Skip to content


Subversion checkout URL

You can clone with
Download ZIP
Protocol Buffers - Google's data interchange format
C++ Java Objective-C C# Python Protocol Buffer Other
Latest commit d3cb5f4 @xfxyjwf xfxyjwf Merge pull request #1007 from dlh3/patch-1
Fix minor typo in LazyField javadoc
Failed to load latest commit information.
benchmarks More cleanup, based around searches for "Google.ProtocolBuffers"
cmake Rename "umbrella" to "reflection" consistently.
conformance Set the stream limit to the length of the data.
csharp Generated code changes for previous commit (basically InternalBuildGe…
editors down-integrate internal changes
examples rename persons to people
java Fix typo in LazyField javadoc
javanano Update version number.
m4 Add support for solaris atomicops
more_tests Add makefile for extended tests to be run before release.
objectivec Update GPBProtocolBuffers.h
protoc-artifacts Update version number.
python Pass $CC environment variable through tox.
ruby A very small fix to silence some warnings.
src Adds support for buliding protobuf with emscripten; we just needed th…
.gitignore Add support for the conformance test for objc when run on OS X
.travis.yml Add ObjC build to travis setup
BUILD Merge pull request #989 from jskeet/rename-umbrella
CHANGES.txt Update change log for beta-1.
CONTRIBUTORS.txt Add nano proto authors and update LICENSE file to include
INSTALL.txt Initial commit of C# code developed before installing Git.
LICENSE Add support for POWER Linux Merge pull request #944 from jskeet/umbrella-classname
Protobuf.podspec Fix Podspec version number Down-integrate from internal code base.
WORKSPACE fix six package path.
appveyor.bat Improved SHARED build from CMake project
appveyor.yml Revert unwanted changes. Add support for arguments. Add support for the conformance test for objc when run on OS X Update objc script in
gmock.BUILD Enable tests for bazel build. Update Uncomment conflict fields from pkg-config files.
protobuf.bzl Build protoc for host platform to enable cross-compilation. Uncomment conflict fields from pkg-config files.
six.BUILD fix six package path. Add support for the conformance test for objc when run on OS X Fix bugs on windows

Protocol Buffers - Google's data interchange format

Build Status Build status

Copyright 2008 Google Inc.

C++ Installation - Unix

If you get the source from github, you need to generate the configure script first:

$ ./

This will download gmock source (which is used for C++ Protocol Buffer unit-tests) to the current directory and run automake, autoconf, etc. to generate the configure script and various template makefiles.

You can skip this step if you are using a release package (which already contains gmock and the configure script).

To build and install the C++ Protocol Buffer runtime and the Protocol Buffer compiler (protoc) execute the following:

$ ./configure
$ make
$ make check
$ make install

If "make check" fails, you can still install, but it is likely that some features of this library will not work correctly on your system. Proceed at your own risk.

"make install" may require superuser privileges.

For advanced usage information on configure and make, see INSTALL.txt.

Hint on install location

By default, the package will be installed to /usr/local. However, on many platforms, /usr/local/lib is not part of LD_LIBRARY_PATH. You can add it, but it may be easier to just install to /usr instead. To do this, invoke configure as follows:

./configure --prefix=/usr

If you already built the package with a different prefix, make sure to run "make clean" before building again.

Compiling dependent packages

To compile a package that uses Protocol Buffers, you need to pass various flags to your compiler and linker. As of version 2.2.0, Protocol Buffers integrates with pkg-config to manage this. If you have pkg-config installed, then you can invoke it to get a list of flags like so:

pkg-config --cflags protobuf         # print compiler flags
pkg-config --libs protobuf           # print linker flags
pkg-config --cflags --libs protobuf  # print both

For example:

c++ `pkg-config --cflags --libs protobuf`

Note that packages written prior to the 2.2.0 release of Protocol Buffers may not yet integrate with pkg-config to get flags, and may not pass the correct set of flags to correctly link against libprotobuf. If the package in question uses autoconf, you can often fix the problem by invoking its configure script like:

configure CXXFLAGS="$(pkg-config --cflags protobuf)" \
          LIBS="$(pkg-config --libs protobuf)"

This will force it to use the correct flags.

If you are writing an autoconf-based package that uses Protocol Buffers, you should probably use the PKG_CHECK_MODULES macro in your configure script like:

PKG_CHECK_MODULES([protobuf], [protobuf])

See the pkg-config man page for more info.

If you only want protobuf-lite, substitute "protobuf-lite" in place of "protobuf" in these examples.

Note for Mac users

For a Mac system, Unix tools are not available by default. You will first need to install Xcode from the Mac AppStore and then run the following command from a terminal:

$ sudo xcode-select --install

To install Unix tools, you can install "port" following the instructions at . This will reside in /opt/local/bin/port for most Mac installations.

$ sudo /opt/local/bin/port install autoconf automake libtool

Then follow the Unix instructions above.

Note for cross-compiling

The makefiles normally invoke the protoc executable that they just built in order to build tests. When cross-compiling, the protoc executable may not be executable on the host machine. In this case, you must build a copy of protoc for the host machine first, then use the --with-protoc option to tell configure to use it instead. For example:

./configure --with-protoc=protoc

This will use the installed protoc (found in your $PATH) instead of trying to execute the one built during the build process. You can also use an executable that hasn't been installed. For example, if you built the protobuf package for your host machine in ../host, you might do:

./configure --with-protoc=../host/src/protoc

Either way, you must make sure that the protoc executable you use has the same version as the protobuf source code you are trying to use it with.

Note for Solaris users

Solaris 10 x86 has a bug that will make linking fail, complaining about being invalid. We have included a work-around in this package. To use the work-around, run configure as follows:

./configure LDFLAGS=-L$PWD/src/solaris

See src/solaris/ for more info on this bug.

Note for HP C++ Tru64 users

To compile invoke configure as follows:

./configure CXXFLAGS="-O -std ansi -ieee -D__USE_STD_IOSTREAM"

Also, you will need to use gmake instead of make.

Note for AIX users

Compile using the IBM xlC C++ compiler as follows:

./configure CXX=xlC

Also, you will need to use GNU make (gmake) instead of AIX make.

C++ Installation - Windows

If you are using Microsoft Visual C++, see cmake/

If you are using Cygwin or MinGW, follow the Unix installation instructions, above.

Binary Compatibility Warning

Due to the nature of C++, it is unlikely that any two versions of the Protocol Buffers C++ runtime libraries will have compatible ABIs. That is, if you linked an executable against an older version of libprotobuf, it is unlikely to work with a newer version without re-compiling. This problem, when it occurs, will normally be detected immediately on startup of your app. Still, you may want to consider using static linkage. You can configure this package to install static libraries only using:

./configure --disable-shared

Java and Python Installation

The Java and Python runtime libraries for Protocol Buffers are located in the java and python directories. See the README file in each directory for more information on how to compile and install them. Note that both of them require you to first install the Protocol Buffer compiler (protoc), which is part of the C++ package.


The complete documentation for Protocol Buffers is available via the web at:
Something went wrong with that request. Please try again.