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Software Requirements

To build and install Souffle, the following software must be installed:

  • Make, Autoconf tools, GNU G++ supporting C++17 and OpenMP (from version 4.8), Bison (from version 3.0.4), Flex, DoxyGen

Clang++ with OpenMP support can be used as an alternative for G++.

Ubuntu/Debian Build

On a Ubuntu/Debian system, following command installs the necessary developer tools to compile and build Soufflé:

sudo apt-get install autoconf automake bison build-essential clang doxygen flex g++ git libffi-dev libncurses5-dev libtool libsqlite3-dev make mcpp python sqlite zlib1g-dev

Support for C++17 is required, which is supported in g++ 7/clang++ 7 on.

The Soufflé project follows automake/autoconf conventions for configuring, installing and building software. To configure, build, test, and install the project, type:

 cd souffle
 sh ./bootstrap

MAC OS X Build

MAC OS X does not have OpenMP/C++ nor a bison version 3.0.2 or higher installed by default. OpenMP is not required, but does improve runtime for large programs. Testing with multiple threads will also fail if OpenMP is not installed.

We recommend brew to install the required tools to build Soufflé. Run the following commands prior to executing ./configure:

brew update
brew install autoconf automake bison libffi libtool mcpp pkg-config
brew reinstall gcc
brew link bison --force
brew link libffi --force
export PKG_CONFIG_PATH=/usr/local/opt/libffi/lib/pkgconfig/

Note: Be careful with the search path for bison, so it points to the correct one. By default, macOS includes bison 2.3 at /usr/bin/bison, however brew installs the newer version to /usr/local/bin/bison. This can be done by prepending this directory to the path, however, this can break other systems - PATH=/usr/local/bin:$PATH. Also note that the version of gcc installed may be different, so ‘g++-8’ may need to be changed.

Soufflé is built by

cd souffle
export CXX=g++-9 #Your version of g++ may vary
export CC=gcc-9  #Your version of gcc may vary

Testing Soufflé


 make check

numerous unit tests and regression tests are performed. This may take up to 45min. However, this may be sped up with, for instance:

TESTSUITEFLAGS=-j8 make check

which will run 8 jobs at a time.

Installing Soufflé

If you would like to install Soufflé in your system, specify an installation directory with ./configure --prefix=<install-dir>. The executable, scripts, and header files will be stored in the directory <install-dir>. Use an absolute path for <install-dir>. Type

 make install

to install Soufflé. By setting the path variable


the Soufflé commands souffle and souffle-profile are available to the users.

Building from CMake


cmake >= 3.15 is required.

In the source directory, run cmake -S . -B <build_dir>. To specify building options, run cmake -S . -B <build_dir> -D<option>=<value>. The avaiable options are documented in CmakeLists.txt under the project root directory. Alternatively, run ccmake <build_dir> to invoke cmake with a gui interface and configure the options there.

Build & Install

In the source directory, run cmake --build <build_dir> [-jN] and souffle will build, you can enable build with multiple threads by specifying N.

To install Souffle, during the setup, run cmake -S . -B <build_dir> -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=<install_dir> then cmake --build <build_dir> --target install [-jN].


To run tests, cd <build_dir> and run ctest [-jN]. For more control, -R <regex> allows you to run tests that matching the regular expression; -L <regex> allows you to run tests with labels matching the regular expression, use --print-labels to show all available labels; --rerun-failed allows you to run only the tests that failed previously. For more options: ctest --help.


With CMake you can easily integrate Souffle project with your IDE/editor. For example, if you are using clangd, simply run cmake -DCMAKE_EXPORT_COMPILE_COMMANDS=1 to generate the configuration file.