GnuTLS is a secure communications library implementing the SSL, TLS and DTLS protocols and technologies around them. It provides a simple C language API to access the secure communications protocols.

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CII Best Practices

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GnuTLS -- Information for developers

GnuTLS implements the TLS/SSL (Transport Layer Security aka Secure Sockets Layer) protocol. Additional information can be found at

This file contains instructions for developers and advanced users that want to build from version controlled sources. See for building released versions.

We require several tools to check out and build the software, including:

The required software is typically distributed with your operating system, and the instructions for installing them differ. Here are some hints:


apt-get install -y git-core autoconf libtool gettext autopoint
apt-get install -y automake autogen nettle-dev libp11-kit-dev libtspi-dev libunistring-dev
apt-get install -y guile-2.0-dev libtasn1-6-dev libidn2-0-dev gawk gperf
apt-get install -y libunbound-dev dns-root-data bison help2man gtk-doc-tools
apt-get install -y texinfo texlive texlive-generic-recommended texlive-extra-utils


yum install -y git autoconf libtool gettext-devel automake autogen
yum install -y nettle-devel p11-kit-devel autogen-libopts-devel libunistring-devel
yum install -y trousers-devel guile-devel libtasn1-devel libidn2-devel gawk gperf
yum install -y libtasn1-tools unbound-devel bison help2man gtk-doc texinfo texlive

Sometimes, you may need to install more recent versions of Automake, Nettle, P11-kit and Autogen, which you will need to build from sources.

Dependencies that are used during make check or make dist are listed below. Moreover, for basic interoperability testing you may want to install openssl and polarssl.


apt-get install -y valgrind libasan1 libubsan0 nodejs softhsm2 datefudge lcov libssl-dev libcmocka-dev
apt-get install -y dieharder libpolarssl-runtime openssl abi-compliance-checker socat net-tools ppp


yum install -y valgrind libasan libasan-static libubsan nodejs softhsm datefudge lcov openssl-devel
yum install -y dieharder mbedtls-utils openssl abi-compliance-checker libcmocka-devel socat

To download the version controlled sources:

$ git clone
$ cd gnutls
$ git submodule update --init

The next step is to run autoreconf (etc) and then ./configure:

$ make bootstrap

When built this way, some developer defaults will be enabled. See for details.

Then build the project normally, and run the test suite.

$ make
$ make check

To test the code coverage of the test suite use the following:

$ ./configure --enable-code-coverage
$ make && make check && make code-coverage-capture

Individual tests that may require additional hardware (e.g., smart cards) are:

$ sh tests/suite/testpkcs11

Building for windows

It is recommended to cross compile using Fedora and the following dependencies:

yum install -y wine mingw32-nettle mingw32-libtasn1 mingw32-gcc

and build as:

mingw32-configure --enable-local-libopts --disable-non-suiteb-curves --disable-doc --without-p11-kit
mingw32-make check

Continuous Integration (CI)

We utilize two continuous integration systems, the gitlab-ci and travis. Gitlab-CI is used to test most of the Linux systems (see .gitlab-ci.yml), and is split in two phases, build image creation and compilation/test. The build image creation is done at the gnutls/build-images subproject and uploads the image at the container registry. The compilation/test phase is on every commit to gnutls project.

The Travis based CI, is used to test compilation on MacOSX based systems.


See the contributing document.

Happy hacking!

Copying and distribution of this file, with or without modification, are permitted in any medium without royalty provided the copyright notice and this notice are preserved.