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Generate code to call C++ libraries from other languages
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FFIG - a Foreign Function Interface Generator.

This project uses libclang to read existing C++ class definitions and create equivalent classes in other languages (primarily Python for now) and binds them to the C++ implementation.

A Comparison of FFIG with SWIG

While similar to SWIG,, FFIG does not need an interface generation language to be used nor do the bindings it generates depend on any binary details of an interpreter. FFIG Python bindings will run on PyPy, Python2 and Python3 without requiring changes.

FFIG is in early development. We welcome feedback from users but would encourage anyone looking to generate language bindings to look at SWIG.

Setup (Linux)

You will need Python (2 or 3), ninja-build, cmake, and gcc (or clang).

You will need libclang >=5.0.

libclang can be installed from here:

If you use a package manager to install libclang you may need to set up a symlink so that the name exists.

Set LD_LIBRARY_PATH so that libclang can be found.

Setup (macOS)

Install Ninja build.

Install Xcode 9.3 or later. FFIG will use the version of libclang distributed with Xcode.

Setup (Windows)

Work in progress, minor issues expected.

Setup (Generic)

The following steps will need to be performed for all build platforms.


Tests use the 'catch' test framework:

To get the submodule run:

git submodule update --init

Package Dependencies

Python package dependencies can be installed with

pip[3] install -r requirements.txt

Ruby dependencies can be installed with

gem install ffi


The build uses cmake driven by a simple Python script. To build and run tests, run the following from the console:

./scripts/ -t [--python-path=$(which python3)]


Please raise github issues if code cannot be generated where expected or if generated code does not behave as expected.


Contributions are very welcome, please look at unassigned github issues or raise issues for suggested improvements.

Git Hooks

We have a Git pre-push hook, scripts/, which runs the code formatting checks (scripts/ and prevents a push happening if the code checks failed. This avoids a CI test cycle for simple formatting errors.

To install this git hook, you can run scripts/, which will link the script into your .git/hooks directory.


We've made considerable use of the following in putting this together:

Design of the python bindings is taken from clang's cindex.

Mistakes are our own.

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