracted.

Minimum Requirements

Cerbero provides bootstrapping facilities for all platforms, but it still needs a minimum base to bootstrap on top of.

Linux Setup

On Linux, you will only need a distribution with python >= 3.7. Cerbero will use your package manager to install all other required packages during bootstrap.

macOS Setup

On macOS you will need to have install the following software:

Cerbero will build all other required packages during bootstrap.

Windows Setup

The initial setup on Windows is automated with the PowerShell script [bootstrap-windows][tools/bootstrap-windows.ps1]. It installs the following tools:

  • Visual Studio 19 Community Edition
  • MSYS2
  • Git
  • Python 3
  • Wix

Start an admin PowerShell and run:

# Enable running scripts
$ Set-ExecutionPolicy -ExecutionPolicy Unrestricted

# Run the bootstrap script
$ .\tools\

IMPORTANT: Using cerbero on Windows with the GCC/MinGW toolchain requires a 64-bit operating system. The toolchain is only available for 64-bit and it can produce 32-bit or 64-bit binaries.

Running Cerbero

Despite the presence of this tool does not need installation. It is invoked via the cerbero-uninstalled script, which should be invoked as ./cerbero-uninstalled, or you can add the cerbero directory in your path and invoke it as cerbero-uninstalled.


Before using cerbero for the first time, you will need to run the bootstrap command. This command installs the missing parts of the build system using the packages manager when available, and also downloads the necessary toolchains when building for Windows or Android.

Note that this will take a while (a couple hours or even more on Windows).

$ ./cerbero-uninstalled bootstrap

Command Reference

# Help
$ ./cerbero-uninstalled --help

# Command-specific help
$ ./cerbero-uninstalled <command> --help

# List available recipes
$ ./cerbero-uninstalled list

# Build a recipe
$ ./cerbero-uninstalled build glib

# Force-rebuild a single recipe
$ ./cerbero-uninstalled buildone glib

# Run the compile step of a recipe
$ ./cerbero-uninstalled buildone glib --steps compile

# Create a package (this automatically builds all recipes in the package)
$ ./cerbero-uninstalled package gstreamer-1.0

Cross Compilation

If you're using Cerbero to cross-compile to iOS, Android, or Cross-MinGW, you must select the appropriate config file and pass it to all steps: bootstrap, build, package, etc.

For example if you're on Linux and you want to build for Android Universal, you must run:

# Bootstrap for Android Universal on Linux
$ ./cerbero-uninstalled -c config/cross-android-universal.cbc bootstrap

# Build everything and package for Android Universal
$ ./cerbero-uninstalled -c config/cross-android-universal.cbc package gstreamer-1.0

Here's a list of config files for each target machine:

Linux Targets

Target Config file
MinGW 32-bit cross-win32.cbc
MinGW 64-bit cross-win64.cbc
Android Universal cross-android-universal.cbc
Android ARM64 cross-android-arm64.cbc
Android ARMv7 cross-android-armv7.cbc
Android x86 cross-android-x86.cbc
Android x86_64 cross-android-x86-64.cbc

macOS Targets

Target Config file
macOS Universal (relocatable) cross-macos-universal.cbc
macOS x86_64 (relocatable) cross-macos-x86-64.cbc
macOS ARM64 (relocatable) cross-macos-arm64.cbc
macOS x86_64 (not-relocatable) osx-x86-64.cbc
iOS Universal cross-ios-universal.cbc
iOS ARM64 cross-ios-arm64.cbc
iOS x86_64 cross-ios-x86-64.cbc

Windows Targets

On Windows, config files are used to select the architecture and variants are used to select the toolchain (MinGW, MSVC, UWP):

Target Config file Variant
MSVC x86 win32.cbc
MSVC x86_64 win64.cbc
MinGW x86 win32.cbc mingw
MinGW x86_64 win64.cbc mingw
UWP x86 win32.cbc uwp
UWP x86_64 win64.cbc uwp
UWP ARM64 cross-win-arm64.cbc uwp
UWP Universal cross-uwp-universal.cbc (implicitly uwp)

Example usage:

# Target MSVC 64-bit
$ ./cerbero-uninstalled -c config/win64.cbc package gstreamer-1.0

# Target MinGW 32-bit
$ ./cerbero-uninstalled -c config/win32.cbc -v mingw package gstreamer-1.0

# Target UWP, x86_64
$ ./cerbero-uninstalled -c config/win64.cbc -v uwp package gstreamer-1.0

# Target UWP, Cross ARM64
$ ./cerbero-uninstalled -c config/cross-win-arm64.cbc -v uwp package gstreamer-1.0

# Target UWP, All Supported Arches
$ ./cerbero-uninstalled -c config/cross-uwp-universal.cbc package gstreamer-1.0

Enabling Optional Features with Variants

Cerbero controls optional and platform-specific features with variants. You can see a full list of available variants by running:

$ ./cerbero-uninstalled --list-variants

Some variants are enabled by default while others are not. You can enable a particular variant by doing one of the following:

  • Either invoke cerbero-uninstalled with the -v argument, for example:
$ ./cerbero-uninstalled -v variantname [-c ...] package gstreamer-1.0
  • Or, edit ~/.cerbero/cerbero.cbc and add variants = ['variantname'] at the bottom. Create the file if it doesn't exist.

Multiple variants can either be separated by a comma or with multiple -v arguments, for example the following are equivalent:

$ ./cerbero-uninstalled -v variantname1,variantname2 [-c ...] package gstreamer-1.0
$ ./cerbero-uninstalled -v variantname1 -v variantname2 [-c ...] package gstreamer-1.0

To explicitly disable a variant, use novariantname instead.

In the case of multiple enabling/disable of the same variant, then the last condition on the command line will take effect. e.g. if novariantname is last then variantname is disabled.

Enabling Qt5 or Qt6 Support

Cerbero has built-in support for building the Qt5 and Qt6 QML GStreamer plugins. You can toggle them on by enabling the qt5 and/or qt6 variants.

You must also tell Cerbero where your Qt installation prefix is. You can do it by setting the environment variable QMAKE (for Qt5) or QMAKE6 (for qt6) to the qmake that you want to use, f.ex. QMAKE=/path/to/Qt5.12.0/5.12.0/ios/bin/qmake or QMAKE6=C:\Qt\6.5.0\msvc2019_64\bin\qmake6.exe

When building for Android Universal with Qt < 5.14, instead of QMAKE, you must set the QT5_PREFIX environment variable pointed to the directory inside your prefix which contains all the android targets, f.ex. /path/to/Qt5.12.0/5.12.0.

Next, run package:

$ export QMAKE='/path/to/Qt5.12.0/5.12.0/<target>/bin/qmake'
$ ./cerbero-uninstalled -v qt5 [-c ...] package gstreamer-1.0

This will try to build the Qt5 QML plugin and error out if Qt5 could not be found or if the plugin could not be built. The plugin will be automatically added to the package outputted.

Similarly, if you set QMAKE6 and enable the qt6 variant, the same will be done for Qt6.

NOTE: The package outputted will not contain a copy of the Qt libraries in it. You must link to them while building your app yourself.

Enabling Rust / Cargo Support

Starting with version 1.22, Cerbero supports bootstrapping Rust toolchains, and can build Rust gstreamer plugins.

This is enabled by default for the following configurations: native-linux, cross-macos-universal, native-win64 (msvc), native-win32 (msvc).

More targets will be enabled in the future. If you want to force-enable the feature, you can use the rust variant by invoking cerbero as follows:

$ ./cerbero-uninstalled -v rust <command>

Enabling Hardware Codec Support

Starting with version 1.15.2, Cerbero has built-in support for building and packaging hardware codecs for Intel and Nvidia. If the appropriate variant is enabled, the plugin will either be built or Cerbero will error out if that's not possible.

Intel Hardware Codecs

For Intel, the variant to enable is intelmsdk which will build the msdk plugin.

You must set the INTELMEDIASDKROOT env var to point to your Intel Media SDK prefix, or you must have the SDK's pkgconfig prefix in PKG_CONFIG_PATH

On Windows, INTELMEDIASDKROOT automatically set by the installer. On Linux, if you need to set this, you must set it to point to the directory that contains the mediasdk include and lib64 dirs.

For VA-API, the variant to enable is vaapi which will build the gstreamer-vaapi plugins with all options enabled if possible.

Nvidia Hardware Codecs

Since 1.17.1, the nvcodec plugin does not need access to the Nvidia Video SDK or the CUDA SDK. It now loads everything at runtime. Hence, it is now enabled by default on all platforms.

Building without Visual Studio

Starting with version 1.22, Cerbero defaults to building all GStreamer recipes, all mandatory dependencies (such as glib, libffi, zlib, etc), and some external dependencies with Visual Studio.

If you want to build only with the MinGW toolchain and without Visual Studio, you can do so by enabling the mingw variant:

$ ./cerbero-uninstalled -v mingw package gstreamer-1.0

Note that Autotools recipes continue to require MinGW.

Important Windows-specific Notes

You should add the cerbero git directory to the list of excluded folders in your anti-virus, or you will get random build failures when Autotools does file operations such as renames and deletions. It will also slow your build by about 3-4x.

MSYS2 comes with different environments. Cerbero must be run using the UCRT64, since it targets the same CRT as our toolchain.

The UCRT64 shell can be launched with the application : c:\msys64\ucrt64.exe.

The path to your $HOME must not contain spaces. If your Windows username contains spaces, you can create a new directory in /home and execute:

If you are using Windows 10, it is also highly recommended to enable "Developer Mode" in Windows Settings as shown below.

Enable Developer Mode in Windows Settings

$ echo 'export HOME=/home/newdir' > ~/.profile

Then restart your shell and type cd to go to the new home directory.

Note that inside the shell, / is mapped to C:\msys64

Customising Cerbero

How to build a custom GStreamer repository or branch

Create a localconf.cbc file and add the following:

# Set custom remote and branch for all gstreamer recipes
recipes_remotes = {'gstreamer-1.0': {'custom-remote': '<YOUR_GIT_REPO>'}}
recipes_commits = {'gstreamer-1.0': 'custom-remote/<YOUR_GIT_BRANCH>'}

You can then run Cerbero with e.g.:

./cerbero-uninstalled -c localconf.cbc -c config/win64.cbc -v visualstudio package gstreamer-1.0

This works for all builds of course, not only the Windows one.

How to force a specific Visual Studio version

Create a localconf.cbc file and add the following:

# Specify Visual Studio install path and version
vs_install_path = 'C:/Path/To/Install'

# This is the Visual Studio Compiler toolset version, vs16 is for Visual Studio 2019. vs15 is 2017.
vs_install_version = 'vs16'

You can then run Cerbero with e.g.:

./cerbero-uninstalled -c localconf.cbc -c config/win64.cbc -v visualstudio package gstreamer-1.0


Cerbero build system used to build the official upstream GStreamer 1.0 SDK binaries







No packages published