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welcome to neuropil

Build instructions

Manual build

required installations


  • clang - our preferred C compiler (you can also use gcc)
  • libsodium - crypto library


  • criterion - test suite framework
  • python 3 - python runtime, version 3 is required
  • sphinx - python documentation building
  • scons - python build tool
  • ncurses - for the displays in the example programs

building the library and example programs

This example assumes that you have installed python 3 and recent version of scons. It is also possible to build our library without the scons by using the Makefile. As scons is our own main build tool, we describe the scons approach here.

clone the repository from (development version) or (mirror) with git.

cd into the folder and build the code with scons.

build in debug mode:

scons --DEBUG

build in release mode:

scons --RELEASE

build the documentation (sphinx installation required):

scons doc=1

build the tests (criterion installation required):

scons tests

clean the project:

scons -c

There is also a Makefile available, but some path infos are hard coded and need to be adapted to your environment. The Makefile is mainly used to run the llvm scan-build tooling for a static code analysis and for fuzzing the library.

The CMake files are a first initial draft and are able to build the library, but not the example programs.

No autoconf available until now, to be done.

building with Nix

Neuropil is available for the nix ecosystem which provides reproducible builds of the library and clean development environments.

This project comes as a nix flake but comes with wrappers for nix < 3.x.

It provides the following packages:

  • libneuropil
  • integration.luajit
  • integration.python
  • shell

Although this is probably not what you want to do (see next section), building the individual packages works as follows:

Command Description
nix build ./ Build library and header files
nix build ./#packages.x86_64-{darwin,linux}.neuropil_{python,luajit} builds python module or lua module respectively
nix develop or nix-shell -A devShell.x86_64-{darwin,linux} opens a shell with libneuropil on LDPATH and lua/python bindings available. Use this to build C sources manually (e.g. $CC examples/neuropil_sender.c -lneuropil)
nix shell ./#packages.x86_64-{darwin,linux}.libneuropil opens a shell with neuropil's dependencies available, allows the common workflow using scons --DEBUG and scons --RELEASE.

To open the shell/build the library without cloning the repository, using nix flakes replace ./ by git+<url to repo> or gitlab:pi-lar/neuropil for the latest branch.

importing from nix

In most cases though you will want to integrate neuropil into your project using nix. To make neuropil part of your application you can simply import the flake and add its overlay to your package set like this for example:

	// add rev=... to point to a specific version
	neuropil = import (fetchGit { url = ""; });
	pkgs = import nixpkgs { overlays = [neuropil.overlay]};
	python = pkgs.python3.withPackages (ps: with ps; [ neuropil_python <other python>])
in with pkgs; mkDerivarion {
	buildInputs = [libneuropil neuropil_luajit python <other deps>]

If your project is flake based just add this repo as input and import the overlay.

Python Module on Nix

Currently the cffi library on python 3.8 fails to parse a critical header file in the stddef. We therefore provide the library for python3.7 only until this is resolved.

directory structure

input directories:

  • src - c source code
  • examples - c source code for the example programs
  • test - c test source code
  • include - c header files
  • lib - used as a third party library directory
  • doc - sphinx documentation source files

output directories:

  • build - library, object files and documentation (each in a seperate environment)
  • bin - example executables and test suite

running the example programs

You can run the executables just as any executable, please have a look at the parameters of each program:

example 1: run the controller on port 1111

./build/neuropil/bin/neuropil_controller -b 1111

example 2: run a node on port 2222 and send a join message to another node:

./build/neuropil/bin/neuropil_node -b 2222 -j b3b680a867849efe5886a5db751392e9d3079779e3f3c240ed849c11f4ba7d4a:udp6:test.local:3141

example 3: run a node on port 2222 and send a wildcard join message to another node:

./build/neuropil/bin/neuropil_node -b 2222 -j *:udp6:test.local:3141

to run the test suites please us the parameter "-j1" to limit parallel execution. usually we use the following command:

./build/neuropil/bin/neuropil_test_suite --tap -j1

Licensing information

This project is available as open source under the terms of the Open Software License version 3.0. However, some files in e.g. ext_tools are licensed under BSD2 OR GPL-2.0-orlater and X11, so please for accurate information, check individual files.