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cereal - A C++11 library for serialization

cereal is a header-only C++11 serialization library. cereal takes arbitrary data types and reversibly turns them into different representations, such as compact binary encodings, XML, or JSON. cereal was designed to be fast, light-weight, and easy to extend - it has no external dependencies and can be easily bundled with other code or used standalone.

cereal has great documentation

Looking for more information on how cereal works and its documentation? Visit cereal's web page to get the latest information.

cereal is easy to use

Installation and use of of cereal is fully documented on the main web page, but this is a quick and dirty version:

  • Download cereal and place the headers somewhere your code can see them
  • Write serialization functions for your custom types or use the built in support for the standard library cereal provides
  • Use the serialization archives to load and save data
#include <cereal/types/unordered_map.hpp>
#include <cereal/types/memory.hpp>
#include <cereal/archives/binary.hpp>
#include <fstream>
struct MyRecord
  uint8_t x, y;
  float z;
  template <class Archive>
  void serialize( Archive & ar )
    ar( x, y, z );
struct SomeData
  int32_t id;
  std::shared_ptr<std::unordered_map<uint32_t, MyRecord>> data;
  template <class Archive>
  void save( Archive & ar ) const
    ar( data );
  template <class Archive>
  void load( Archive & ar )
    static int32_t idGen = 0;
    id = idGen++;
    ar( data );

int main()
  std::ofstream os("out.cereal", std::ios::binary);
  cereal::BinaryOutputArchive archive( os );

  SomeData myData;
  archive( myData );

  return 0;

cereal has a mailing list

Either get in touch over email or on the web.

cereal has a permissive license

cereal is licensed under the BSD license.

cereal build status

  • Linux build status
  • Mac build status
  • Windows build status

Were you looking for the Haskell cereal? Go here.