A fast and low-footprint in-memory object store for autonomous applications
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Corto is a developer-friendly and super extensible framework for building a virtual version of the real world (or a fake one, we don't mind). In corto you first design what your world looks like, and then populate it with real data. We slapped a single, unified API on top of all that data, so you (aka 'the software engineer') never have to worry about where that data came from!

Because there is likely more data in the world than your computer can process at once, corto has a smart design where it only loads the data you need in memory. You can have petabytes of data at your fingertips, and never spend more than 70Kb in footprint!

If any of these is not green, somebody is not sleeping well.

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Getting Started

These instructions will get the project up and running on your local machine for development and testing purposes.


A Linux or macOS system with curl installed. That's all!


Installing the corto development environment is simple. Just run this command to install corto to /usr/local:

curl https://corto.io/install-dev-src | sh

Code example

To get started quickly, run the following command after installing corto:

corto create MyApp

In the generated MyApp directory you will find a source directory with a file called MyApp.c. In the main routine of this application, enter the following hello world program:

corto_object home = corto_create(root_o, "MyHome", corto_void_o);
float32_t *temp = corto_create(home, "RoomTemperature", corto_float32_o);
*temp = 71.5;

char *str_value = corto_serialize_value(temp, "text/corto");
printf("object %s of type %s has value %s\n",
    corto_fullpath(NULL, temp),
    corto_fullpath(NULL, corto_typeof(temp)),


You can now build the project by running this command from the project root:


After the build is finished, you can run the executable in the bin/<platform> directory!

Running the tests

To make sure that corto is running smoothly on your system, it is always a good idea to run the tests. To run them, you need a local copy of the corto runtime repository. Running these commands in sequence will run the corto runtime testsuites:

curl https://corto.io/install-dev-src | sh
cd ~/.corto/src/corto
corto test

Don't worry if you see some missing implementation messages. This just means we have some work ahead of us. What is important is that after the test run, you see a message that says that everything is ok!

If the tests fail, please submit a bug report (check out CONTRIBUTING.md).

Built With

  • bake - The tailor-made buildsystem for corto.
  • libffi - We harness the powerful magic of libffi to call functions dynamically


Please read CONTRIBUTING.md for details on how to contribute, and the process for submitting pull requests to us. Also please follow our CODE_OF_CONDUCT.md so that everything remains civilized!


We use SemVer for versioning.


See also the list of contributors who participated in this project.

Legal stuff

This project is licensed under the MIT License - see the LICENSE file for details


The following people (in chronological order of appearance) need a callout as corto would be nowhere near where it is without their unwavering support and dedication:

  • Spiros Motsenigos - Invented the name! Pushed corto to greater heights with boundless enthusiasm
  • Johnny Lee Othon - First one crazy enough to try out corto. Origin of many, many features and improvements
  • Alex Hendren - Early adopter and evangelist (in the broadest sense of the word)
  • Roberto Flores - Probably the most experienced corto developer worldwide. Even better at finding bugs
  • Pepijn van Kesteren - Ever willing to ask the hard questions & able to offer advice on all of them
  • Nathan Petkus - True™ corto believer. Perpetually in the business of rallying good people for the good cause
  • Luke Peng - Reliable source of (sometimes painful) reminders that it is not just about the code