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"libc++" C++ Standard Library
libc++ is a new implementation of the C++ standard library, targeting C++11 and
* Features and Goals
* Correctness as defined by the C++11 standard.
* Fast execution.
* Minimal memory use.
* Fast compile times.
* ABI compatibility with gcc's libstdc++ for some low-level features
such as exception objects, rtti and memory allocation.
* Extensive unit tests.
* Design and Implementation:
* Extensive unit tests
* Internal linker model can be dumped/read to textual format
* Additional linking features can be plugged in as "passes"
* OS specific and CPU specific code factored out
Getting Started with libc++
.. toctree::
:maxdepth: 2
.. toctree::
Current Status
After its initial introduction, many people have asked "why start a new
library instead of contributing to an existing library?" (like Apache's
libstdcxx, GNU's libstdc++, STLport, etc). There are many contributing
reasons, but some of the major ones are:
* From years of experience (including having implemented the standard
library before), we've learned many things about implementing
the standard containers which require ABI breakage and fundamental changes
to how they are implemented. For example, it is generally accepted that
building std::string using the "short string optimization" instead of
using Copy On Write (COW) is a superior approach for multicore
machines (particularly in C++11, which has rvalue references). Breaking
ABI compatibility with old versions of the library was
determined to be critical to achieving the performance goals of
* Mainline libstdc++ has switched to GPL3, a license which the developers
of libc++ cannot use. libstdc++ 4.2 (the last GPL2 version) could be
independently extended to support C++11, but this would be a fork of the
codebase (which is often seen as worse for a project than starting a new
independent one). Another problem with libstdc++ is that it is tightly
integrated with G++ development, tending to be tied fairly closely to the
matching version of G++.
* STLport and the Apache libstdcxx library are two other popular
candidates, but both lack C++11 support. Our experience (and the
experience of libstdc++ developers) is that adding support for C++11 (in
particular rvalue references and move-only types) requires changes to
almost every class and function, essentially amounting to a rewrite.
Faced with a rewrite, we decided to start from scratch and evaluate every
design decision from first principles based on experience.
Further, both projects are apparently abandoned: STLport 5.2.1 was
released in Oct'08, and STDCXX 4.2.1 in May'08.
Platform and Compiler Support
For using the libc++ headers
The libc++ headers are known to work on the following platforms, using GCC and
Clang. Note that functionality provided by ``<atomic>`` is only functional with
Clang and GCC.
============ ==================== ============
OS Arch Compilers
============ ==================== ============
macOS 10.9+ i386, x86_64 Clang, GCC
FreeBSD 10+ i386, x86_64, ARM Clang, GCC
Linux i386, x86_64 Clang, GCC
============ ==================== ============
The following minimum compiler versions are required:
* Clang 4.0 and above
* GCC 5.0 and above.
The C++03 dialect is only supported with Clang.
For building the libc++ library
Building the libc++ library (static or shared) requires some features from
the operating system. As such, it has its own set of (slightly different)
system requirements.
============ ==================== ============ ========================
OS Arch Compilers ABI Library
============ ==================== ============ ========================
macOS 10.12+ i386, x86_64 Clang, GCC libc++abi
FreeBSD 10+ i386, x86_64, ARM Clang, GCC libcxxrt, libc++abi
Linux i386, x86_64 Clang, GCC libc++abi
============ ==================== ============ ========================
The following minimum compiler versions are required:
* Clang 4.0 and above
* GCC 5.0 and above.
C++ Dialect Support
* C++11 - Complete
* :ref:`C++14 - Complete <cxx1y-status>`
* :ref:`C++17 - In Progress <cxx1z-status>`
* :ref:`C++20 - In Progress <cxx2a-status>`
* :ref:`C++2b - In Progress <cxx2b-status>`
* `Post C++14 Technical Specifications - In Progress <>`__
* :ref:`C++ Feature Test Macro Status <feature-status>`
Notes and Known Issues
This list contains known issues with libc++
* Building libc++ with ``-fno-rtti`` is not supported. However
linking against it with ``-fno-rtti`` is supported.
A full list of currently open libc++ bugs can be `found here`__.
.. __:
Design Documents
.. toctree::
:maxdepth: 1
* `<atomic> design <>`_
* `<type_traits> design <>`_
* `Notes by Marshall Clow`__
.. __:
Build Bots and Test Coverage
* `Buildkite CI pipeline <>`_
* `LLVM Buildbot Builders <>`_
* :ref:`Adding New CI Jobs <AddingNewCIJobs>`
Getting Involved
First please review our `Developer's Policy <>`__
and `Getting started with LLVM <>`__.
**Bug Reports**
If you think you've found a bug in libc++, please report it using
the `LLVM Bugzilla`_. If you're not sure, you
can post a message to the `libcxx-dev mailing list`_ or on IRC.
If you want to contribute a patch to libc++, the best place for that is
`Phabricator <>`_. Please add `libcxx-commits` as a subscriber.
Also make sure you are subscribed to the `libcxx-commits mailing list <>`_.
**Discussion and Questions**
Send discussions and questions to the
`libcxx-dev mailing list <>`_.
Quick Links
* `LLVM Homepage <>`_
* `libc++abi Homepage <>`_
* `LLVM Bugzilla <>`_
* `libcxx-commits Mailing List`_
* `libcxx-dev Mailing List`_
* `Browse libc++ Sources <>`_