Node.js native addon build tool
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Latest commit f6eab1f Jun 29, 2016 @felixrieseberg felixrieseberg committed with joaocgreis doc: add windows-build-tools to readme
Added Microsoft's [windows-build-tools](https://github.com/felixrieseberg/windows-build-tools) to the readme.

PR-URL: #970
Reviewed-By: João Reis <reis@janeasystems.com>

README.md

node-gyp

Node.js native addon build tool

node-gyp is a cross-platform command-line tool written in Node.js for compiling native addon modules for Node.js. It bundles the gyp project used by the Chromium team and takes away the pain of dealing with the various differences in build platforms. It is the replacement to the node-waf program which is removed for node v0.8. If you have a native addon for node that still has a wscript file, then you should definitely add a binding.gyp file to support the latest versions of node.

Multiple target versions of node are supported (i.e. 0.8, ..., 4, 5, 6, etc.), regardless of what version of node is actually installed on your system (node-gyp downloads the necessary development files or headers for the target version).

Features:

  • Easy to use, consistent interface
  • Same commands to build your module on every platform
  • Supports multiple target versions of Node

Installation

You can install with npm:

$ npm install -g node-gyp

You will also need to install:

  • On Unix:
    • python (v2.7 recommended, v3.x.x is not supported)
    • make
    • A proper C/C++ compiler toolchain, like GCC
  • On Mac OS X:
    • python (v2.7 recommended, v3.x.x is not supported) (already installed on Mac OS X)
    • Xcode
      • You also need to install the Command Line Tools via Xcode. You can find this under the menu Xcode -> Preferences -> Downloads
      • This step will install gcc and the related toolchain containing make
  • On Windows:

    • Option 1: Install all the required tools and configurations using Microsoft's windows-build-tools using npm install --global --production windows-build-tools from an elevated PowerShell or CMD.exe (run as Administrator).
    • Option 2: Install tools and configuration manually:

      • Visual C++ Build Environment:

        • Option 1: Install Visual C++ Build Tools using the Default Install option.

        • Option 2: Install Visual Studio 2015 (or modify an existing installation) and select Common Tools for Visual C++ during setup. This also works with the free Community and Express for Desktop editions.

        💡 [Windows Vista / 7 only] requires .NET Framework 4.5.1

      • Install Python 2.7 (v3.x.x is not supported), and run npm config set python python2.7 (or see below for further instructions on specifying the proper Python version and path.)

      • Launch cmd, npm config set msvs_version 2015

    If the above steps didn't work for you, please visit Microsoft's Node.js Guidelines for Windows for additional tips.

If you have multiple Python versions installed, you can identify which Python version node-gyp uses by setting the '--python' variable:

$ node-gyp --python /path/to/python2.7

If node-gyp is called by way of npm and you have multiple versions of Python installed, then you can set npm's 'python' config key to the appropriate value:

$ npm config set python /path/to/executable/python2.7

Note that OS X is just a flavour of Unix and so needs python, make, and C/C++. An easy way to obtain these is to install XCode from Apple, and then use it to install the command line tools (under Preferences -> Downloads).

How to Use

To compile your native addon, first go to its root directory:

$ cd my_node_addon

The next step is to generate the appropriate project build files for the current platform. Use configure for that:

$ node-gyp configure

Note: The configure step looks for the binding.gyp file in the current directory to process. See below for instructions on creating the binding.gyp file.

Now you will have either a Makefile (on Unix platforms) or a vcxproj file (on Windows) in the build/ directory. Next invoke the build command:

$ node-gyp build

Now you have your compiled .node bindings file! The compiled bindings end up in build/Debug/ or build/Release/, depending on the build mode. At this point you can require the .node file with Node and run your tests!

Note: To create a Debug build of the bindings file, pass the --debug (or -d) switch when running either the configure, build or rebuild command.

The "binding.gyp" file

Previously when node had node-waf you had to write a wscript file. The replacement for that is the binding.gyp file, which describes the configuration to build your module in a JSON-like format. This file gets placed in the root of your package, alongside the package.json file.

A barebones gyp file appropriate for building a node addon looks like:

{
  "targets": [
    {
      "target_name": "binding",
      "sources": [ "src/binding.cc" ]
    }
  ]
}

Some additional resources for addons and writing gyp files:

Commands

node-gyp responds to the following commands:

Command Description
help Shows the help dialog
build Invokes make/msbuild.exe and builds the native addon
clean Removes the build directory if it exists
configure Generates project build files for the current platform
rebuild Runs clean, configure and build all in a row
install Installs node header files for the given version
list Lists the currently installed node header versions
remove Removes the node header files for the given version

Command Options

node-gyp accepts the following command options:

Command Description
-j n, --jobs n Run make in parallel
--target=v6.2.1 Node version to build for (default=process.version)
--silly, --loglevel=silly Log all progress to console
--verbose, --loglevel=verbose Log most progress to console
--silent, --loglevel=silent Don't log anything to console
debug, --debug Make Debug build (default=Release)
--release, --no-debug Make Release build
-C $dir, --directory=$dir Run command in different directory
--make=$make Override make command (e.g. gmake)
--thin=yes Enable thin static libraries
--arch=$arch Set target architecture (e.g. ia32)
--tarball=$path Get headers from a local tarball
--ensure Don't reinstall headers if already present
--dist-url=$url Download header tarball from custom URL
--proxy=$url Set HTTP proxy for downloading header tarball
--cafile=$cafile Override default CA chain (to download tarball)
--nodedir=$path Set the path to the node binary
--python=$path Set path to the python (2) binary
--msvs_version=$version Set Visual Studio version (win)
--solution=$solution Set Visual Studio Solution version (win)

License

(The MIT License)

Copyright (c) 2012 Nathan Rajlich <nathan@tootallnate.net>

Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the 'Software'), to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:

The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.

THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED 'AS IS', WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE.