Getting Started

Compilation and Usage
Configuration Macros

Boost.Compute is not yet an offical Boost library and therefore is not packaged with the standard Boost distribution. To download the library use the following command:

git clone git://

Ubuntu users can install Boost.Compute from the PPA:

# add the boost.compute ppa
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:kylelutz/compute

# update and install boost-compute
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install boost-compute

Boost.Compute is a header-only library, so no linking is required. To use the library just add the include directory to the compilation flags and link with the system's OpenCL library. For example, with GCC:

g++ -I/path/to/compute/include main.cpp -lOpenCL

All of the Boost.Compute headers can be included with the following directive:

#include <boost/compute.hpp>

If you only want to include the core OpenCL wrapper headers (which have minimal dependencies on the rest of Boost), use the following directive:

#include <boost/compute/core.hpp>

All of the classes and functions in Boost.Compute live in the boost::compute namespace and can be brought into global scope with:

using namespace boost::compute;

Boost.Compute provides a number of optional features which can be configured with the following macros.




When defined, if program::build() fails, the program source and build log will be written to stdout.


Enables the use of C++11 thread_local storage specifier.


Builds Boost.Compute in a thread-safe mode. This requires either support for C++11 thread-local storage (via defining the BOOST_COMPUTE_HAVE_THREAD_LOCAL macro) or linking with Boost.Thread.


Enables the offline-cache which stores compiled binaries on disk. This option requires linking with Boost.Filesystem and Boost.System.

Boost.Compute can also be installed system-wide. After compiling, run the following command to install the Boost.Compute headers. By default, they will be installed under /usr/local/include.

make install

After installing, Boost.Compute can be used through cmake by adding the following to your CMakeLists.txt:

find_package(BoostCompute REQUIRED)

Ensure you also find and setup the OpenCL libraries for your system.

Bugs and issues can be reported to the issue tracker.

There is also a mailing list for users and developers at!forum/boost-compute.

Look through the FAQ to see if you're encountering a known or common issue.