arvidn / cppkafka

Modern C++ Apache Kafka client library (wrapper for librdkafka)

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cppkafka: high level C++ wrapper for rdkafka

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cppkafka allows C++ applications to consume and produce messages using the Apache Kafka protocol. The library is built on top of librdkafka, and provides a high level API that uses modern C++ features to make it easier to write code while keeping the wrapper's performance overhead to a minimum.


  • cppkafka is a high level C++ wrapper for rdkafka, aiming to allow using rdkafka in a simple, less error prone way.

  • cppkafka provides an API to produce messages as well as consuming messages, but the latter is only supported via the high level consumer API. cppkafka requires rdkafka >= 0.9.4 in order to use it. Other wrapped functionalities are also provided, like fetching metadata, offsets, etc.

  • cppkafka provides message header support. This feature requires rdkafka >= 0.11.4.

  • cppkafka tries to add minimal overhead over librdkafka. A very thin wrapper for librdkafka messages is used for consumption so there's virtually no overhead at all.

It's simple!

cppkafka's API is simple to use. For example, this code creates a producer that writes a message into some partition:

#include <cppkafka/cppkafka.h>

using namespace std;
using namespace cppkafka;

int main() {
    // Create the config
    Configuration config = {
        { "", "" }

    // Create the producer
    Producer producer(config);

    // Produce a message!
    string message = "hey there!";


In order to compile cppkafka you need:

  • librdkafka >= 0.9.4
  • CMake
  • A compiler with good C++11 support (e.g. gcc >= 4.8). This was tested successfully on g++ 4.8.3.
  • The boost library.

Now, in order to build, just run:

mkdir build
cd build
cmake <OPTIONS> ..

CMake options

The following cmake options can be specified:

  • RDKAFKA_ROOT_DIR : Specify a different librdkafka install directory.
  • BOOST_ROOT : Specify a different Boost install directory.
  • CPPKAFKA_CMAKE_VERBOSE : Generate verbose output. Default is OFF.
  • CPPKAFKA_BUILD_SHARED : Build cppkafka as a shared library. Default is ON.
  • CPPKAFKA_DISABLE_TESTS : Disable build of cppkafka tests. Default is OFF.
  • CPPKAFKA_DISABLE_EXAMPLES : Disable build of cppkafka examples. Default is OFF.
  • CPPKAFKA_BOOST_STATIC_LIBS : Link with Boost static libraries. Default is ON.
  • CPPKAFKA_BOOST_USE_MULTITHREADED : Use Boost multi-threaded libraries. Default is ON.
  • CPPKAFKA_RDKAFKA_STATIC_LIB : Link to Rdkafka static library. Default is OFF.



The RDKAFKA_ROOT_DIR must contain the following structure. If the system architecture is 64-bit and both lib and lib64 folders are available, the lib64 folder location will be selected by cmake.

                   + include/librdkafka/rdkafka.h
                   + lib/librdkafka.a
                   + lib64/librdkafka.a (optional)


If you want to use cppkafka, you'll need to link your application with:

  • cppkafka
  • rdkafka


You can generate the documentation by running make docs inside the build directory. This requires Doxygen to be installed. The documentation will be written in html format at <build-dir>/docs/html/.

Make sure to check the wiki which includes some documentation about the project and some of its features.

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Modern C++ Apache Kafka client library (wrapper for librdkafka)

License:BSD 2-Clause "Simplified" License


Language:C++ 96.2%Language:CMake 2.5%Language:C 1.3%