This article needs a technical review. How you can help.
Use these instructions to build the latest SpiderMonkey source code.
And of course, you'll need to get the SpiderMonkey source code.
Non-developer (optimized) build
Use these steps if you just want to install SpiderMonkey or use it as a library. (If you want to work on improving SpiderMonkey itself, you should additionally do a developer/debug build as described below.)
cd js/src autoconf-2.13 # This name should end with "_OPT.OBJ" to make the version control system ignore it. mkdir build_OPT.OBJ cd build_OPT.OBJ ../configure # Use "mozmake" on Windows make
Note that autoconf version 2.13 is required. No later version will work. The MozillaBuild package for Windows includes autoconf 2.13.
Note: If you are on Mac and getting an error similar to
checking whether the C compiler (gcc-4.2 ) works... no"
configure: error: installation or configuration problem: C compiler cannot create executables.
You can try configuring like so:
CC=clang CXX=clang++ ../configure
This builds an executable named
js in the directory
build-release/dist/bin. You can test it with
dist/bin/js --help, which displays a help page. At this point, you're ready to run and try out the shell.
On Mac, Linux, or UNIX, you can install SpiderMonkey on your system with the additional command
make install. This installs the shared library to
/usr/local/lib, the C header files to
/usr/local/include, and the
js executable to
Developer (debug) build
For developing and debugging SpiderMonkey itself, it is best to have both a debug build (for everyday debugging) and an optimized build (for performance testing), in separate build directories. Thus, in addition to following the steps above, you should also create a debug build using these steps:
cd js/src autoconf-2.13 # This name should end with "_DBG.OBJ" to make the version control system ignore it. mkdir build_DBG.OBJ cd build_DBG.OBJ ../configure --enable-debug --disable-optimize # Use "mozmake" on Windows make
You can also build debug builds of SpiderMonkey with the
JS_GC_ZEAL option, which adds a new built-in function to SpiderMonkey that lets you configure zealous garbage collection. This can help debug memory leaks and other memory-related problems. See
JS_SetGCZeal() for details.
For a list of other available build options, type (assuming the current working directory is one of the above-created build directories):
Since version 28, threadsafe builds are the default, and should work out of the box on all POSIX platforms. Hence, the following instructions should only be relevant if you're on Windows or compiling an older version of SpiderMonkey.
The MozillaBuild batch file you used to open your shell (e.g.
start-shell-msvc2013-x64.bat) determines whether the compiler toolchain will target 32-bit or 64-bit builds. To create a 64-bit build, note that you must configure with
Since the POSIX NSPR emulation is not available for Windows, a working version of NSPR must be available to your build. The easiest option is to configure with
--enable-nspr-build does not work, explicitly tell
configure where to find NSPR using the
--with-nspr-libs configure options. For example, assuming your local NSPR has been installed to
--with-nspr-cflags="-IC:/mozilla-build/msys/local/include" \ --with-nspr-libs="
If you get symbol loading or dynamic library errors, you can force the correct NSPR to load with:
Specifying installation directories
make install puts files in the following directories by default. You can override this by passing options to the
|What it is||Where it gets put||
|executables, shell scripts||
|C header files||
For convenience, you can pass the
configure script an option of the form
--prefix=<PREFIXDIR>, which substitutes
/usr/local in all the settings above, in one step. This is usually the least troublesome thing to do, as it preserves the typical arrangement of
bin, and the rest.
configureare recorded in the generated makefile, so you don't need to specify them again until you re-run
Building SpiderMonkey as a static library
By default, SpiderMonkey builds as a shared library. However, you can build SpiderMonkey as a static library by specifying the
--disable-shared-js flag when you run
Specifying compilers and compiler flags
If you want to use a compiler other than the one the
configure script chooses for you by default, you can set the
CXX variable in the environment when you run
configure. This will save the values you specify in the generated makefile, so once you've set it, you don't need to do so again until you re-run
If you'd like to pass certain flags to the compiler, you can set the
CXXFLAGS environment variable when you run
configure. For example, if you're using the GNU toolchain, the following will pass the
-g3 flag to the compiler, causing it to emit debug information about macros. Then you can use those macros in
$ CXXFLAGS=-g3 $SRC/configure ... checking whether the C++ compiler (c++ -g3 ) works... yes ... $
To build a 32-bit version on a 64-bit Linux system, you can use the following:
PKG_CONFIG_LIBDIR=/usr/lib/pkgconfig CC="gcc -m32" CXX="g++ -m32" AR=ar $SRC/configure --target=i686-pc-linux
To build a 64-bit version on a 32-bit Mac system (e.g. Mac OS X 10.5), you can use the following:
AR=ar CC="gcc -m64" CXX="g++ -m64" ../configure --target=x86_64-apple-darwin10.0.0
To build a 64-bit Windows version, you can use the following:
$SRC/configure --host=x86_64-pc-mingw32 --target=x86_64-pc-mingw32
Whatever compiler and flags you pass to
configure are recorded in the generated makefile, so you don't need to specify them again until you re-run
Building your application
While "How to build your complete application" is clearly out of scope for this document, here are some tips that will help get you on your way:
- The SpiderMonkey developers frequently and deliberately change the JSAPI ABI. You cannot use headers built for one version/configuration of JSAPI to create object files which will be linked against another.
- Support for JS_THREADSAFE was recently removed, and threadsafe builds are now enabled by default.
js-configscript, described below, is the recommended way to determine correct include paths, required libraries, etc. for your embedding to use during compilation. We highly recommend calling the
js-configscript from your embedding's makefile to set your CFLAGS, LDFLAGS, and so forth.
- To install SpiderMonkey somewhere other than the default, you must use the
--prefixoption as described above. Failure to do so may break your
- Some features detected by the
configurescript do not work for cross-compilation.
Using the js-config script
In addition to the SpiderMonkey libraries, header files, and shell, the SpiderMonkey build also produces a shell script named
js-config which other build systems can use to find out how to compile code using the SpiderMonkey APIs, and how to link with the SpiderMonkey libraries.
When invoked with the
js-config prints the flags that you should pass to the C compiler when compiling files that use the SpiderMonkey API. These flags ensure the compiler will find the SpiderMonkey header files.
$ ./js-config --cflags # Example output: -I/usr/local/include/js -I/usr/include/nspr
When invoked with the
js-config prints the flags that you should pass to the C compiler when linking an executable or shared library that uses SpiderMonkey. These flags ensure the compiler will find the SpiderMonkey libraries, along with any libraries that SpiderMonkey itself depends upon (like NSPR).
$ ./js-config --libs # Example output: -L/usr/local/lib -lmozjs -L/usr/lib -lplds4 -lplc4 -lnspr4 -lpthread -ldl -ldl -lm -lm -ldl
Y.jsand check if an appropriate output is printed. (It should say:
5! is 120.)
Run the main test suite by running
Run JIT-specific tests by running:
Building SpiderMonkey 1.8 or earlier
Use these instructions to build SpiderMonkey from an official source release or from the old CVS repository. To build the latest SpiderMonkey sources from Mercurial, see Building SpiderMonkey above.
SpiderMonkey is easy to build from source if you have the usual Mozilla build prerequisites installed. Before you begin, make sure you have right build tools for your computer: Linux, Windows, Mac, others.
First, download a SpiderMonkey source distribution, such as SpiderMonkey 1.8 Release Candidate 1.
To build, use these commands:
tar xvzf js-1.8.0-rc1.tar.gz cd js/src make -f Makefile.ref
This builds a debug version of SpiderMonkey. All build files are created in a subdirectory named depending on your system (for example,
Linux_All_DBG.OBJ if you are on Linux). To install this build on your system, see SpiderMonkey installation instructions.
To build an optimized (non-debug) version of SpiderMonkey:
make BUILD_OPT=1 -f Makefile.ref
To build a thread-safe version of SpiderMonkey:
make JS_DIST=/full/path/to/directory/containing/nspr JS_THREADSAFE=1 -f Makefile.ref