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RabbitMQ C AMQP client library


This is a C-language AMQP client library for use with AMQP servers speaking protocol versions 0-9-1.

Announcements regarding the library are periodically made on the RabbitMQ mailing list and on the RabbitMQ blog.

Retrieving the code

In addition to the source code for this library, you will require a copy of rabbitmq-codegen. Here is a short sh script for retrieving the necessary pieces:

hg clone
hg clone

You will also need a recent python with the simplejson module installed, and the GNU autotools (autoconf, automake, libtool etc) or as an alternative CMake

Building the code

Using autoconf

Once you have all the prerequisites, change to the rabbitmq-c directory and run

autoreconf -i

to run the GNU autotools and generate the configure script, followed by


to build the librabbitmq library and the example programs.

Using cmake

You will need CMake:

You will need a working python install in your path.

If you would like the build system to fetch the rabbitmq-codegen automatically you will need to have a working git install in your path. Otherwise you will need to checkout the rabbitmq-codegen as stated above.

Create a binary directory in a sibling directory from the directory you cloned the rabbitmq-c repository

mkdir bin-rabbitmq-c

Run CMake in the binary directory

cmake /path/to/source/directory

Build it:

  • On linux: make
  • On win32: nmake or msbuild, or open it in visual studio and build from there

Things you can pass to cmake to change the build:

  • -DRABBITMQ_CODEGEN_DIR=/path/to/rabbitmq-codegen/checkout - if you have your codegen directory in a different place [Default is sibiling directory to source]
  • -DFETCH_CODEGEN_FROM_GIT=ON - if you want cmake to fetch the rabbitmq-codegen from at build time. If this option is selected -DRABBITMQ_CODEGEN_DIR will be ignored [Default is off]
  • -DCODEGEN_GIT_TAG=rabbitmq_v2_5_1 - specifies the tag to check out if using the -DFETCH_CODEGEN_FROM_GIT option above. [Default is rabbitmq_v2_5_1]
  • -DBUILD_TOOLS=OFF build the programs in the tools directory [Default is ON if the POPT library can be found]

Other interesting flags to pass to CMake (see cmake docs for more info)

  • -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE - specify the type of build (Debug or Release)
  • -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX - specify where the install target puts files

Running the examples

Arrange for a RabbitMQ or other AMQP server to be running on localhost at TCP port number 5672.

In one terminal, run

./examples/amqp_listen localhost 5672 test

In another terminal,

./examples/amqp_sendstring localhost 5672 test "hello world"

You should see output similar to the following in the listener's terminal window:

Result 1
Frame type 1, channel 1
Delivery 1, exchange routingkey test
Content-type: text/plain
00000000: 68 65 6C 6C 6F 20 77 6F : 72 6C 64                 hello world

Writing applications using librabbitmq

Please see the examples directory for short examples of the use of the librabbitmq library.


You cannot share a socket, an amqp_connection_state_t, or a channel between threads using librabbitmq. The librabbitmq library is built with event-driven, single-threaded applications in mind, and does not yet cater to any of the requirements of pthreaded applications.

Your applications instead should open an AMQP connection (and an associated socket, of course) per thread. If your program needs to access an AMQP connection or any of its channels from more than one thread, it is entirely responsible for designing and implementing an appropriate locking scheme. It will generally be much simpler to have a connection exclusive to each thread that needs AMQP service.

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