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sdbus-c++ is a high-level C++ D-Bus library for Linux designed to provide expressive, easy-to-use API in modern C++. It adds another layer of abstraction on top of sd-bus, a nice, fresh C D-Bus implementation by systemd.

sdbus-c++ has been written primarily as a replacement of dbus-c++, which currently suffers from a number of (unresolved) bugs, concurrency issues and inherent design complexities and limitations. sdbus-c++ has learned from dbus-c++ and has chosen a different path, a path of simple yet powerful design that is intuitive and friendly to the user and inherently free of those bugs.

Even though sdbus-c++ uses sd-bus library, it is not necessarily constrained to systemd and can perfectly be used in non-systemd environments as well.

Building and installing the library

The library is built using CMake:

$ mkdir build
$ cd build
$ make
$ sudo make install

CMake configuration flags for sdbus-c++

  • BUILD_CODE_GEN [boolean]

    Option for building the stub code generator sdbus-c++-xml2cpp for generating the adaptor and proxy interfaces out of the D-Bus IDL XML description. Default value: OFF. Use -DBUILD_CODE_GEN=ON flag to turn on building the code gen.

  • BUILD_DOC [boolean]

    Option for including sdbus-c++ documentation files and tutorials. Default value: ON. With this option turned on, you may also enable/disable the following option:

    • BUILD_DOXYGEN_DOC [boolean]

      Option for building Doxygen documentation of sdbus-c++ API. If enabled, the documentation must still be built explicitly through make doc. Default value: OFF. Use -DBUILD_DOXYGEN_DOC=OFF to disable searching for Doxygen and building Doxygen documentation of sdbus-c++ API.

  • BUILD_TESTS [boolean]

    Option for building sdbus-c++ unit and integration tests, invokable by make test. That incorporates downloading and building static libraries of Google Test. Default value: OFF. Use -DBUILD_TESTS=ON to enable building the tests. With this option turned on, you may also enable/disable the following options:

    • ENABLE_PERF_TESTS [boolean]

      Option for building sdbus-c++ performance tests. Default value: OFF.

    • ENABLE_STRESS_TESTS [boolean]

      Option for building sdbus-c++ stress tests. Default value: OFF.

    • TESTS_INSTALL_PATH [string]

      Path where the test binaries shall get installed. Default value: /opt/test/bin.

  • BUILD_LIBSYSTEMD [boolean]

    Option for building libsystemd dependency library automatically when sdbus-c++ is built, and making libsystemd an integral part of sdbus-c++ library. Default value: OFF. Might be very helpful in non-systemd environments where libsystemd shared library is unavailable (see Solving libsystemd dependency for more information). With this option turned on, you may also provide the following configuration flag:


      Defines version of systemd to be downloaded, built and integrated into sdbus-c++. Default value: 242.

  • CMAKE_BUILD_TYPE [string]

    This is a CMake-builtin option. Set to Release to build sdbus-c++ for production use. Set to Debug if you want to help further develop (and debug) the library :)


  • C++17 - the library uses C++17 features.
  • libsystemd - systemd library containing sd-bus implementation. This library is part of systemd. Systemd at least v236 is needed. (In case you have a non-systemd environment, don't worry, see Solving libsystemd dependency for more information.)
  • googletest - google unit testing framework, only necessary when building tests, will be downloaded and built automatically.
  • pkgconfig - required for sdbus-c++ to be able to find some dependency packages.
  • expat - necessary when building xml2cpp code generator (BUILD_CODE_GEN option is ON).


The library is distributed under LGPLv2.1 license, with a specific exception for macro/template/inline code in library header files.



Contributions that increase the library quality, functionality, or fix issues are very welcome. To introduce a change, please submit a pull request with a description.



High-level C++ D-Bus library for Linux designed to provide easy-to-use yet powerful API in modern C++




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