Skip to content
Helper makefile for building Pure Data externals
Branch: master
Clone or download
Fetching latest commit…
Cannot retrieve the latest commit at this time.
Type Name Latest commit message Commit time
Failed to load latest commit information.
CHANGELOG.txt Bump version to 0.5.1 for several Windows fixes Mar 15, 2018
Makefile.pdlibbuilder Specify minimum OSX version 10.6 instead of 10.5 Mar 20, 2019 Add section 'versioning' in Oct 28, 2016 sed -e's| sed | set |' Feb 7, 2018


Helper makefile for Pure Data external libraries. Written by Katja Vetter March-June 2015 for the public domain. No warranties. Inspired by Hans Christoph Steiner's Makefile Template and Stephan Beal's ShakeNMake.

GNU make version >= 3.81 required.


  • defines build settings based on autodetected OS and architecture
  • defines rules to build Pd class- or lib executables from C or C++ sources
  • defines rules for libdir installation
  • defines convenience targets for developer and user
  • evaluates implicit dependencies for non-clean builds

basic usage

In your Makefile, define your Pd lib name and class files, and include Makefile.pdlibbuilder at the end of the Makefile. Like so:

  # Makefile for mylib = mylib

  class.sources = myclass1.c myclass2.c

  datafiles = myclass1-help.pd myclass2-help.pd README.txt LICENSE.txt

  include Makefile.pdlibbuilder

For files in class.sources it is assumed that class name == source file basename. The default target builds all classes as individual executables with Pd's default extension for the platform. For anything more than the most basic usage, read the documentation sections in Makefile.pdlibbuilder.


Makefile.pdlibbuilder >= v0.4.0 supports pd path variables which can be defined not only as make command argument but also in the environment, to override platform-dependent defaults:

PDDIR: Root directory of 'portable' pd package. When defined, PDINCLUDEDIR and PDBINDIR will be evaluated as $(PDDIR)/src and $(PDDIR)/bin.

PDINCLUDEDIR: Directory where Pd API m_pd.h should be found, and other Pd header files. Overrides the default search path.

PDBINDIR: Directory where pd.dll should be found for linking (Windows only). Overrides the default search path.

PDLIBDIR: Root directory for installation of Pd library directories. Overrides the default install location.


This provides only basic information. A large comment section inside Makefile.pdlibbuilder lists and explains the available user variables, default paths, and targets. The internal documentation reflects the exact functionality of the particular version. A tips&tricks page is in the works.


The project is versioned in MAJOR.MINOR.BUGFIX format (see, and maintained at Pd lib developers are invited to regulary check for updates, and to contribute and discuss improvements here. If you really need to distribute a personalized version with your library, rename Makefile.pdlibbuilder to avoid confusion.


Here are a few projects using the Makefile.pdlibbuilder approach: (stable) (experimental)

More examples will be referenced here when they are available.

You can’t perform that action at this time.