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Elle, the coroutine-based asynchronous C++ development framework

Logo - Elle

Elle is a collection of libraries, written in modern C++ (C++14). It contains a rich set of highly reusable concepts, algorithms, API wrappers, ...

Elle is split into different specialized sub-libraries to provide elegant ways to approach asynchronism (using coroutines), networking, formatting, serialization, logging, RPCs, etc.


  • Elle is under development, used and maintained by Infinit as a core library. APIs, structures and concepts may change over time. You can use it as is but we don't guarantee any API backward compatibility.
  • Elle has a sub-library also called elle, which might change name in a near future.


Here is an example showing an asynchronous HTTP operation in a natural form (no callbacks) and basic JSON serialization.

// Initialize the HTTP Request.
elle::reactor::http::Request r("",
  {"format", "json"},
  {"action", "query"},
  {"prop", "extracts"},
  {"explaintext", ""},
  {"exintro", ""},
  {"titles", "JSON"}
// Perform the HTTP request and yield until response is available.
// Deserialize the json response.
std::cout << elle::json::pretty_print(elle::json::read(r)) << std::endl;

Getting Elle

To download the source code and build Elle by yourself, get it from GitHub.

git clone --recursive # Clone elle and its submodules.

Note: If you cloned it using the GitHub "clone" button, do not forget to run git submodule update --init --recursive!

Note: If you forked Elle, you'll also need to fork the following repositories too: drake, dokan, libutp, miniupnp. The reason why is detailed on following GitHub issue.


As mentioned earlier, Elle is composed of a set of sub-libraries, designed to ease C++ development through robust and flexible implementations, including:

  • elle: Utilities including serialization, logs, buffer, formatting, ...
  • reactor: An asynchronous framework using a coroutines scheduler
  • cryptography: Object-oriented cryptography wrapper around OpenSSL
  • protocol: Network communication designed to support RPCs
  • das: Symbol-based introspection
  • athena: Byzantine environment algorithms (Paxos)
  • service/aws: reactorified AWS API wrapper
  • service/dropbox: reactorified Dropbox API wrapper
  • nbd: A Network Block Device implementation.

How to build Elle (or parts of Elle)


Build system

Elle uses Drake and has it as a submodule.

How to compile

For a detailed procedure, visit our wiki: How to build.

First you need to install drakes requirements.

sudo pip3 install -r elle/drake/requirements.txt # Install Drake dependencies.

Note: If you don't want Drake dependencies to be installed system-wide, you should consider using virtualenv.

Change directory to elle/_build/<architecture> where you can find a generic Drake configuration script.


cd elle/_build/linux64
./drake //build -j 2 # Build all libraries using 2 jobs.


cd elle/_build/osx
./drake //build -j 2 # Build all libraries using 2 jobs.

Because Elle was designed to be modular, you can build specific parts of Elle by running ./drake //<module>/build:

./drake //src/elle/cryptography/build -j 2 # To build libcryptography and its dependencies.
./drake //src/elle/reactor/build -j 2 # To build the libreactor and its dependencies.
./drake //src/elle/protocol/build -j 2 # To build the libprotocol and its dependencies.
./drake //...

It will result on <module>/lib/libelle_<module>.so and its dependencies on GNU/Linux, <module>/lib/lib<module>.dylib on macOS, ...


Elle depends on a few libraries which are automatically downloaded and built for your system by Drake if needed.

List of projects using Elle


Consult Elle's wiki for more information about Elle.


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