Getting Started


These components will almost certainly already be on your system.

  • gcc (4.8+) OR clang (v3.1+)
  • pthreads
  • zlib

Double-check your compiler version, to be sure it is compatible.

$ g++ -v
$ clang -v

Additional requirements:

For additional languages:

For building API documentation locally:

For maximal convenience, install htslib and google test in the same parent directory you plan to install pbbam.

Clone & Build


The following steps are for building the C++ library and command-line utilities. If you are integrating pbbam into a C#, Python, or R project, take a look at the instructions for additional languages.

The basic steps for obtaining pbbam and building it from source are as follows:

Build and install htslib, per the project’s instructions (or on OSX “brew install htslib”).


You should first clone the repository:

$ git clone
$ cd pbbam

Building with CMake

When building with CMake, create a separate build directory:

$ mkdir build
$ cd build
$ cmake ..
$ make -j 4    # compiles using 4 threads


  • Library : <pbbam_root>/lib
  • Headers : <pbbam_root>/include
  • Utilities : <pbbam_root>/bin

You may need to set a few options on the cmake command, to point to dependencies’ install locations. Common installation-related options include:


Add these using the ‘-D’ argument, like this:

$ cmake .. -DGTEST_SRC_DIR="path/to/googletest"

To run the test suite, run:

$ make test

To build a local copy of the (Doxygen-style) API documentation, run:

$ make doc

And then open <pbbam_root>/docs/html/index.html in your favorite browser.

Building with Meson

Building with Meson is generally faster and more versatile. Meson strictly requires building out of source:

$ mkdir build
$ cd build
$ meson --prefix /my/install/prefix -Denable-tests=true ..
$ ninja

where ninja will by default utilize a number of threads for compilation equal to the number of logical cores on your system. Here -Denable-tests=true enables pulling in dependencies for testing. In order to run the test suite, run:

$ ninja test

If you wish to install pbbam, run:

$ ninja install

and ninja will install pbbam to /my/install/prefix.


For CMake-based projects that will “ship with” or otherwise live alongside pbbam, you can use the approach described here.

Before defining your library or executable, add the following:

add_subdirectory(<path/to/pbbam> external/build/pbbam)

When it’s time to run “make” this will ensure that pbbam will be built, inside your own project’s build directory. After this point in the CMakeLists.txt file(s), a few variables will be available that can be used to setup your include paths and library linking targets:

    # other includes that your project needs


    # other libs that your project needs

If you’re using something other than CMake for your project’s build system, then you need to point it to pbbam’s include directory & library, as well as those of its dependencies (primarily htslib).

If you built and installed pbbam using Meson, pkg-config files will be available to be consumed by projects wishing to utilize pbbam. Autoconf, CMake, Waf, SCons and Meson all have means to determine dependency information from pkg-config files.