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SymEngine is a standalone fast C++ symbolic manipulation library. Optional thin wrappers allow usage of the library from other languages, e.g.:

Try SymEngine

Tutorials are at

Run an interactive C++ session with SymEngine using Binder.


All files are licensed under MIT license, see the LICENSE for more information. Third party code packaged are licensed under BSD 3-clause license (see the LICENSE file).

Mailinglist, Chat

SymEngine mailinglist:



Conda package manager

conda install symengine -c conda-forge

Conan package manager

conan install symengine/<version>@

Building from source

Install prerequisites. For Debian based systems (Ubuntu etc.):

apt-get install cmake libgmp-dev

For RPM based systems (Fedora etc.):

yum install cmake gmp-devel

Install SymEngine:

mkdir build && cd build
cmake ..
make install

This will configure and build SymEngine in the default Release mode with all code and compiler optimizations on and then install it on your system.

Run tests:



GitHub Actions checks the code in both Release and Debug mode with all possible checks, so just sending a GitHub pull request is enough and you can use any mode you want to develop it. However, the best way to develop SymEngine on Linux is to use the Debug mode with BFD support on:

cmake -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Debug -DWITH_BFD=yes ..

This BFD support turns on nice Python-like stack traces on exceptions, assert errors or segfaults, and the Debug mode automatically turns on WITH_SYMENGINE_RCP=no (which uses Teuchos::RCP with full Debug time checking) and WITH_SYMENGINE_ASSERT=yes, so the code cannot segfault in Debug mode, as long as our style conventions (e.g. no raw pointers) are followed, which is easy to check by visual inspection of a given Pull Request. In Release mode, which is the default, the code is as performing a manual reference counting and raw pointers (and if there is a bug, it could segfault, in which case all you have to do is to turn Debug mode on and get a nice exception with a stack trace).

To make WITH_BFD=yes work, you need to install binutils-dev first, otherwise, you will get a CMake error during configuring. For Debian-based systems (Ubuntu etc.)

apt-get install binutils-dev

For RPM-based systems (Fedora etc.)

yum install binutils-devel

On OpenSuSE, you will additionally need glibc-devel.

CMake Options

Here are all the CMake options that you can use to configure the build, with their default values are indicated below:

cmake -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX:PATH="/usr/local" \  # Installation prefix
    -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE:STRING="Release" \         # Type of build, one of: Debug or Release
    -DWITH_BFD:BOOL=OFF \                         # Install with BFD library (requires binutils-dev)s
    -DWITH_SYMENGINE_ASSERT:BOOL=OFF \            # Test all SYMENGINE_ASSERT statements in the code
    -DWITH_SYMENGINE_RCP:BOOL=ON \                # Use our faster special implementation of RCP
    -DWITH_SYMENGINE_THREAD_SAFE:BOOL=OFF \       # Build with thread safety
    -DWITH_ECM:BOOL=OFF \                         # Build with GMP-ECM library for integer factorization
    -DWITH_PRIMESIEVE:BOOL=OFF \                  # Install with Primesieve library
    -DWITH_FLINT:BOOL=OFF \                       # Install with Flint library
    -DWITH_ARB:BOOL=OFF \                         # Install with ARB library
    -DWITH_TCMALLOC:BOOL=OFF \                    # Install with TCMalloc linked
    -DWITH_OPENMP:BOOL=OFF \                      # Install with OpenMP enabled
    -DWITH_PIRANHA:BOOL=OFF \                     # Install with Piranha library
    -DWITH_MPFR:BOOL=OFF \                        # Install with MPFR library
    -DWITH_MPC:BOOL=OFF \                         # Install with MPC library
    -DWITH_LLVM:BOOL=OFF \                        # Build with LLVM libraries
    -DWITH_SYSTEM_CEREAL:BOOL=OFF \               # Build with cereal headers from the system instead of
                                                    the vendored copy
    -DBUILD_TESTS:BOOL=ON \                       # Build with tests
    -DBUILD_BENCHMARKS:BOOL=ON \                  # Build with benchmarks
    -DBUILD_BENCHMARKS_GOOGLE:BOOL=OFF \          # Build with Google Benchmark benchmarks
    -DINTEGER_CLASS:STRING=gmp \                  # Choose storage type for Integer. one of gmp, gmpxx,
                                                    flint, piranha, boostmp
    -DBUILD_SHARED_LIBS:BOOL=OFF \                # Build a shared library.
    -DCMAKE_INSTALL_RPATH_USE_LINK_PATH:BOOL=OFF\ # Add dependencies to rpath when a shared lib is built

If OpenMP is enabled, then SYMENGINE_THREAD_SAFE is also enabled automatically irrespective of the user input for WITH_SYMENGINE_THREAD_SAFE.

CMake prints the value of its options at the end of the run. If you want to use a different compiler, do:

CC=clang CXX=clang++ cmake ..

If you want to set additional compilation flags, do:

CXXFLAGS="$CXXFLAGS -march=native" cmake ..

These environment variables are checked only in the first run of cmake and you have to delete the build directory or CMakeCache.txt file for these environment variables to be picked up in subsequent runs.

Using INTEGER_CLASS=boostmp would remove the dependency on gmp and use boost's multiprecision integer and rational classes. This would make boost, the only dependency and all the code would be under permissive licenses, namely, MIT, BSD 3-clause and Boost License.

Piranha (WITH_PIRANHA) depends on Boost, so it is off by default. The benchmarked code seems to depend on the order in which you execute the benchmarks in a given executable, due to internal malloc implementation. We have found that this order dependence is reduced by enabling WITH_TCMALLOC=ON and since it also speeds the benchmarks up, we recommend to always use TCMalloc when benchmarking (and the Release mode of SymEngine, which is the default).

External Libraries

Use CMAKE_PREFIX_PATH to specify the prefixes of the external libraries.

cmake -DCMAKE_PREFIX_PATH=<prefix1>;<prefix2>

If the headers and libs are not in <prefix>/include and <prefix>/lib respectively, use CMAKE_LIBRARY_PATH and CMAKE_INCLUDE_PATH.

If CMake still cannot find the library, you can specify the path to the library by doing cmake -DPKG_LIBRARY=/path/ ., where PKG should be replaced with the name of the external library (GMP, ARB, BFD, FLINT, MPFR, ...). Similarly, -DPKG_INCLUDE_DIR can be used for headers.

Recommended options to build

For package managers

For packaging symengine it is recommended to use GMP, MPFR, MPC, FLINT, LLVM as dependencies if they are available and built with thread safety on.


Optimized build

To build with more optimizations, you can use the above dependencies and options, and also,


Developer Documentation

Please follow the C++ Style Guide when developing.

The design decisions are documented in Design.