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tlm - Top-level Makefile

What's this, then? The tlm project contains the make information for building Couchbase on multiple platforms.

Table of Contents


The file named CMakeLists.txt contains the full build description for Couchbase. It should be copied to the top of your source directory (this happens automatically when you are using repo).

The cmake directory contains macros used by cmake to configure a build of Couchbase.

Makefile is a convenience file that repo will put in the root of your source directory. It invokes cmake with a specific set of options. "All" flavors of make should be able to parse this makefile, and its defaults are set to match building on Microsoft Windows.

GNUmakefile is another convenience file that repo will put in the root of your source directory. GNU make will favor this file over Makefile and this file just overrides the defaults specified in Makefile.

How to build

Couchbase utilizes CMake in order to provide build support for a wide range of platforms. CMake isn't a build system like GNU Autotools, but a tool that generates build information for external systems like: Visual Studio projects, XCode projects and Makefiles to name a few. Their good support for Microsoft Windows and Makefiles is the primary reason why we decided to move away from GNU Autotools. CMake isn't a magic pill that solves all our problems; it comes with its own list of challenges.

It is recommended to perform "out of source builds", which means that the build artifacts is stored outside the source directory.

Simple build

If you just want to build Couchbase and without any special configuration, you may use the Makefile we've supplied for your convenience:

trond@ok > mkdir source
trond@ok > cd source
trond@ok source> repo init -u git:// -m branch-master.xml
trond@ok source> repo sync
trond@ok source> make

This would install the build software in a subdirectory named install. To change this you may run:

trond@ok source> make PREFIX=/opt/couchbase

Customize your builds

CMake offers a wide range of customizations, and this chapter won't try to cover all of them. There is plenty of documentation available on the webpage.

There is no point of trying to keep a list of all tunables in this document. To find the tunables you have two options: look in cmake/Modules/*.cmake or you may look in the cache file generated during a normal build (see build/CMakeCache.txt)

There are two ways to customize your own builds. You can do it all by yourself by invoking cmake yourself:

trond@ok > mkdir source
trond@ok > mkdir build
trond@ok > cd source
trond@ok source> repo init -u git:// -m branch-master.xml
trond@ok source> repo sync
trond@ok source> cd ../build
trond@ok build> cmake -D CMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=/opt/couchbase -D CMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Debug -D DTRACE_FOUND:BOOL=True -D DTRACE:FILEPATH=/usr/sbin/dtrace CMAKE_PREFIX_PATH="/opt/r14b04;/opt/couchbase"
trond@ok build> gmake all install

Or pass extra options to the convenience Makefile provided:

trond@ok > mkdir source
trond@ok > mkdir build
trond@ok > cd source
trond@ok source> repo init -u git:// -m branch-master.xml
trond@ok source> repo sync
trond@ok source> make PREFIX=/opt/couchbase CMAKE_PREFIX_PATH="/opt/r14b04;/opt/couchbase" EXTRA_CMAKE_OPTIONS='-D DTRACE_FOUND:BOOL=True -D DTRACE:FILEPATH=/usr/sbin/dtrace'

Use CMAKE_PREFIX_PATH to specify a "list" of directories to search for tools/libraries if they are stored in "non-standard" locations. Ex:


Microsoft Windows 2008R2

The following steps are needed to build Couchbase on Microsoft Windows 2008R2:

  • Install OS, activate and run Windows Update and install all updates
  • Install Google Chrome (optional, but makes your life easier)
  • Install Visual Studio 2013 Professional
  • Install all updates from microsoft update
  • Install GIT and select the option to add GIT to path
  • Install Python 2.7 and add c:\python27 to path (manually)
  • Install 7-ZIP and add the installation to path (manually)
  • Install CMake and add to path
  • Install [MinGW][mingw_link] and add to path
  • Download and install 2008 runtime extensions

Note: Significant portions of Couchbase Server are written in Go. Go itself is automatically downloaded as part of the build, but Go requires gcc (and not Visual Studio) in order to interface with C libraries. Our builds are tested with MinGW 4.8.3.



Repo will complain if git isn't properly configured. Setting name and email should be sufficient, but you also may at least want to set the two additional settings suggested:

C:\> git config --global
C:\> git config --global "Trond Norbye"
C:\> git config --global color.ui false
C:\> git config --global core.autocrlf true

How to build

Before you may start to build on Microsoft Windows you have to set up the environment. The script environment.bat is located in the win32 directory.

Open and type in the following (assuming c:\compile\couchbase is the directory holding your source):

C:\> set source_root=c:\compile\couchbase
C:\> set target_arch=amd64
C:\> environment

You may now follow the build description outlined in How to build. Please note that the make utility on windows is named nmake.


Multiple versions of Mac OSX may work, but this list is verified with El Capitan

Install the following packages from homebrew:

trond@ok> brew install cmake git ccache

You should be all set to start compile the server as described above.

Ubuntu 14.04

The steps below may work on other versions of Ubuntu as well, but this procedure is verified with a clean installation of Ubuntu 14.04.1

sudo su -
chmod a+x repo
mv repo /usr/local/bin
apt-get install -y git gcc g++ ccache cmake libssl-dev

Fedora 21

The steps below may work on other versions of Fedora as well, but this procedure is verified with a clean installation of Fedora 21

sudo su -
chmod a+x repo
mv repo /usr/local/bin
yum install -y gcc gcc-c++ git cmake ccache redhat-lsb-core \


I tested this on a clean install of OpenSUSE 13.2 by choosing the defaults during the installer except choosing gnome desktop and enable ssh access.

sudo zypper install gcc gcc-c++ autoconf automake ncurses-devel \
                    git ccache libopenssl-devel cmake

Open a new terminal to ensure you get an updated environment (the package install modifies some of the environement variables)

curl > ~/bin/repo
chmod a+x ~/bin/repo
sudo mkdir /opt/couchbase
sudo chown `whoami` /opt/couchbase
mkdir -p compile/couchbase
cd compile/couchbase
repo init -u git:// -m branch-master.xml -g default,build
repo sync
repo start opensuse --all
mkdir cbdeps && cd cbdeps
export CB_DOWNLOAD_DEPS_CACHE=`pwd`/output
export CB_DOWNLOAD_DEPS_MANIFEST=`pwd`/output/manifest.cmake
unset GOBIN
cd ..
gmake PREFIX=/opt/couchbase

Note: Unfortunately the script mentioned above is likely out of date for Couchbase Server builds later than 4.1.

You should be able to start the server by running

/opt/couchbase/bin/couchbase-server start

Static Analysis

There are pre-canned build rules to allow you to run the Clang Static Analyzer against the Couchbase codebase.

So far this has only been tested on OS X, using Clang shipping as part of OS X Developer Tools. It should be possible to also run on other platforms which Clang/LLVM is available, however this isn't tested.


  • Install clang (from OS X Developer Tools). If you can build from source you should already have this :)
  • Download and extract clang Static Analyzer tools (from Note that while the actual analyzer functionality is built into clang, this is needed for scan-build and scan-view tools to invoke and display the analyser results.


  • Add scan-build and scan-view to your path:

     export PATH=$PATH:/path/to/scan-build
  • Run make analyze at the top-level to configure clang-analyser as the 'compiler':

     make analyze
  • At the end you will see a message similar to the following - Invoke the specified command to browse the found bugs:

     scan-build: 31 bugs found.
     scan-build: Run 'scan-view /source/build-analyzer/analyser-results/2014-06-05-173247-52416-1' to examine bug reports.

Thread Sanitizer and Address Sanitizer

There are pre-canned build rules to allow you to build with ThreadSanitizer, to detect threading issues; or AddressSanitizer, to detect memory errors.


  • A compiler which supports ThreadSanitizer / AddressSanitizer. Recent version of Clang (3.2+) or GCC (4.8+) are claimed to work, however only Clang (3.5+) has been tested.


  • Ensure that the compiler supporting Thread/Address Sanitizer is chosen by CMake. If it's the system default compiler there is nothing to do; otherwise you will need to set both CC and CXX environment variables to point to the C / C++ compiler before calling the build system.


ThreadSanitizer one liner for a Ubuntu-based system where Clang isn't the default system compiler:


and for AddressSanitizer:

  • Run one or more tests. Any issues will be reported (to stderr by default).

Customizing ThreadSanitizer / AddressSanitizer

See cmake/Modules/CouchbaseThreadSanitizer.cmake CMake fragment for how ThreadSanizer is configured.

See the TSAN_OPTIONS environment variable (documented on the ThreadSanitizer Flags wiki page) for more information on configuring.

Similarly for AddressSanitizer see cmake/Modules/CouchbaseAddressSanitizer.cmake, and the ASAN_OPTIONS environment variable (documented on the AddressSanitizer Flags wiki page) for details..