Boost build and test guide

This page is a guide to running the testing and timing programs for the Boost class libraries as part of GCC integration testing.

Resource usage

Boost distributions are available from SourceForge, linked from the Boost web site. These instructions are for version 1.27.0, whose gzipped tar file is 3.8 MB. The uncompressed distribution comprises some 16 MB of source files. Building the library and tests adds between 80 and 140 MB of object files and executables to this.

On a Pentium III laptop, building the Boost library takes 15 minutes and building and running the regression tests takes an additional 5 minutes.


To prepare for a build, perform the following:


The Boost package gets information about how to compile and link from the file compiler.cfg. On a GNU/Linux system you can replace the contents of that file with the following:

GCC 3.1
g++ -c -w -ftemplate-depth-30 -I%include %source
g++ -o boosttmp.exe -w -ftemplate-depth-30 -I%include %source -lrt
GNU<br><a href="">GCC</a><br>3.1

To build the package with specific optimizations, add them to the compile line in this file.


To build the Boost class library, do:

cd ${BOOST_ROOT}/tools/build/jam_src
make all
tools/build/jam_src/jam0 \

If you don't have Python installed, there will be build failures for Python support. The wregex support fails to build if glibc is older than 2.2.4. These failures do not prevent the build from continuing.


Build the Boost regression tests with:

cd ${BOOST_ROOT}/status
g++ -I${BOOST_ROOT} -o regression regression.cpp

Run the tests with:

cd ${BOOST_ROOT}/status

"Pass" or "Fail" appears at the end of the output for each test. There should be no failures, although if your glibc is older than 2.2.4 then tests libs/integer/integer_traits_test.cpp and libs/regex/test/regress/wregex_test.cpp will fail.

Interoperability testing

Boost can be used to test interoperability of two compilers by building the Boost class library with one compiler and the regression test with a different compiler.




Cleanup (to prepare the directory for a fresh run, e.g. with another version of the compiler), is done as follows:

rm -f ${BOOST_ROOT}/build/jam_src/jam0
rm -f ${BOOST_ROOT}/status/regression
find . -name \*.o -exec rm -f {} \;