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Building gRPC-Java

Building is only necessary if you are making changes to gRPC-Java or testing/using a non-released version (e.g. master HEAD) of gRPC-Java library.

Building requires JDK 8, as our tests use TLS.

grpc-java has a C++ code generation plugin for protoc. Since many Java developers don't have C compilers installed and don't need to run or modify the codegen, the build can skip it. To skip, create the file <project-root>/ and add skipCodegen=true.

Then, to build, run:

$ ./gradlew build

To install the artifacts to your Maven local repository for use in your own project, run:

$ ./gradlew publishToMavenLocal

Notes for IntelliJ

Building in IntelliJ works best when you import the project as a Gradle project and delegate IDE build/run actions to Gradle.

You can find this setting at:

      -> Build Tools -> Gradle -> Runner
      -> Delegate IDE build/run actions to gradle.

How to Build Code Generation Plugin

This section is only necessary if you are making changes to the code generation. Most users only need to use skipCodegen=true as discussed above.

Build Protobuf

The codegen plugin is C++ code and requires protobuf 3.0.0 or later.

For Linux, Mac and MinGW:

$ git clone
$ cd protobuf
$ git checkout v3.7.1
$ ./
$ ./configure --disable-shared
$ make
$ make check
$ sudo make install

If you are comfortable with C++ compilation and autotools, you can specify a --prefix for Protobuf and use -I in CXXFLAGS, -L in LDFLAGS to reference it. The environment variables will be used when building grpc-java.

Protobuf installs to /usr/local by default.

For Visual C++, please refer to the Protobuf README for how to compile Protobuf. gRPC-java assumes a Release build.

Linux and MinGW

If /usr/local/lib is not in your library search path, you can add it by running:

$ sudo sh -c 'echo /usr/local/lib >> /etc/'
$ sudo ldconfig


Some versions of Mac OS X (e.g., 10.10) doesn't have /usr/local in the default search paths for header files and libraries. It will fail the build of the codegen. To work around this, you will need to set environment variables:

$ export CXXFLAGS="-I/usr/local/include" LDFLAGS="-L/usr/local/lib"

Notes for Visual C++

When building on Windows and VC++, you need to specify project properties for Gradle to find protobuf:

.\gradlew publishToMavenLocal ^
    -PvcProtobufInclude=C:\path\to\protobuf-3.7.1\src ^
    -PvcProtobufLibs=C:\path\to\protobuf-3.7.1\vsprojects\Release ^

Since specifying those properties every build is bothersome, you can instead create <project-root>\ with contents like:


By default, the build script will build the codegen for the same architecture as the Java runtime installed on your system. If you are using 64-bit JVM, the codegen will be compiled for 64-bit. Since Protobuf is only built for 32-bit by default, the targetArch=x86_32 is necessary.

Notes for MinGW on Windows

If you have both MinGW and VC++ installed on Windows, VC++ will be used by default. To override this default and use MinGW, add -PvcDisable=true to your Gradle command line or add vcDisable=true to your <project-root>\

Notes for Unsupported Operating Systems

The build script pulls pre-compiled protoc from Maven Central by default. We have built protoc binaries for popular systems, but they may not work for your system. If protoc cannot be downloaded or would not run, you can use the one that has been built by your own, by adding this property to <project-root>/

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