Code Quality Rank: L3
Programming language: C
License: GNU General Public License v3.0 or later
Latest version: v1.1.5

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Welcome to nanomsg

Release MIT License Linux Windows Darwin Discord

The nanomsg library is a simple high-performance implementation of several "scalability protocols". These scalability protocols are light-weight messaging protocols which can be used to solve a number of very common messaging patterns, such as request/reply, publish/subscribe, surveyor/respondent, and so forth. These protocols can run over a variety of transports such as TCP, UNIX sockets, and even WebSocket.

For more information check the website.


  1. Windows.

    • Windows Vista or newer (Windows XP and 2003 are NOT supported)
    • Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 (including C++) or newer, or mingw-w64. (Specifically mingw and older Microsoft compilers are NOT supported, and we do not test mingw-w64 at all, so YMMV.)
    • CMake 2.8.12 or newer, available in $PATH as cmake
  2. POSIX (Linux, MacOS X, UNIX)

    • ANSI C compiler supporting C89
    • POSIX pthreads (should be present on all modern POSIX systems)
    • BSD sockets support for both TCP and UNIX domain sockets
    • CMake (http://cmake.org) 2.8.12 or newer, available in $PATH as cmake
  3. Documentation (optional)

Quick Build Instructions

These steps here are the minimum steps to get a default Debug build. Using CMake you can do many other things, including setting additional variables, setting up for static builds, or generation project or solution files for different development environments. Please check the CMake website for all the various options that CMake supports.


This assumes you have a shell in the project directory, and have the cmake and suitable compilers (and any required supporting tools like linkers or archivers) on your path.

  1. % mkdir build
  2. % cd build
  3. % cmake ..
  4. % cmake --build .
  5. % ctest .
  6. % sudo cmake --build . --target install
  7. % sudo ldconfig (if on Linux)


This assumes you are in a command or powershell window and have the appropriate variables setup to support Visual Studio, typically by running vcvarsall.bat or similar with the appropriate argument(s). It also assumes you are in the project directory.

  1. md build
  2. cd build
  3. cmake ..
  4. cmake --build . --config Debug
  5. ctest -C Debug .
  6. cmake --build . --config Debug --target install NB: This may have to be done using an Administrator account.

Alternatively, you can build and install nanomsg using vcpkg dependency manager:

  1. git clone https://github.com/Microsoft/vcpkg.git
  2. cd vcpkg
  3. ./bootstrap-vcpkg.bat
  4. ./vcpkg integrate install
  5. ./vcpkg install nanomsg

The nanomsg port in vcpkg is kept up to date by microsoft team members and community contributors. If the version is out of date, please create an issue or pull request on the vcpkg repository.

Static Library

We normally build a dynamic library (.so or .DLL) by default.

If you want a static library (.a or .LIB), configure by passing -DNN_STATIC_LIB=ON to the first cmake command.


POSIX systems will need to link with the libraries normally used when building network applications. For some systems this might mean -lnsl or -lsocket.


You will also need to define NN_STATIC_LIB in your compilation environment when building programs that use this library. This is required because of the way Windows changes symbol names depending on whether the symbols should be exported in a DLL or not.

When using the .LIB on Windows, you will also need to link with the ws2_32, mswsock, and advapi32 libraries, as nanomsg depends on them.


This library is considered to be in "sustaining" mode, which means that new feature development has ended, and bug fixes are made only when strictly necessary for severe issues.

New development is now occurring in the NNG project, which offers both protocol and API compatibility with this project. Please consider using NNG for new projects.

Please see the file SUPPORT for more details.

*Note that all licence references and agreements mentioned in the nanomsg README section above are relevant to that project's source code only.