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This is an experimental (unstable!) buildpack which installs Google Protobuf.


# Use the multi buildpack
$ heroku config:set BUILDPACK_URL=
$ cat .buildpacks

If your app needs a Protobuf installation at runtime (e.g. for node-protobuf):

# This will install Protobuf with a prefix /app/.heroku/vendor
$ heroku config:set VENDOR_PROTOBUF=1
# For node-protobuf you currently also need to set:
$ heroku config:set LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/app/.heroku/vendor/lib \

I am not sure whether VENDOR_PROTOBUF will work for anything except node-protobuf (e.g. the Python CPP implementation). Java and pure-Python, of course, don't need VENDOR_PROTOBUF.

If you need to configure this buildpack, e.g. setting VENDOR_PROTOBUF or PROTOBUF_TARBALL_URL, you must enable the user_env_compile feature for the app:

$ heroku labs:enable user_env_compile

Building your own protobuf

Protobuf is installed from a tarball downloaded, by default, from To change this URL, set PROTOBUF_TARBALL_URL. If-None-Match: <md5sum> is relied upon to avoid redownloading the tarball on every build (S3 supports this. Note that currently the tarball must be publicly available).

PROTOBUF_TARBALL_URL should point to a tarball built as follows, using vulcan:

tar xzf protobuf-2.4.1.tar.gz
cd protobuf-2.4.1
vulcan build -c 'mkdir -p /app/.heroku/vendor && ./configure --prefix=/app/.heroku/vendor && make && make install' -n protobuf-2.4.1 -p /app/.heroku/vendor