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% Compiling The Global Dataplane Software

NOTE: The page at is likely to be more up-to-date than this file.

This directory contains the source code for the Global Data Plane (GDP) with several language bindings. The primary binding is for C (and will work with C++). The others include Python, Java, and Javascript. [[As of 2018-12-07 the GDPv2 Javascript bindings are not known to work.]]

NOTE: these instructions assume you are starting with the source distribution. This is not appropriate if you are installing the Debian package. Since you are reading this, you presumably already have the source code. If not, you can get the GDP source distribution using one of the following commands:

git clone git://
git clone
git clone

The first form gives you public, read-only access, while the other two require that you have an account on the EECS repository. The third is only available if you have registered your public ssh key with

NOTE WELL: if you are compiling from the GDP source tree, you should request an account on and subscribe to the news feed for the GDP project. This is the only way to be informed when new versions are released.

At the moment, compiles work on many platforms, including Debian, RedHat, MacOS, and FreeBSD. However, some other GDP-related packages work on Debian only (which includes Ubuntu), so you may have difficulties outside the main source tree. See the section on Operating System Quirks below for some hints. Some subsystems only work on Debian-based systems.

Installing Requisite Packages

When compiling from source code, there is no distinction between client and server packages; both are compiled every time. For this reason, you must install all requisite packages before compiling. The easiest way to do this is to run the adm/ script.

Note that on some systems you may need to install the compile suite as well.


Compiling the primary code tree should just be a matter of typing make in the root of the gdp tree (this assumes that you have already done sh adm/ to install the requisite packages). If you want to clear out old cruft, use make clean all. You can install the packages into the system tree (by default, /usr/bin, /usr/sbin, and /usr/lib) using make install. If you prefer installing into something other than the main tree, set the LOCALROOT variable on the make command line. For example:

make clean install LOCALROOT=/usr/local

It is not necessary to install the code for testing and debugging.

If you are going to be debugging it can be convenient to use O= on the make command line. This will turn off optimization, which makes debugger output more understandable.

Note: gcc on linux has a bug that causes it to complain about non-constant expressions in an initializer when the -std=c99 flag is given. Those same expressions are constant in Clang and even in gcc without the -std=c99 flag. As a result of this problem, we do not use the -std=c99 flag by default, but this means that not all features of C99 are available. If you want full C99, use STD=-std=c99 on the make command line.

Further note: At least some versions of gcc give warnings about ignored return values even when the function call has been explicitly voided. We know about this and do not consider it to be a bug in the GDP code. If these warnings bother you we recommend installing clang and using that compiler. (Hint: it gives much better error messages and catches things that gcc does not.)

Compilation Flags

There are a few compilation flags you can use to turn on additional debugging. You can generally do this using O=-Dflag on the make command line; this also turns off optimization so that debuggers can give better information.

  • EPOPTEXTENDEDMUTEXCHECK: Check for cases such as locking mutexes that are already locked. Also enables some assertions that check lock status. Only works on systems using the NTPL implementation (which means most versions of Linux). This breaks information hiding and hence may fail if the NPTL implementation changes.
  • GDPOPTEXTENDEDCACHECHECK: This does some additional checking on the GCL cache. Notably, it fails if a loop in one of the linked lists is detected. This can be expensive, so use it sparingly.

Other language bindings

In addition to C, there is support for Python, Java, and Javascript. These bindings are all in the lang subtree. See the instructions in those directories for compiling.

Operating System Quirks


If you are trying to compile on MacOS you will need to install Xcode from the App Store to get the compilers, libraries, and build tools you will need. Instructions for doing this are available at

Other packages are installed by adm/ Note that this script will try to determine if you are using brew or macports. Of the two, macports is better understood and supports more required packages. If you use homebrew you will have to install some packages by hand.

To install macports, see It comes as standard binary packages for most versions: download the .dmg file, double click on the package, and proceed.

To install brew, see and run /usr/bin/ruby -e \"$(curl -fsSL\"

Unfortunately, neither of them has all the modules you may need if you are compiling everything, so you may have to download other packages from source code. For example, macports does not support mosquitto, which is necessary if you are compiling the MQTT-GDP gateway code (which is not part of the default build). Conversely, brew does not support Avahi, which is part of the default build.

If you cannot use macports but you want Zeroconf, you can install Avahi by hand using:

tar -zxf avahi-0.6.32.tar.gz
cd avahi-0.6.32

./configure --disable-qt4 --disable-qt3 --disable-gtk \ --disable-gtk3 --disable-gdbm --disable-pygtk \ --disable-python-dbus --disable-mono make -k

Then cd to the avahi-0.6.32 directory and run:

sudo make -k install

Note also that 0.6.32 is the current version as of this writing; you may need to find the latest version if that one becomes obsolete.

As an alternative, you can remove Zeroconf from the compilation entirely using:

make all_noavahi

Be aware that this will increase the need for manual configuration at all user sites.

If make fails because openssl/evp.h is not found, then find evp.h with:

find /usr/local/Cellar -name "evp.h"

For example:

bash-3.2$ find /usr/local/Cellar -name "evp.h" /usr/local/Cellar/openssl/1.0.2k/include/openssl/evp.h

Use the directory above the include directory for the value of LOCAL2:

make LOCAL2=/usr/local/Cellar/openssl/1.0.2k all_noavahi

Red Hat

Debian is the preferred Linux distribution for the GDP. We used to have a nightly RedHat build, but that group shut down, so that platform should be considered unsupported.


We do attempt to compile on FreeBSD occasionally in an attempt to promote portability, but some of the other optional packages do not compile or run on FreeBSD. However, the base code should compile. Please let us know if you have problems; however, it is not a high priority.

Next Steps

If you just want to use the GDP client programs, continue reading

If you intend to install and maintain your own GDP routers and/or log servers, please continue with

If you plan on debugging the GDP code itself, continue with

Directory Structure

The following is a brief explanation of the subdirectories contained in this source tree.

  • ep: A library of C utility functions. This is a stripped down version of a library I wrote several years ago. If you look at the code you will see vestiges of some of the stripped out functions. I plan on cleaning this version up and releasing it again.

  • gdp: A library for GDP manipulation. This is the library that applications must link to access the GDP.

  • gdplogd: The GDP log daemon. This implements physical (on disk) logs for the GDP. The implementation is still fairly simplistic. It depends on a routing layer (currently gdp_router, in a separate repository).

  • services: various system services. Most of these are essential if you want a local cluster. If you are tying in to the Berkeley cluster you can just use what we run. At the moment, services are mostly cluster-specific, so setting up your own cluster will probably require hand modification of the configurations.

  • services/gdp-ribd: The GDP routing information base daemon. Accepts router network adjacency updates (derived from GDP advertisements and withdrawals), maintains a network graph, and responds to router next hop queries. All adjacencies are pairs of GDPnames (256-bit binary numbers). The gdp-ribd is an interim solution which facilitated development of the new GDP v2 new router, thus one should expect the implementation will be replaced in part or whole in the future.

  • services/log-creation: log creation assistant. Accepts a log creation request generated by an application and selects a destination log server to host the log. Also updates the Human-Oriented Name to GDPname Directory (HONGD) based on log metadata. Curently fairly simplistic, and must be configured for each GDP cluster.

  • apps: application programs. At the moment these include both user-oriented applications (which normally live in /usr/bin) and administrator-specific programs (which normally live in /usr/sbin). These should be better segregated.

  • test: test programs. At the moment somewhat random. It should include more comprehensive suites.

  • doc: Some documentation, woefully incomplete. None the less, please look here first. We are constantly striving to improve it. Also see for more up-to-date detail.

  • examples: Some example programs, intended be usable as tutorials. These are mostly not up to date, but may still be useful.

  • lang: sub-directories with language-specific application programs and supporting code.

  • lang/java: Java-specific apps and libraries.

  • lang/js: JavaScript-specific apps and libraries. Also contains the Node.js/JS GDP RESTful interface code. Not to be confused with the 'apps/gdp-rest.c` GDP RESTful server. See associated README files for details.

  • lang/python: Python-specific apps and libraries. See the associated README file for details.

  • scgilib: An updated version of the SCGI code from SCGI permits a web server to access outside programs by opening a socket in a manner much more efficient than basic CGI fork/exec. This is only used for the 'apps/gdp-rest.c` GDP RESTful server.