A list of open source C++ libraries

From cppreference.com
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The objective of this page is to build a comprehensive list of open source C++ libraries, so that when one needs an implementation of particular functionality, one needn't to waste time searching on web (DuckDuckGo, Google, Bing etc.).

If you know a library that might be useful to others, please add a link to it here. There are no restrictions on what can be included except that the source of the library must be readily available to download.

The page is provided 'as is' - with the hope of being useful, but without any warranties. Outdated, misleading or wrong links might appear here. If you've noticed one of these, it would be great if you fixed the error.

Package managers


  • Boost -  large collection of generic libraries (Boost License)
  • GSL -  Guidelines Support library implementation, recommended by Bjarne Stroustrup, Herb Sutter and Co in C++ Core Guidelines
  • BDE -  The Bloomberg Development Environment core libraries from Bloomberg L.P. (Apache License)
  • Dlib -  networking, threads, graphical interfaces, data structures, linear algebra, machine learning, XML and text parsing, numerical optimization, Bayesian nets, and numerous other tasks (Boost License)
  • JUCE -  An extensive, mature, cross-platform C++ toolkit (GPL License)
  • Loki -  design patterns
  • Reason -  xml, xpath, regex, threads, sockets, http, sql, date-time, streams, encoding and decoding, filesystem, compression (GPL License)
  • yomm2 -  Open multi-methods for C++17 (Boost License)
  • Folly -  Facebook open-source library. Library of C++11 components designed with practicality and efficiency in mind.
  • Abseil -  An open-source collection of C++ library code from Google designed to augment the C++ standard library.
  • cxxomfort - Backports of C++ features (C++11 to C++03 and C++1y proposals to C++11/C++03).
  • libsourcey -  Cross-platform C++11 library for high speed networking and media encoding. HTTP, WebSockets, TURN, STUN, Symple and more...
  • OnPosix -  C++ library providing several abstractions (e.g., threading, networking, logging, IPC, etc.) on POSIX platforms.
  • Ultimate++ -  Cross-platform rapid application development framework
  • CAF - The C++ Actor Framework (CAF) is an open source C++11 actor model implementation featuring lightweight & fast actor implementations, pattern matching for messages, network transparent messaging, and more (BSD License).
  • cpp-mmf - A C++98 library that encapsulates memory-mapped-files for POSIX or Windows
  • CommonPP - Multi-purpose library with a strong emphasis on getting metrics out of a project. (BSD)
  • Better Enums - Reflective enums (enum to string, iteration, etc.) with constexpr support. (BSD)
  • Smart Enum - "to_string", "from_string" and more for your enums. (Boost License)
  • nytl - Generic C++17 header-only utility template library. (Boost License)
  • SaferCPlusPlus -  SaferCPlusPlus - Safe compatible substitutes for unsafe C++ primitives, including pointers, int and std::vector. (Boost License)
  • fcppt -  Freundlich's C++ Toolkit (fcppt) is a collection of libraries focusing on improving general C++ code by providing better types and making use of functional programming.
  • bitfield.h -  Bit field structure facility, more portable/flexible than the base language facility.
  • composite_op.h -  Basic class data member introspection, cumbersome and often non-re-entrant, but sometimes useful.
  • Abstract Intrusive Containers -  More flexible than boost::intrusive, but not STL-compatible.
  • Yato -  Modern C++(14/17) cross-platform STL-styled and STL-compatible library with implementing containers, ranges, iterators, type traits and other tools; actors system; type-safe config interface. (Apache-2.0)
  • Kangaru -  A dependency injection container for C++11 and C++14 (MIT License)
  • yaal -  algorithms, collections, arbitrary precision calculation, generic-DSL grammar driven parsers and more (CC BY-ND-NC 4.0)
  • gsl-lite -  A single-file header-only version of ISO C++ Guideline Support Library (GSL) for C++98, C++11 and later (MIT License).
  • nonstd-lite -  Parent of *-lite repositories, a migration path to post-C++11 features for pre-C++11 environments (Boost License).
  • units -  A compile-time, header-only, dimensional analysis and unit conversion library built on c++14 with no dependencies (MIT License).


  • libnavajo -  a light but powerful API including http server for web and RESTful application development, supporting SSL, authentification, cookies and session management, including Websocket server support... (LGPL License)
  • C++ RESTful framework -  C++ micro-framework designed to be embedded into a wide range of applications.
  • C++ REST SDK - asynchronous HTTP client and listener, asynchronous Stream, URI, JSON
  • cpr - a modern C++ HTTP requests library
  • cpp-netlib - cpp-netlib: The C++ Network Library
  • cpp-redis - C++11 Lightweight Redis client: async, thread-safe, no dependency, pipelining, multi-platform.
  • tacopie - C++11 TCP Library
  • Boost.Asio - asynchronous and synchronous networking, timers, serial I/O
  • Boost.Beast - HTTP and WebSocket library built on top of Boost.Asio
  • gsoap -  C/C++ development toolkit for XML data bindings, fast WSDL/SOAP/XML Web services, WS-Security, JSON/XML-RPC RESTful services
  • POCO -  networking: encryption, HTTP; Zip files
  • omniORB -  the fastest, complete and portable CORBA ORB implementation in C++
  • ACE -  asynchronous networking, event demultiplexing, messaging
  • TAO -  CORBA
  • wvstreams
  • Unicomm -  asynchronous networking, high-level TCP communication framework
  • restful_mapper - ORM for consuming RESTful JSON APIs in C++
  • zeromq -  fast message queue
  • curlpp -  C++ wrapper for CURL library
  • Apache Thrift -  The Apache Thrift software framework, for scalable cross-language services development, combines a software stack with a code generation engine to build services that work efficiently and seamlessly between C++, Java, Python, PHP, Ruby, Erlang, Perl, Haskell, C#, Cocoa, JavaScript, Node.js, Smalltalk, OCaml and Delphi and other languages.
  • libashttp -  asynchronous HTTP client library
  • Simple C++ REST library -  Very simple and self documenting library for creating a REST API in your c++ application
  • libtins - Network packet crafting and sniffing library
  • PcapPlusPlus - Multiplatform C++ network sniffing and packet parsing and crafting framework
  • HTTPP - Simple, production ready HTTP server built on top of Boost and a client built on top of libcurl. (BSD)
  • The Silicon C++14 Web Framework - Fast and Robust Web APIs (MIT).
  • ngrest - Fast and easy in use JSON RESTful Web Services Framework (Apache2).
  • restc-cpp - Takes the pain out of accessing JSON API's from C++. HTTP Client, native C++ class to/from JSON serialization, asynchronous IO trough boost::asio coroutines. C++14. (MIT)
  • OpenDDS - DDS implementation
  • Breep -  Event based, high-level, peer-to-peer library, allowing users to directly send and receive objects.
  • uvw - libuv wrapper in modern C++
  • rest_rpc - modern, simple, easy to use rpc framework
  • EasyHttp -  A cross-platform HTTP client library with a focus on usability and speed, supporting http response caching and more. (MIT License)
  • nghttp2 -  HTTP/2 C Library and tools (server, client, proxy and benchmarking tools) (MIT License)
  • IXWebSocket -  Open-source WebSocket + HTTP library without dependency, supports SSL and the per message deflate WebSocket extension.

Graphic user interface

  • Dear ImGui - A bloat-free graphical user interface library that is highly optimized.
  • FLTK
  • nana[doc] - GUI programming in modern C++ style (Boost License)
  • WxWidgets[src][doc]
  • OWLNext - Modern update to OWL for writing GUI applications in standard C++ on Windows
  • tiny file dialogs -  a single C C++ cross-platform file (no init, no main loop, 6 modal function calls)
  • Switch -  The Switch.Windows.Forms library contains classes for creating Windows-based applications that take full advantage of the rich user interface features available in the Microsoft Windows, maxOS X and Linux.

General Multimedia




  • soundtouch
  • KFR -  Fast, modern DSP framework, DFT/FFT, Audio resampling, FIR/IIR filters, Biquad
  • Aquila -  cross-platform DSP library

Image Processing


3D Graphics

  • Vulkan
  • OpenGL
  • bgfx Cross-platform, graphics API agnostic, "Bring Your Own Engine/Framework" style rendering library.
  • Ogre3D
  • Diligent Engine A modern cross-platform low-level 3D graphics library.
  • GLEW OpenGL function loading
  • GLAD Customizable, lightweight library for loading OpenGL functions
  • Epoxy Modern successor to GLEW. Abstracts difference between some kinds of GL contexts, which makes it sometimes simpler to use than GLEW. Used by GTK+ project since 2015.
  • GLFW OpenGL window manager
  • GLM Header only C++ mathematics library for rendering
  • hlsl++ Header only C++ math library for rendering using hlsl syntax. Supports SSE and NEON
  • assimp 3D model loading
  • VTK
  • Magnum Lightweight and modular C++11/C++14 graphics middleware for games and data visualization
  • Irrlicht
  • Horde3D
  • Visionaray A C++ ray tracing template library
  • Open CASCADE SDK for 3D CAD/CAM/CAE applications
  • OpenSceneGraph

Game Engine Architecture


  • gettext
  • spirit-po -  A small, header-only library which parses po-files and provides an interface similar to GNU libintl. Based on boost::spirit.


Linear algebra
  • OptimLib -  A C++11 library of numerical optimization methods for nonlinear functions.
Graph theory
Class Library for Numbers
  • cln
  • Universal -  A C++ template library for universal number arithmetic, replacing IEEE floating point (MIT License)
Machine Learning
  • stats++
  • liblinear
  • Dlib -  machine learning tools
  • MLPACK -  machine learning package
  • Shogun -  large scale machine learning toolbox
  • FANN -  Fast Artificial Neural Network Library
Computational geometry
  • CGAL -  Computational geometry algorithms library
  • Wykobi -  Computational geometry library
  • PCL -  Point Cloud library
Automata theory

Physics and Simulations

  • ReactPhysics3D -  C++ physics engine library for 3D simulations and game
  • ProjectCHRONO -  An Open Source Multi-physics Simulation Engine
  • Bullet -  Physics simulation for games, visual effects, robotics and reinforcement learning

Financial Calculations



  • Boost.Any
  • Boost.Array
  • Boost.Bimap
  • Boost.Container
  • Boost.Fusion
  • Boost.Heap
  • Boost.Pointer Container
  • Boost.Tuple
  • Boost.Variant
  • cpp-btree -  btree_map, btree_set, btree_multimap, btree_multiset.
  • TdhLists
  • strict_variant - A fast, never-empty variant targetting C++11. Prevents many undesirable implicit conversions.
  • eggs::variant - Eggs.Variant is a C++11/14 generic, type-safe, discriminated union. It is notable in particular for having very good `constexpr` support.
  • Ygg - An intrusive C++11 implementation of high-performance containers and data structures such as a Red-Black-Tree, an Interval Tree and an Interval Map.
  • plf::list - std::list implementation which sacrifices range-splicing for cache-friendliness, yielding faster insertion, erasure and iteration.
  • plf::stack - Drop-in replacement container for the std::stack container adaptor with better performance than std::vector and std::deque in a stack context.
  • plf::colony - Unordered "bag-like" container which outperforms std:: containers in high-modification scenarios while maintaining valid pointers to non-erased elements regardless of insertion and erasure.
  • ring_span - A simplified implementation of Arthur O'Dwyer's ring_span - ie. a circular buffer view.
  • Frozen -  constexpr perfect-hashing-based frozen sets and maps (Apache 2.0).


  • Boost.MPL - Original metaprogramming library, targeted at C++03, slow
  • Boost.Hana - New metaprogramming library for both types and values
  • Boost.Mp11
  • Boost.CallableTraits
  • Metal - Uses eager metafunctions, 100% SFINAE-friendly
  • Brigand - Uses eager metafunctions, optimized for best performance
  • Meta - Uses eager metafunctions, middle ground between metal and brigand wrt performance
  • Boost.Metaparse - Compile-time parser library, producing types, values, and metafunctions from compile-time strings
  • Boost.Proto - A library for building expression template-backed EDSLs
  • CoMeta - Lightweight, header-only C++14 metaprogramming library
  • visit_struct -  A miniature reflection library, providing structure visitors for C++11. Self-contained, 100-200 lines of code depending how you count.



  • Boost.Test
  • cppunit
  • Google Test
  • Catch2
  • doctest -  The lightest feature-rich C++ single-header testing framework for unit tests and TDD
  • lest -  A modern, C++11-native, single-file header-only, tiny framework for unit-tests, TDD and BDD (includes C++98 variant).
  • liblittletest -  Portable, one file header-only testing framework
  • ELFspy -  Testing in isolation with fakes and spies - Linux only
  • xtd.tunit -  Modern c++17 unit testing library on Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS and android. Office site
  • bandit -  Human-friendly unit testing for C++11


  • Celero
  • gperftools -  'Google Performance Tools' includes a high-performance, multi-threaded malloc implementation plus tools for benchmarking heap allocation and CPU utilization.
  • plf::nanotimer -  Lowest-overhead, cross-platform simple timer class for benchmarking.


  • libxml++
  • pugixml
  • tinyxml
  • tinyxml2 - Another and work in progress of TinyXML.
  • Xerces
  • gSOAP -  XML data bindings
  • ai-xml - Serialize objects to and from XML by adding a single, minimal, function to a class. Uses libxml++ under the hood.






File metadata


  • PEGTL -  Parsing Expression Grammar Template Library
  • BNFlite -  A single file header only lightweight grammar parser library
Template Engine
  • inja -  A Template Engine for Modern C++


  • cwidget
  • replxx -  A readline and libedit replacement that supports UTF-8, syntax highlighting & hints.


Embedded languages bindings




  • Log4cpp - A library of C++ classes for flexible logging to files, syslog, IDSA and other destinations (LGPL)
  • Log4cplus - Logging API providing thread-safe, flexible, and arbitrarily granular control over log management and configuration.
  • spdlog - Super fast, header only, C++ logging library
  • plog - Portable and simple log for C++ in less than 1000 lines of code (MPL2)
  • Boost.Log
  • glog - Google Logging Library
  • log4cxx - Apache log4cxx is a logging framework for C++ patterned after Apache log4j
  • Pantheios - Diagnostic Logging API library, offering a combination of type-safety, efficiency, genericity and extensibility
  • Backward -  Printing nice Python-styled stack traces with colors and source snippets, especially on crashes (MIT License).


  • Timsort - Templated stable sorting function which outperforms quicksort-based algorithms including std::sort, for reversed or semi-sorted data. (MIT)

See also