Folly: Facebook Open-source Library
Folly (acronymed loosely after Facebook Open Source Library) is a library of C++14 components designed with practicality and efficiency in mind. Folly contains a variety of core library components used extensively at Facebook. In particular, it's often a dependency of Facebook's other open source C++ efforts and place where those projects can share code.
It complements (as opposed to competing against) offerings
such as Boost and of course
std. In fact, we embark on defining our
own component only when something we need is either not available, or
does not meet the needed performance profile. We endeavor to remove
things from folly if or when
std or Boost obsoletes them.
Performance concerns permeate much of Folly, sometimes leading to
designs that are more idiosyncratic than they would otherwise be (see
SmallLocks.h). Good performance at large
scale is a unifying theme in all of Folly.
Check it out in the intro video
Folly is a collection of relatively independent components, some as simple as a few symbols. There is no restriction on internal dependencies, meaning that a given folly module may use any other folly components.
All symbols are defined in the top-level namespace
folly, except of
course macros. Macro names are ALL_UPPERCASE and should be prefixed
folly defines other internal namespaces
detail. User code should not depend on symbols
in those namespaces.
Folly has an
experimental directory as well. This designation connotes
primarily that we feel the API may change heavily over time. This code,
typically, is still in heavy use and is well tested.
At the top level Folly uses the classic "stuttering" scheme
folly/folly used by Boost and others. The first directory serves as
an installation root of the library (with possible versioning a la
folly-1.0/), and the second is to distinguish the library when
including files, e.g.
The directory structure is flat (mimicking the namespace structure),
i.e. we don't have an elaborate directory hierarchy (it is possible
this will change in future versions). The subdirectory
contains files that are used inside folly and possibly at Facebook but
not considered stable enough for client use. Your code should not use
folly/experimental lest it may break when you update Folly.
folly/folly/test subdirectory includes the unittests for all
components, usually named
ComponentXyzTest.cpp for each
folly/folly/docs directory contains
What's in it?
Because of folly's fairly flat structure, the best way to see what's in it
is to look at the headers in top level
folly/ directory. You can also
docs folder for documentation, starting with the
Folly is published on GitHub at https://github.com/facebook/folly.
Because folly does not provide any ABI compatibility guarantees from commit to commit, we generally recommend building folly as a static library.
folly supports gcc (5.1+), clang, or MSVC. It should run on Linux (x86-32, x86-64, and ARM), iOS, macOS, and Windows (x86-64). The CMake build is only tested on some of these platforms; at a minimum, we aim to support macOS and Linux (on the latest Ubuntu LTS release or newer.)
This script is used by many of Meta's OSS tools. It will download and build all of the necessary dependencies first, and will then invoke cmake etc to build folly. This will help ensure that you build with relevant versions of all of the dependent libraries, taking into account what versions are installed locally on your system.
It's written in python so you'll need python3.6 or later on your PATH. It works on Linux, macOS and Windows.
The settings for folly's cmake build are held in its getdeps manifest
build/fbcode_builder/manifests/folly, which you can edit locally if desired.
If on Linux or MacOS (with homebrew installed) you can install system dependencies to save building them:
# Clone the repo git clone https://github.com/facebook/folly # Install dependencies cd folly sudo ./build/fbcode_builder/getdeps.py install-system-deps --recursive
If you'd like to see the packages before installing them:
./build/fbcode_builder/getdeps.py install-system-deps --dry-run --recursive
On other platforms or if on Linux and without system dependencies
getdeps.py will mostly download and build them for you during the build step.
Some of the dependencies
getdeps.py uses and installs are:
- a version of boost compiled with C++14 support.
- googletest is required to build and run folly's tests.
This script will download and build all of the necessary dependencies first, and will then invoke cmake etc to build folly. This will help ensure that you build with relevant versions of all of the dependent libraries, taking into account what versions are installed locally on your system.
getdeps.py currently requires python 3.6+ to be on your path.
getdeps.py will invoke cmake etc.
# Clone the repo git clone https://github.com/facebook/folly cd folly # Build, using system dependencies if available python3 ./build/fbcode_builder/getdeps.py --allow-system-packages build
It puts output in its scratch area:
You can also specify a
--scratch-path argument to control
the location of the scratch directory used for the build. You can find the default scratch install location from logs or with
python3 ./build/fbcode_builder/getdeps.py show-inst-dir.
There are also
--install-prefix arguments to provide some more
fine-grained control of the installation directories. However, given that
folly provides no compatibility guarantees between commits we generally
recommend building and installing the libraries to a temporary location, and
then pointing your project's build at this temporary location, rather than
installing folly in the traditional system installation directories. e.g., if you are building with CMake you can use the
CMAKE_PREFIX_PATH variable to allow CMake to find folly in this temporary installation directory when
building your project.
If you want to invoke
cmake again to iterate, there is a helpful
run_cmake.py script output in the scratch build directory. You can find the scratch build directory from logs or with
python3 ./build/fbcode_builder/getdeps.py show-build-dir.
getdeps.py will build the tests for folly. To run them:
cd folly python3 ./build/fbcode_builder/getdeps.py --allow-system-packages test
build.sh can be used on Linux and MacOS, on Windows use
build.bat script instead. Its a wrapper around
Build with cmake directly
If you don't want to let getdeps invoke cmake for you then by default, building the tests is disabled as part of the CMake
To build the tests, specify
-DBUILD_TESTS=ON to CMake at configure time.
NB if you want to invoke
cmake again to iterate on a
getdeps.py build, there is a helpful
run_cmake.py script output in the scratch-path build directory. You can find the scratch build directory from logs or with
python3 ./build/fbcode_builder/getdeps.py show-build-dir.
Running tests with ctests also works if you cd to the build dir, e.g.
(cd $(python3 ./build/fbcode_builder/getdeps.py show-build-dir) && ctest)
Finding dependencies in non-default locations
If you have boost, gtest, or other dependencies installed in a non-default
location, you can use the
variables to make CMAKE look also look for header files and libraries in
non-standard locations. For example, to also search the directories
/alt/include/path2 for header files and the
/alt/lib/path2 for libraries, you can invoke
cmake as follows:
cmake \ -DCMAKE_INCLUDE_PATH=/alt/include/path1:/alt/include/path2 \ -DCMAKE_LIBRARY_PATH=/alt/lib/path1:/alt/lib/path2 ...
Ubuntu LTS, CentOS Stream, Fedora
getdeps.py approach above. We test in CI on Ubuntu LTS, and occasionally on other distros.
If you find the set of system packages is not quite right for your chosen distro, you can specify distro version specific overrides in the dependency manifests (e.g. https://github.com/facebook/folly/blob/main/build/fbcode_builder/manifests/boost ). You could probably make it work on most recent Ubuntu/Debian or Fedora/Redhat derived distributions.
At time of writing (Dec 2021) there is a build break on GCC 11.x based systems in lang_badge_test. If you don't need badge functionality you can work around by commenting it out from CMakeLists.txt (unfortunately fbthrift does need it)
Note that many tests are disabled for folly Windows builds, you can see them in the log from the cmake configure step, or by looking for WINDOWS_DISABLED in
getdeps.py builds work on Windows and are tested in CI.
If you prefer, you can try Vcpkg. folly is available in Vcpkg and releases may be built via
vcpkg install folly:x64-windows.
You may also use
vcpkg install folly:x64-windows --head to build against
getdeps.py builds work on macOS and are tested in CI, however if you prefer, you can try one of the macOS package managers
folly is available as a Formula and releases may be built via
brew install folly.
You may also use
folly/build/bootstrap-osx-homebrew.sh to build against
This will create a build directory
_build in the top-level.
Install the required packages from MacPorts:
sudo port install \ boost \ cmake \ gflags \ git \ google-glog \ libevent \ libtool \ lz4 \ lzma \ openssl \ snappy \ xz \ zlib
Download and install double-conversion:
git clone https://github.com/google/double-conversion.git cd double-conversion cmake -DBUILD_SHARED_LIBS=ON . make sudo make install
Download and install folly with the parameters listed below:
git clone https://github.com/facebook/folly.git cd folly mkdir _build cd _build cmake .. make sudo make install