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A C++11 Utility Library
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Eric Fiselier
Latest commit e145c2e May 18, 2015


elib is a personal C++ library and an excuse to learn/practice more parts of C++. It can be found at The homepage for elib is

Warning: This file is updated very infrequently. Last updated on 2014-06-17.

Note: elib uses git submodules! If this is a new working directory, please run git submodule update --init.

Getting Started

The get and build Elib run the following commands:

git clone
cd elib
git submodule update --init
make configure
make elib

After building Elib it is recommended that you run the testsuite. You can do so using:

make check

If do not have python or would rather use the CTest testsuite you can use:

make check-ctest

Platform Support

Elib currently only supports Linux, OS X, and Cygwin.

Most libraries will build on Windows (See Library Summary for specifics); however, the build system has no support for MSVC.

Compiler Support.

Elib supports the following compiler/library configurations:

  • GCC 4.8
  • GCC 4.9
  • Clang 3.4 (with/without libc++)
  • Clang 3.5 trunk (with/without libc++)
  • GCC 4.8.3 (Cygwin)

Note: A non-trivial but easy to make workaround is required to compile elib in Cygwin. It requires editing <cstdio> so that it provides std::vsnprintf in C++11 mode.

Library Summary

Core Library

  • Any: A variant container. It provides an implementation of the std::any proposal.

  • Aux: (Header only) Miscellaneous functionality that is frequently needed. It includes:

    • forward, move, declval
    • integral_constant, true_, false_, int_, size_type
    • not_, and_, or_, if_, enable_if
    • a type_traits implementation (C++11 or C++14)
    • invoke
  • Config: A compiler/library/platform configuration system.

  • Compressed Pair: A pair class that utilizes the empty base class optimization. It is very handy for storing allocators.

  • Fmt: A set of tools for formatting strings and printing.

  • Lexical Cast: Provides a lexical type-conversion function.

  • Optional: An implementation of the std::optional proposal.

  • Params: A set of meta-functions for working with C++ typelists.

  • Scope Guard: A utility library that provides the ability to invoke a function on scope exit.

Extended Libraries

  • Container: (Header only) Provides containers not found in the standard library. It currently includes:

    • flat_map
    • linear_flat_map
  • Enumeration: (Header only) Provides tools to deal with C++11 scoped enumerations, including checked casting, string casting, iteration, and non-default operators.

  • Except: (Header only) Similar to boost::exception; allows exceptions to store arbitrary data.

  • Filesystem: (No Windows support) An implementation of the C++14 filesystem library.

  • Iter: Utility library that provides creation and manipulation of iterators and views.

  • Logging: A basic message logging and formatting library, intended for use with log files.

  • Memory: Utility functions and classes for working with memory and allocators. It currently includes:

    • allocator_destructor: for destroying allocated memory that hasn't been initialized
    • make_unique: An implementation of the proposal for std::make_unique
  • MP: (Header only) A meta-programming library, generally using the same structure, file names, and interface as boost::mpl, which it draws inspiration from.

PP: Library of macros for working with the C++ preprocessor.


Web: (No windows support) Various network utilities, including a C++ socket class and HTTP parsing.


Note: Requirements marked with (Unit Testing Only) are only required to build the unit tests.

General requirements:

  • C++11 compiler (GCC >= 4.8.1)
  • Native library used by <mutex> header (pthread on Linux)
  • Python 3.x (Unit Testing Only)
  • CMake >= 2.8.8

Note: elib will compile with GCC 4.8.0 but some features have been disabled.

Requirements (library specific):

  • Filesystem:

    • POSIX-compatible compiler and execution environment
  • Web:

    • POSIX-compatible compiler and execution environment
    • Support for the <regex> header

Makefile Targets

  • configure: Run the CMake configuration. This only needs to be done once.

  • redep: Re-run partial configuration. Detects new source files.

  • all: Build libraries and unit tests.

  • clean: Clean build files.

  • distclean: Clean all generated files.

  • install: Install using the generated CMake buildsystem's target directory.

  • everything: A helper command. Equivalent to

    make distclean make configure make

  • check: Run the unit tests (using LIT).

  • test: Run the unit tests (using CTest).

  • valgrind-check: Run unit tests with valgrind.

  • scan-build: Run clang's scan-build over the build.

  • coverage: Generate code coverage data.

Makefile Options

These are the options currently supported by make configure. For example make BUILD=RELEASE configure.

  • ELIB_CMAKE_OPTIONS: This is a list of CMake build options. It is passed directly to CMake. This is useful when selecting what libraries to build.

  • BUILD: Configure the build type.

    • Values: DEBUG, RELEASE
    • Default: DEBUG
  • CXX1Y: Compile using the -std=c++1y flag.

    • Default: OFF
    • Note: c++1y support is experimental
  • PYTHON3: Use Python3 as the python interpreter.

    • Default: OFF
  • ALL_WARNINGS: Turn on all warnings for the compiler.

    • Default: ON
  • ASSERT_CONFIG: Make the config library fail to compile if it cannot deduce the compiler/library/platform information.

    • Default: OFF
  • ENABLE_EXPERIMENTAL: Build the experimental libraries.

    • Default: ON
  • UNIT_TESTS: Build the unit tests.

    • Default: ON

Select what parts to build and test (CMake Options)

  • ELIB_AUX: Build the utility library.

    • Default: ON
  • ELIB_CONFIG: Build configuration library.

    • Default: ON
  • ELIB_CONTAINER: Build containers library.

    • Default: ON
  • ELIB_ENUMERATION: Build enumeration library.

    • Default: ON
  • ELIB_EXCEPT: Build exception library.

    • Default: ON
  • ELIB_FILESYSTEM: Build the filesystem library.

    • Default: ON
  • ELIB_FUNCTIONAL: Build functional source.

    • Default: ON
  • ELIB_ITERATOR: Build iterator source.

    • Default: ON
  • ELIB_LOGGING: Build logging library.

    • Default: ON
  • ELIB_MEMORY: Build memory library.

    • Default: ON
  • ELIB_MP: Build the MPL.

    • Default: ON
  • ELIB_PREPROCESSOR: Build preprocessor library.

    • Default: ON
  • ELIB_WEB: Build web library.

    • Default: ON when compiling with GCC >= 4.8.3 or clang with libc++. Off otherwise.


Elib was written by Eric Fiselier.

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