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Pistache is a modern and elegant HTTP and REST framework for C++. It is entirely written in pure-C++17* and provides a clear and pleasant API.


We are still looking for a volunteer to document fully the API. In the mean time, partial documentation is available at If you are interested in helping with this, please open an issue ticket.

A benchmark comparison of Pistache to other C++ RESTful APIs was created by guteksan and is available here.

Articles, Tutorials & Videos


Pistache has the following third party dependencies


Pistache is released under the Apache License 2.0. Contributors are welcome!

Pistache was originally created by Mathieu Stefani (@octal). He continues to contribute to the maintainence and development of Pistache, supported by a team of volunteers. The maintainers can be reached in #pistache on Libera.Chat (ircs:// Please come and join us!

The Launchpad Team administers the daily and stable Ubuntu pre-compiled packages.


The version of the library's public interface (ABI) is not the same as the release version, but we choose to always guarantee that the major release version and the soname version will match. The interface version is primarily associated with the external interface of the library. Different platforms handle this differently, such as AIX, GNU/Linux, and Solaris.

GNU Libtool abstracts each platform's idiosyncrasies away because it is more portable than using ar(1) or ranlib(1) directly. However, it is not supported in Meson so we made do without it by setting the SONAME directly.

When Pistache is installed it will normally ship:

  • This is the actual shared-library binary file. The X, Y and Z values are the major, minor and patch interface versions respectively.

  • This is the soname soft link that points to the binary file. It is what other programs and other libraries reference internally. You should never need to directly reference this file in your build environment.

  • This is the linker name entry. This is also a soft link that refers to the soname with the highest major interface version. This linker name is what is referred to on the linker command line.

  • libpistache.a: This is the static archive form of the library. Since when using a static library all of its symbols are normally resolved before runtime, an interface version in the filename is unnecessary.

If your contribution has modified the interface, you may need to update the major or minor interface versions. Otherwise user applications and build environments will eventually break. This is because they will attempt to link against an incorrect version of the library -- or worse, link correctly but with undefined runtime behaviour.

The major version should be incremented when you make incompatible API or ABI changes. The minor version should be incremented when you add functionality in a backwards compatible manner. The patch version should be incremented when you make backwards compatible bug fixes. This can be done by modifying version.txt accordingly. Also remember to always update the commit date in the aformentioned file.

Precompiled Packages

If you have no need to modify the Pistache source, you are strongly recommended to use precompiled packages for your distribution. This will save you time.

Debian and Ubuntu

Pistache is available in the official repositories since Debian 12 and Ubuntu 23.10, under the package name libpistache-dev.

Supported Architectures

Currently Pistache is built and tested on a number of architectures. Some of these are suitable for desktop or server use and others for embedded environments. As of this writing we do not currently have any MIPS related packages that have been either built or tested.

  • amd64
  • arm64
  • armhf
  • i386
  • ppc64el
  • riscv64
  • s390x

Ubuntu PPA (Unstable)

The project builds daily unstable snapshots in a separate unstable PPA. To use it, run the following:

$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:pistache+team/unstable
$ sudo apt update
$ sudo apt install libpistache-dev

Ubuntu PPA (Stable)

Currently there are no stable release of Pistache published into the stable PPA. However, when that time comes, run the following to install a stable package:

$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:pistache+team/stable
$ sudo apt update
$ sudo apt install libpistache-dev

Other Distributions

Package maintainers, please insert instructions for users to install pre-compiled packages from your respective repositories here.

Use via pkg-config

If you would like to automatically have your project's build environment use the appropriate compiler and linker build flags, pkg-config can greatly simplify things. It is the portable international de facto standard for determining build flags. The development packages include a pkg-config manifest.

GNU Autotools

To use with the GNU Autotools, as an example, include the following snippet in your project's

# Pistache...
    [libpistache], [libpistache >= 0.0.2], [],
    [AC_MSG_ERROR([libpistache >= 0.0.2 missing...])])


To use with Meson, you just need to add dependency('libpistache') as a dependency for your executable.

    meson_version: '>=0.55.0'

    sources: 'main.cpp',
    dependencies: dependency('libpistache')

If you want to build the library from source in case the dependency is not found on the system, you can add this repository as a submodule in the subprojects directory of your project, and edit the dependency() call as follows:

dependency('libpistache', fallback: 'pistache')

If you're using a Meson version older than 0.55.0 you'll have to use the "older" syntax for dependency():

dependency('libpistache', fallback: ['pistache', 'pistache_dep'])

Lastly, if you'd like to build the fallback as a static library you can specify it with the default_options keyword:

dependency('libpistache', fallback: 'pistache', default_options: 'default_library=static')


To use with a CMake build environment, use the FindPkgConfig module. Here is an example:

cmake_minimum_required(VERSION 3.6)

pkg_check_modules(Pistache REQUIRED IMPORTED_TARGET libpistache)

add_executable(${PROJECT_NAME} main.cpp)
target_link_libraries(${PROJECT_NAME} PkgConfig::Pistache)


To use within a vanilla makefile, you can call pkg-config directly to supply compiler and linker flags using shell substitution.

CFLAGS=-g3 -Wall -Wextra -Werror ...
LDFLAGS=-lfoo ...
CFLAGS+= $(pkg-config --cflags libpistache)
LDFLAGS+= $(pkg-config --libs libpistache)

Building from source

To download the latest available release, clone the repository over GitHub.

$ git clone

Now, compile the sources:

$ cd pistache
$ meson setup build                                 \
    --buildtype=release                             \
    -DPISTACHE_USE_SSL=true                         \
    -DPISTACHE_BUILD_EXAMPLES=true                  \
    -DPISTACHE_BUILD_TESTS=true                     \
    -DPISTACHE_BUILD_DOCS=false                     \
$ meson compile -C build
$ meson install -C build

Optionally, you can also run the tests. You can skip tests requiring network access with --no-suite=network:

$ meson test -C build

Be patient, async_test can take some time before completing. And that's it, now you can start playing with your newly installed Pistache framework.

Some other Meson options:

Option Default Description
PISTACHE_USE_SSL False Build server with SSL support
PISTACHE_BUILD_TESTS False Build all of the unit tests
PISTACHE_BUILD_EXAMPLES False Build all of the example apps
PISTACHE_BUILD_DOCS False Build Doxygen docs
PISTACHE_USE_CONTENT_ENCODING_BROTLI False Build with Brotli content encoding support
PISTACHE_USE_CONTENT_ENCODING_DEFLATE False Build with deflate content encoding support


Hello World (server)

#include <pistache/endpoint.h>

using namespace Pistache;

struct HelloHandler : public Http::Handler {
  void onRequest(const Http::Request&, Http::ResponseWriter writer) override {
    writer.send(Http::Code::Ok, "Hello, World!");

int main() {


Project status

Pistache hasn't yet hit the 1.0 release. This means that the project is unstable but not unusable. In fact, most of the code is production ready; you can use Pistache to develop a RESTful API without issues, but the HTTP client has a few issues in it that make it buggy.

* While most code uses modern C++, Pistache makes use of some Linux-specific APIs where the standard library doesn't provide alternatives, and works only on that OS. See #6 for details. If you know how to help, please contribute a PR to add support for your desired platform :)