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Using libc++
.. contents::
Getting Started
If you already have libc++ installed you can use it with clang.
.. code-block:: bash
$ clang++ -stdlib=libc++ test.cpp
$ clang++ -std=c++11 -stdlib=libc++ test.cpp
On OS X and FreeBSD libc++ is the default standard library
and the ``-stdlib=libc++`` is not required.
.. _alternate libcxx:
If you want to select an alternate installation of libc++ you
can use the following options.
.. code-block:: bash
$ clang++ -std=c++11 -stdlib=libc++ -nostdinc++ \
-I<libcxx-install-prefix>/include/c++/v1 \
-L<libcxx-install-prefix>/lib \
-Wl,-rpath,<libcxx-install-prefix>/lib \
The option ``-Wl,-rpath,<libcxx-install-prefix>/lib`` adds a runtime library
search path. Meaning that the systems dynamic linker will look for libc++ in
``<libcxx-install-prefix>/lib`` whenever the program is run. Alternatively the
environment variable ``LD_LIBRARY_PATH`` (``DYLD_LIBRARY_PATH`` on OS X) can
be used to change the dynamic linkers search paths after a program is compiled.
An example of using ``LD_LIBRARY_PATH``:
.. code-block:: bash
$ clang++ -stdlib=libc++ -nostdinc++ \
-L<libcxx-install-prefix>/lib \
test.cpp -o
$ ./a.out # Searches for libc++ in the systems library paths.
$ export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=<libcxx-install-prefix>/lib
$ ./a.out # Searches for libc++ along LD_LIBRARY_PATH
Using ``<filesystem>`` and libc++fs
Libc++ provides the implementation of the filesystem library in a separate
library. Users of ``<filesystem>`` and ``<experimental/filesystem>`` are
required to link ``-lc++fs``.
.. note::
Prior to libc++ 7.0, users of ``<experimental/filesystem>`` were required
to link libc++experimental.
.. warning::
The Filesystem library is still experimental in nature. As such normal
guarantees about ABI stability and backwards compatibility do not yet apply
to it. In the future, this restriction will be removed.
Using libc++experimental and ``<experimental/...>``
Libc++ provides implementations of experimental technical specifications
in a separate library, ``libc++experimental.a``. Users of ``<experimental/...>``
headers may be required to link ``-lc++experimental``.
.. code-block:: bash
$ clang++ -std=c++14 -stdlib=libc++ test.cpp -lc++experimental
Libc++experimental.a may not always be available, even when libc++ is already
installed. For information on building libc++experimental from source see
:ref:`Building Libc++ <build instructions>` and
:ref:`libc++experimental CMake Options <libc++experimental options>`.
Note that as of libc++ 7.0 using the ``<experimental/filesystem>`` requires linking
libc++fs instead of libc++experimental.
Also see the `Experimental Library Implementation Status <>`__
.. warning::
Experimental libraries are Experimental.
* The contents of the ``<experimental/...>`` headers and ``libc++experimental.a``
library will not remain compatible between versions.
* No guarantees of API or ABI stability are provided.
Using libc++ on Linux
On Linux libc++ can typically be used with only '-stdlib=libc++'. However
some libc++ installations require the user manually link libc++abi themselves.
If you are running into linker errors when using libc++ try adding '-lc++abi'
to the link line. For example:
.. code-block:: bash
$ clang++ -stdlib=libc++ test.cpp -lc++ -lc++abi -lm -lc -lgcc_s -lgcc
Alternately, you could just add libc++abi to your libraries list, which in
most situations will give the same result:
.. code-block:: bash
$ clang++ -stdlib=libc++ test.cpp -lc++abi
Using libc++ with GCC
GCC does not provide a way to switch from libstdc++ to libc++. You must manually
configure the compile and link commands.
In particular you must tell GCC to remove the libstdc++ include directories
using ``-nostdinc++`` and to not link using ``-nodefaultlibs``.
Note that ``-nodefaultlibs`` removes all of the standard system libraries and
not just libstdc++ so they must be manually linked. For example:
.. code-block:: bash
$ g++ -nostdinc++ -I<libcxx-install-prefix>/include/c++/v1 \
test.cpp -nodefaultlibs -lc++ -lc++abi -lm -lc -lgcc_s -lgcc
GDB Pretty printers for libc++
GDB does not support pretty-printing of libc++ symbols by default. Unfortunately
libc++ does not provide pretty-printers itself. However there are 3rd
party implementations available and although they are not officially
supported by libc++ they may be useful to users.
Known 3rd Party Implementations Include:
* `Koutheir's libc++ pretty-printers <>`_.
Libc++ Configuration Macros
Libc++ provides a number of configuration macros which can be used to enable
or disable extended libc++ behavior, including enabling "debug mode" or
thread safety annotations.
See :ref:`using-debug-mode` for more information.
This macro is used to enable -Wthread-safety annotations on libc++'s
``std::mutex`` and ``std::lock_guard``. By default these annotations are
disabled and must be manually enabled by the user.
This macro is used to disable all visibility annotations inside libc++.
Defining this macro and then building libc++ with hidden visibility gives a
build of libc++ which does not export any symbols, which can be useful when
building statically for inclusion into another library.
This macro is used to disable extern template declarations in the libc++
headers. The intended use case is for clients who wish to use the libc++
headers without taking a dependency on the libc++ library itself.
This macro is used to re-enable an extension in `std::tuple` which allowed
it to be implicitly constructed from fewer initializers than contained
elements. Elements without an initializer are default constructed. For example:
.. code-block:: cpp
std::tuple<std::string, int, std::error_code> foo() {
return {"hello world", 42}; // default constructs error_code
Since libc++ 4.0 this extension has been disabled by default. This macro
may be defined to re-enable it in order to support existing code that depends
on the extension. New use of this extension should be discouraged.
See `PR 27374 <>`_ for more information.
Note: The "reduced-arity-initialization" extension is still offered but only
for explicit conversions. Example:
.. code-block:: cpp
auto foo() {
using Tup = std::tuple<std::string, int, std::error_code>;
return Tup{"hello world", 42}; // explicit constructor called. OK.
This macro disables the additional diagnostics generated by libc++ using the
`diagnose_if` attribute. These additional diagnostics include checks for:
* Giving `set`, `map`, `multiset`, `multimap` and their `unordered_`
counterparts a comparator which is not const callable.
* Giving an unordered associative container a hasher that is not const
Microsoft's C and C++ headers are fairly entangled, and some of their C++
headers are fairly hard to avoid. In particular, `vcruntime_new.h` gets pulled
in from a lot of other headers and provides definitions which clash with
libc++ headers, such as `nothrow_t` (note that `nothrow_t` is a struct, so
there's no way for libc++ to provide a compatible definition, since you can't
have multiple definitions).
By default, libc++ solves this problem by deferring to Microsoft's vcruntime
headers where needed. However, it may be undesirable to depend on vcruntime
headers, since they may not always be available in cross-compilation setups,
or they may clash with other headers. The `_LIBCPP_NO_VCRUNTIME` macro
prevents libc++ from depending on vcruntime headers. Consequently, it also
prevents libc++ headers from being interoperable with vcruntime headers (from
the aforementioned clashes), so users of this macro are promising to not
attempt to combine libc++ headers with the problematic vcruntime headers. This
macro also currently prevents certain `operator new`/`operator delete`
replacement scenarios from working, e.g. replacing `operator new` and
expecting a non-replaced `operator new[]` to call the replaced `operator new`.
Allow the library to add ``[[nodiscard]]`` attributes to entities not specified
as ``[[nodiscard]]`` by the current language dialect. This includes
backporting applications of ``[[nodiscard]]`` from newer dialects and
additional extended applications at the discretion of the library. All
additional applications of ``[[nodiscard]]`` are disabled by default.
See :ref:`Extended Applications of [[nodiscard]] <nodiscard extension>` for
more information.
This macro prevents the library from applying ``[[nodiscard]]`` to entities
purely as an extension. See :ref:`Extended Applications of [[nodiscard]] <nodiscard extension>`
for more information.
This macro enables warnings when using deprecated components. For example,
when compiling in C++11 mode, using `std::auto_ptr` with the macro defined
will trigger a warning saying that `std::auto_ptr` is deprecated. By default,
this macro is not defined.
C++17 Specific Configuration Macros
This macro is used to re-enable all the features removed in C++17. The effect
is equivalent to manually defining each macro listed below.
This macro is used to re-enable the `set_unexpected`, `get_unexpected`, and
`unexpected` functions, which were removed in C++17.
This macro is used to re-enable `std::auto_ptr` in C++17.
C++2a Specific Configuration Macros:
This macro can be used to disable diagnostics emitted from functions marked
``[[nodiscard]]`` in dialects after C++17. See :ref:`Extended Applications of [[nodiscard]] <nodiscard extension>`
for more information.
Libc++ Extensions
This section documents various extensions provided by libc++, how they're
provided, and any information regarding how to use them.
.. _nodiscard extension:
Extended applications of ``[[nodiscard]]``
The ``[[nodiscard]]`` attribute is intended to help users find bugs where
function return values are ignored when they shouldn't be. After C++17 the
C++ standard has started to declared such library functions as ``[[nodiscard]]``.
However, this application is limited and applies only to dialects after C++17.
Users who want help diagnosing misuses of STL functions may desire a more
liberal application of ``[[nodiscard]]``.
For this reason libc++ provides an extension that does just that! The
extension must be enabled by defining ``_LIBCPP_ENABLE_NODISCARD``. The extended
applications of ``[[nodiscard]]`` takes two forms:
1. Backporting ``[[nodiscard]]`` to entities declared as such by the
standard in newer dialects, but not in the present one.
2. Extended applications of ``[[nodiscard]]``, at the libraries discretion,
applied to entities never declared as such by the standard.
Users may also opt-out of additional applications ``[[nodiscard]]`` using
additional macros.
Applications of the first form, which backport ``[[nodiscard]]`` from a newer
dialect may be disabled using macros specific to the dialect it was added. For
Applications of the second form, which are pure extensions, may be disabled
Entities declared with ``_LIBCPP_NODISCARD_EXT``
This section lists all extended applications of ``[[nodiscard]]`` to entities
which no dialect declares as such (See the second form described above).
* ``get_temporary_buffer``