Programming language: C++
License: Apache License 2.0

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Build Status

Pistache is a modern and elegant HTTP and REST framework for C++. It is entirely written in pure-C++17 and provides a clear and pleasant API.


We are still looking for a volunteer to document fully the API. In the mean time, partial documentation is available at pistache.io. If you are interested in helping with this, please open an issue ticket.

A comparison of Pistache to other C++ RESTful APIs was created by guteksan and is available here.


Pistache has the following third party dependencies


Pistache is released under the Apache License 2.0. Contributors are welcome!

Pistache was originally created by Mathieu Stefani, but he is no longer actively maintaining Pistache. A team of volunteers has taken over. To reach the original maintainer, drop a private message to @octal in cpplang Slack channel.

For those that prefer IRC over Slack, the rag-tag crew of maintainers idle in #pistache on Freenode. Please come and join us!

The Launchpad Team administers the daily and stable Ubuntu pre-compiled packages.

Release Versioning

Please update version.txt accordingly with each unstable or stable release.

Interface Versioning

The version of the library's public interface (ABI) is not the same as the release version. The interface version is primarily associated with the external interface of the library. Different platforms handle this differently, such as AIX, GNU/Linux, and Solaris.

GNU Libtool abstracts each platform's idiosyncrasies away because it is more portable than using ar(1) or ranlib(1) directly. However, it is a pain to integrate with CMake so we made do without it by setting the SONAME directly.

When Pistache is installed it will normally ship:

  • libpistache-<release>.so.X.Y: This is the actual shared-library binary file. The X and Y values are the major and minor interface versions respectively.

  • libpistache-<release>.so.X: This is the soname soft link that points to the binary file. It is what other programs and other libraries reference internally. You should never need to directly reference this file in your build environment.

  • libpistache-<release>.so: This is the linker name entry. This is also a soft link that refers to the soname with the highest major interface version. This linker name is what is referred to on the linker command line. This file is created by the installation process.

  • libpistache-<release>.a: This is the static archive form of the library. Since when using a static library all of its symbols are normally resolved before runtime, an interface version in the filename is unnecessary.

If your contribution has modified the interface, you may need to update the major or minor interface versions. Otherwise user applications and build environments will eventually break. This is because they will attempt to link against an incorrect version of the library -- or worse, link correctly but with undefined runtime behaviour.

The major version should be incremented every time a non-backward compatible change occured in the ABI. The minor version should be incremented every time a backward compatible change occurs. This can be done by modifying version.txt accordingly.

Precompiled Packages

If you have no need to modify the Pistache source, you are strongly recommended to use precompiled packages for your distribution. This will save you time.

Debian and Ubuntu

We have submitted a Request for Packaging downstream to Debian. Once we have an official Debian package maintainer intimately familiar with the Debian Policy Manual, we can expect to eventually see it become available in Debian and all derivatives (e.g. Ubuntu and many others).

But until then currently Pistache has partially compliant upstream Debianization. Our long term goal is to have our source package properly Debianized downstream by a Debian Policy Manual SME. In the mean time consider using our PPAs to avoid having to build from source.

Supported Architectures

Currently Pistache is built and tested on a number of architectures. Some of these are suitable for desktop or server use and others for embedded environments. As of this writing we do not currently have any MIPS related packages that have been either built or tested. The ppc64el builds are occasionally tested on POWER9 hardware, courtesy of IBM.

  • amd64
  • arm64
  • armhf
  • i386
  • ppc64el
  • s390x

Ubuntu PPA (Unstable)

The project builds daily unstable snapshots in a separate unstable PPA. To use it, run the following:

$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:pistache+team/unstable
$ sudo apt update
$ sudo apt install libpistache-dev

Ubuntu PPA (Stable)

Currently there are no stable release of Pistache published into the stable PPA. However, when that time comes, run the following to install a stable package:

$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:pistache+team/stable
$ sudo apt update
$ sudo apt install libpistache-dev

Other Distributions

Package maintainers, please insert instructions for users to install pre-compiled packages from your respective repositories here.

Use via pkg-config

If you would like to automatically have your project's build environment use the appropriate compiler and linker build flags, pkg-config can greatly simplify things. It is the portable international de facto standard for determining build flags. The development packages include a pkg-config manifest.

GNU Autotools

To use with the GNU Autotools, as an example, include the following snippet in your project's configure.ac:

# Pistache...
    [libpistache], [libpistache >= 0.0.2], [],
    [AC_MSG_ERROR([libpistache >= 0.0.2 missing...])])


To use with Meson, you just need to add dependency('libpistache') as a dependency for your executable.

    meson_version: '>=0.55.0'

    sources: 'main.cpp',
    dependencies: dependency('libpistache')

If you want to build the library from source in case the dependency is not found on the system, you can add this repository as a submodule in the subprojects directory of your project, and edit the dependency() call as follows:

dependencies: dependency('libpistache', fallback: 'pistache')

If you're using a Meson version older than 0.55.0 you'll have to use the "older" syntax for dependency():

dependencies: dependency('libpistache', fallback: ['pistache', 'pistache_dep'])

Lastly, if you'd like to build the fallback as a static library you can specify it with the default_options keyword:

dependencies: dependency('libpistache', fallback: 'pistache', default_options: 'default_library=static')


To use with a CMake build environment, use the FindPkgConfig module. Here is an example:

cmake_minimum_required(VERSION 3.6)

pkg_check_modules(Pistache REQUIRED IMPORTED_TARGET libpistache)

add_executable(${PROJECT_NAME} main.cpp)
target_link_libraries(${PROJECT_NAME} PkgConfig::Pistache)


To use within a vanilla makefile, you can call pkg-config directly to supply compiler and linker flags using shell substitution.

CFLAGS=-g3 -Wall -Wextra -Werror ...
LDFLAGS=-lfoo ...
CFLAGS+= $(pkg-config --cflags libpistache)
LDFLAGS+= $(pkg-config --libs libpistache)

Building from source

To download the latest available release, clone the repository over GitHub.

$ git clone https://github.com/pistacheio/pistache.git

Now, compile the sources:

$ cd pistache
$ meson setup build \
    --buildtype=release \
$ meson compile -C build
$ meson install -C build

Optionally, you can also run the tests:

$ meson test -C build

Be patient, async_test can take some time before completing. And that's it, now you can start playing with your newly installed Pistache framework.

Some other Meson options:

Option Default Description
PISTACHE_USE_SSL False Build server with SSL support
PISTACHE_BUILD_TESTS False Build all of the unit tests
PISTACHE_ENABLE_NETWORK_TESTS True Run unit tests requiring remote network access
PISTACHE_BUILD_EXAMPLES False Build all of the example apps
PISTACHE_BUILD_DOCS False Build Doxygen docs

Continuous Integration Testing

It is important that all patches pass unit testing. Unfortunately developers make all kinds of changes to their local development environment that can have unintended consequences. This can means sometimes tests on the developer's computer pass when they should not, and other times failing when they should not have.

To properly validate that things are working, continuous integration (CI) is required. This means compiling, performing local in-tree unit tests, installing through the system package manager, and finally testing the actually installed build artifacts to ensure they do what the user expects them to do.

The key thing to remember is that in order to do this properly, this all needs to be done within a realistic end user system that hasn't been unintentionally modified by a developer. This might mean a chroot container with the help of QEMU and KVM to verify that everything is working as expected. The hermetically sealed test environment validates that the developer's expected steps for compilation, linking, unit testing, and post installation testing are actually replicable.

There are different ways of performing CI on different distros. The most common one is via the international DEP-8 standard as used by hundreds of different operating systems.


On Debian based distributions, autopkgtest implements the DEP-8 standard. To create and use a build image environment for Ubuntu, follow these steps. First install the autopkgtest(1) tools:

$ sudo apt install autopkgtest

Next create the test image, substituting groovy or amd64 for other releases or architectures:

$ autopkgtest-buildvm-ubuntu-cloud -r groovy -a amd64

Generate a Pistache source package in the parent directory of pistache_source:

$ cd pistache_source
$ sudo apt build-dep pistache
$ ./debian/rules get-orig-source
$ debuild -S -sa -uc -us

Test the source package on the host architecture in QEMU with KVM support and 8GB of RAM and four CPUs:

$ autopkgtest --shell-fail --apt-upgrade ../pistache_(...).dsc -- \
      qemu --ram-size=8192 --cpus=4 --show-boot path_to_build_image.img \


Hello World (server)

#include <pistache/endpoint.h>

using namespace Pistache;

struct HelloHandler : public Http::Handler {
  void onRequest(const Http::Request&, Http::ResponseWriter writer) override{
    writer.send(Http::Code::Ok, "Hello, World!");

int main() {

Project status

Pistache hasn't yet hit the 1.0 release. This means that the project is unstable but not unusable. In fact, most of the code is production ready; you can use Pistache to develop a RESTful API without issues, but the HTTP client has a few issues in it that make it buggy.

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