From PostgreSQL wiki
Jump to: navigation, search


translation of configure, make, etc commands
description old command new command comment
set up build tree ./configure [<options>] meson setup [<options>] [<build dir>] <source-dir> meson only supports building out of tree
set up build tree for visual studio perl src/tools/msvc/ meson setup --backend vs [<options>] [<build dir>] <source-dir> configures build tree for one build type (debug or release or ...)
show configure options ./configure --help meson configure shows options built into meson and PostgreSQL specific options
set configure options ./configure --prefix=DIR, --$somedir=DIR, --with-$option, --enable-$feature meson setup|configure -D$option=$value options can be set when setting up build tree (setup) and in existing build tree (configure)
enable cassert --enable-cassert -Dcassert=true
enable debug symbols ./configure --enable-debug meson configure|setup -Ddebug=true
specify compiler CC=compiler ./configure CC=compiler meson setup CC is only checked during meson setup, not with meson configure
set CFLAGS CFLAGS=options ./configure meson configure|setup -Dc_args=options CFLAGS is also checked, but only for meson setup
build make -s ninja ninja uses parallelism by default, launch from the root of the build tree.
build, showing compiler commands make ninja -v ninja uses parallelism by default, launch from the root of the build tree.
install all the binaries and libraries make install ninja install use meson install --quiet for a less verbose experience
clean build make clean ninja clean ninja uses parallelism by default, launch from the root of the build tree.
run all tests make check-world meson test runs all test, using parallelism by default
build documentation cd doc/ && make html && make man ninja docs Builds html documentation and man pages
run main regression tests make check meson test --suite setup --suite regress
list tests meson test --list

PostgreSQL devel documentation

"Building and Installation with Meson" section

Other Notes

ninja tries to run from the root of the build directory. If you are not in the build directory, you can use the "-C" flag to have ninja "change directory" and run from there, e.g.:

ninja -C $builddir

Installing Meson


Debian / Ubuntu:

apt-get update && apt-get install -y meson ninja-build


dnf -y install meson ninja-build


dnf -y install dnf-plugins-core
dnf config-manager --set-enabled powertools
dnf -y install meson ninja-build

RHEL 9 (tested on Rocky Linux 9):

dnf -y install dnf-plugins-core
dnf config-manager --set-enabled crb
dnf -y install meson


With MacPorts:

sudo port install meson

Arguments to meson setup/configure to find MacPorts libraries:

meson setup -Dpkg_config_path=/opt/local/lib/pkgconfig -Dextra_lib_dirs=/opt/local/lib/ -Dextra_include_dirs=/opt/local/include $builddir $sourcedir

With Homebrew:

brew install meson

Arguments to meson setup/configure to find Homebrew libraries:

On arm64:

meson setup -Dpkg_config_path=/opt/homebrew/lib/pkgconfig -Dextra_include_dirs=/opt/homebrew/include -Dextra_lib_dirs=/opt/homebrew/lib $builddir $sourcedir

On x86-64:

meson setup -Dpkg_config_path=/usr/local/lib/pkgconfig -Dextra_include_dirs=/usr/local/include -Dextra_lib_dirs=/usr/local/lib $builddir $sourcedir


Assuming python is installed, the easiest way to get meson and ninja is:

pip install meson ninja

Why and What

Autoconf is showing its age, fewer and fewer contributors know how to wrangle it. Recursive make has a lot of hard to resolve dependency issues and slow incremental rebuilds. Our home-grown MSVC buildsystem is hard to maintain for developers not using windows and runs tests serially. While these and other issues could individually be addressed with incremental improvements, together they seem best addressed by moving to a more modern buildsystem.

After evaluating different buildsystem choices, we chose to use meson, to a good degree based on the adoption by other open source projects.

We decided that it's more realistic to commit a relatively early version of the new buildsystem and mature it in tree.

The plan is to remove the msvc specific buildsystem in src/tools/msvc soon after reaching feature parity. However, we're not planning to remove the autoconf/make buildsystem in the near future. Likely we're going to keep at least the parts required for PGXS to keep working around until all supported versions build with meson.

Meson documentation

Development tree, other resources

Visualizing builds

When building with ninja, the generated .ninja_log can be uploaded to, which is very helpful to visualize builds.