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ClangSharp

ClangSharp provides Clang bindings written in C#. It is self-hosted and auto-generates itself by parsing the Clang C header files using ClangSharpPInvokeGenerator.

ci

A nuget package for the project is provided here: https://www.nuget.org/packages/clangsharp. A .NET tool for the P/Invoke generator project is provided here: https://www.nuget.org/packages/ClangSharpPInvokeGenerator

A convenience package which provides the native libClang library for several platforms is provided here: https://www.nuget.org/packages/libclang

A helper package which exposes many Clang APIs missing from libClang is provided here: https://www.nuget.org/packages/libClangSharp

NOTE: libclang and libClangSharp are meta-packages which point to the platform-specific runtime packages (e.g.; see others owned by tannergooding). Several manual steps may be required to use them, see discussion in #46 and #118.

Nightly packages are available via the NuGet Feed URL: https://pkgs.clangsharp.dev/index.json

Source browsing is available via: https://source.clangsharp.dev/

Table of Contents

Code of Conduct

ClangSharp and everyone contributing (this includes issues, pull requests, the wiki, etc) must abide by the .NET Foundation Code of Conduct: https://dotnetfoundation.org/about/code-of-conduct.

Instances of abusive, harassing, or otherwise unacceptable behavior may be reported by contacting the project team at conduct@dotnetfoundation.org.

License

Copyright (c) .NET Foundation and Contributors. All Rights Reserved. Licensed under the MIT License (MIT). See LICENSE.md in the repository root for more information.

Features

  • Auto-generated using Clang C headers files, and supports all functionality exposed by them ~ which means you can build tooling around C/C++
  • Exposes the raw unsafe API for performance
  • Exposes a slightly higher abstraction that is type safe (CXIndex and CXTranslationUnit are different types, despite being pointers internally)
  • Exposes an again slightly higher abstraction that tries to mirror the Clang C++ Type Hierarchy where possible
  • Nearly identical to the Clang C APIs, e.g. clang_getDiagnosticSpelling in C, vs. clang.getDiagnosticSpelling (notice the . in the C# API)

Building Managed

ClangSharp requires the .NET 6 SDK and can be built simply with dotnet build -c Release.

You can reproduce what the CI environment does by running ./scripts/cibuild.cmd on Windows or ./scripts.cibuild.sh on Unix. This will download the required .NET SDK locally and use that to build the repo; it will also run through all available actions in the appropriate order.

There are also several build scripts in the repository root. On Windows these scripts end with .cmd and expect arguments with a - prefix. On Unix these scripts end with .sh and expect arguments with a -- prefix. By default, each script performs only the action specified in its name (i.e. restore only restores, build only builds, test only tests, and pack only packs). You can specify additional actions to be run by passing that name as an argument to the script (e.g. build.cmd -restore will perform a package restore and build; test.cmd -pack will run tests and package artifacts). Certain actions are dependent on a previous action having been run at least once. build depends on restore, test depends on build, and pack depends on build. This means the recommended first time action is build -restore.

You can see any additional options that are available by passing -help on Windows or --help on Unix to the available build scripts.

Building Native

ClangSharp provides a helper library, libClangSharp, that exposes additional functionality that is not available in libClang. Building this requires CMake 3.13 or later as well as a version of MSVC or Clang that supports C++ 17.

To succesfully build libClangSharp you must first build Clang (https://clang.llvm.org/get_started.html). The process done on Windows is roughly:

git clone --single-branch --branch llvmorg-15.0.0 https://github.com/llvm/llvm-project
cd llvm-project
mkdir artifacts/bin
cd artifacts/bin
cmake -DLLVM_ENABLE_PROJECTS=clang -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=../install -G "Visual Studio 16 2019" -A x64 -Thost=x64 ../../llvm

You can then open LLVM.sln in Visual Studio, change the configuration to Release and build the install project. Afterwards, you can then build libClangSharp where the process followed is roughly:

git clone https://github.com/dotnet/clangsharp
cd clangsharp
mkdir artifacts/bin/native
cd artifacts/bin/native
cmake -DPATH_TO_LLVM=../../../../llvm-project/artifacts/install/ -G "Visual Studio 16 2019" -A x64 -Thost=x64 ../../..

You can then open libClangSharp.sln in Visual Studio, change the configuration to Release and build the ALL_BUILD project.

If you building on Linux

git clone https://github.com/dotnet/clangsharp
cd clangsharp
mkdir artifacts/bin/native
cd artifacts/bin/native
cmake -DPATH_TO_LLVM=/usr/lib/llvm/14/ ../../..
make

or if you prefer Ninja

git clone https://github.com/dotnet/clangsharp
cd clangsharp
mkdir artifacts/bin/native
cd artifacts/bin/native
cmake -DPATH_TO_LLVM=/usr/lib/llvm/14/ -G Ninja ../../..
ninja

Generating Bindings

This program will take a given set of C or C++ header files and generate C# bindings from them. It is still a work-in-progress and not every declaration can have bindings generated today (contributions are welcome).

The simplest and recommended setup is to install the generator as a .NET tool and then use response files:

dotnet tool install --global ClangSharpPInvokeGenerator --version 15.0.0
ClangSharpPInvokeGenerator @generate.rsp

A response file allows you to specify and checkin the command line arguments in a text file, with one argument per line. For example: https://github.com/dotnet/ClangSharp/blob/main/sources/ClangSharpPInvokeGenerator/Properties/GenerateClang.rsp At a minimum, the command line expects one or more input files (-f), an output namespace (-n), and an output location (-o). A typical response file may also specify explicit files to traverse, configuration options, name remappings, and other fixups.

The full set of available switches:

ClangSharpPInvokeGenerator
  ClangSharp P/Invoke Binding Generator

Usage:
  ClangSharpPInvokeGenerator [options]

Options:
  -a, --additional <additional>                              An argument to pass to Clang when parsing the input files. []
  -c, --config <config>                                      A configuration option that controls how the bindings are generated. Specify 'help' to see the available options. []
  -D, --define-macro <define-macro>                          Define <macro> to <value> (or 1 if <value> omitted). []
  -e, --exclude <exclude>                                    A declaration name to exclude from binding generation. []
  -f, --file <file>                                          A file to parse and generate bindings for. []
  -F, --file-directory <file-directory>                      The base path for files to parse. []
  -h, --headerFile <headerFile>                              A file which contains the header to prefix every generated file with. []
  -i, --include <include>                                    A declaration name to include in binding generation. []
  -I, --include-directory <include-directory>                Add directory to include search path. []
  -x, --language <language>                                  Treat subsequent input files as having type <language>. [default: c++]
  -l, --libraryPath <libraryPath>                            The string to use in the DllImport attribute used when generating bindings. []
  -m, --methodClassName <methodClassName>                    The name of the static class that will contain the generated method bindings. [default: Methods]
  -n, --namespace <namespace>                                The namespace in which to place the generated bindings. []
  -om, --output-mode <CSharp|Xml>                            The mode describing how the information collected from the headers are presented in the resultant bindings. [default: CSharp]
  -o, --output <output>                                      The output location to write the generated bindings to. []
  -p, --prefixStrip <prefixStrip>                            The prefix to strip from the generated method bindings. []
  -r, --remap <remap>                                        A declaration name to be remapped to another name during binding generation. []
  -std <std>                                                 Language standard to compile for. []
  -to, --test-output <test-output>                           The output location to write the generated tests to. []
  -t, --traverse <traverse>                                  A file name included either directly or indirectly by -f that should be traversed during binding generation. []
  -v, --version <version>                                    Prints the current version information for the tool and its native dependencies.
  -was, --with-access-specifier <with-access-specifier>      An access specifier to be used with the given qualified or remapped declaration name during binding generation. []
  -wa, --with-attribute <with-attribute>                     An attribute to be added to the given remapped declaration name during binding generation. []
  -wcc, --with-callconv <with-callconv>                      A calling convention to be used for the given declaration during binding generation. []
  -wc, --with-class <with-class>                             A class to be used for the given remapped constant or function declaration name during binding generation. []
  -wg, --with-guid <with-guid>                               A GUID to be used for the given declaration during binding generation. []
  -wlb, --with-librarypath <with-librarypath>                A library path to be used for the given declaration during binding generation. []
  -wmi, --with-manual-import <with-manual-import>            A remapped function name to be treated as a manual import during binding generation. []
  -wn, --with-namespace <with-namespace>                     A namespace to be used for the given remapped declaration name during binding generation. []
  -wsle, --with-setlasterror <with-setlasterror>             Add the SetLastError=true modifier to a given DllImport or UnmanagedFunctionPointer. []
  -wsgct, --with-suppressgctransition <with-suppressgctransition>  Add the SuppressGCTransition calling convention to a given DllImport or UnmanagedFunctionPointer. []
  -wts, --with-transparent-struct <with-transparent-struct>  A remapped type name to be treated as a transparent wrapper during binding generation. []
  -wt, --with-type <with-type>                               A type to be used for the given enum declaration during binding generation. []
  -wu, --with-using <with-using>                             A using directive to be included for the given remapped declaration name during binding generation. []
  -?, -h, --help                                             Show help and usage information

The available configuration options (visible with -c help) are:

--config, -c    A configuration option that controls how the bindings are generated. Specify 'help' to see the available options.

Options:
  ?, h, help                             Show help and usage information for -c, --config
  compatible-codegen                     Bindings should be generated with .NET Standard 2.0 compatibility. Setting this disables preview code generation.
  latest-codegen                         Bindings should be generated for the latest stable version of .NET/C#. This is currently .NET 6/C# 10.
  preview-codegen                        Bindings should be generated for the latest preview version of .NET/C#. This is currently .NET 7/C# 11.
  single-file                            Bindings should be generated to a single output file. This is the default.
  multi-file                             Bindings should be generated so there is approximately one type per file.
  unix-types                             Bindings should be generated assuming Unix defaults. This is the default on Unix platforms.
  windows-types                          Bindings should be generated assuming Windows defaults. This is the default on Windows platforms.
  exclude-anonymous-field-helpers        The helper ref properties generated for fields in nested anonymous structs and unions should not be generated.
  exclude-com-proxies                    Types recognized as COM proxies should not have bindings generated. Thes are currently function declarations ending with _UserFree, _UserMarshal, _UserSize, _UserUnmarshal, _Proxy, or _Stub.
  exclude-default-remappings             Default remappings for well known types should not be added. This currently includes intptr_t, ptrdiff_t, size_t, and uintptr_t
  exclude-empty-records                  Bindings for records that contain no members should not be generated. These are commonly encountered for opaque handle like types such as HWND.
  exclude-enum-operators                 Bindings for operators over enum types should not be generated. These are largely unnecessary in C# as the operators are available by default.
  exclude-fnptr-codegen                  Generated bindings for latest or preview codegen should not use function pointers.
  exclude-funcs-with-body                Bindings for functions with bodies should not be generated.
  exclude-using-statics-for-enums        Enum usages should be fully qualified and should not include a corresponding 'using static EnumName;'
  explicit-vtbls                         VTBLs should have an explicit type generated with named fields per entry.
  implicit-vtbls                         VTBLs should be implicit to reduce metadata bloat. This is the current default
  trimmable-vtbls                        VTBLs should be defined but not used in helper methods to reduce metadata bloat when trimming.
  generate-tests-nunit                   Basic tests validating size, blittability, and associated metadata should be generated for NUnit.
  generate-tests-xunit                   Basic tests validating size, blittability, and associated metadata should be generated for XUnit.
  generate-aggressive-inlining           [MethodImpl(MethodImplOptions.AggressiveInlining)] should be added to generated helper functions.
  generate-cpp-attributes                [CppAttributeList("")] should be generated to document the encountered C++ attributes.
  generate-doc-includes                  &lt;include&gt; xml documentation tags should be generated for declarations.
  generate-file-scoped-namespaces        Namespaces should be scoped to the file to reduce nesting.
  generate-guid-member                   Types with an associated GUID should have a corresponding member generated.
  generate-helper-types                  Code files should be generated for various helper attributes and declared transparent structs.
  generate-macro-bindings                Bindings for macro-definitions should be generated. This currently only works with value like macros and not function-like ones.
  generate-marker-interfaces             Bindings for marker interfaces representing native inheritance hierarchies should be generated.
  generate-native-inheritance-attribute  [NativeInheritance("")] attribute should be generated to document the encountered C++ base type.
  generate-setslastsystemerror-attribute [SetsLastSystemError] attribute should be generated rather than using SetLastError = true.
  generate-template-bindings             Bindings for template-definitions should be generated. This is currently experimental.
  generate-unmanaged-constants           Unmanaged constants should be generated using static ref readonly properties. This is currently experimental.
  generate-vtbl-index-attribute          [VtblIndex(#)] attribute should be generated to document the underlying VTBL index for a helper method.
  log-exclusions                         A list of excluded declaration types should be generated. This will also log if the exclusion was due to an exact or partial match.
  log-potential-typedef-remappings       A list of potential typedef remappings should be generated. This can help identify missing remappings.
  log-visited-files                      A list of the visited files should be generated. This can help identify traversal issues.

Using locally built versions

After you build local version, you can use executable from build location.

artifacts/bin/sources/ClangSharpPInvokeGenerator/Debug/net6.0/ClangSharpPInvokeGenerator

If you are on Linux

LD_LIBRARY_PATH=$(pwd)/artifacts/bin/native/lib/
artifacts/bin/sources/ClangSharpPInvokeGenerator/Debug/net6.0/ClangSharpPInvokeGenerator

Spotlight

The P/Invoke Generator is currently used by several projects: