libzip uses cmake to build.

For running the tests, you need to have perl.

You'll need zlib (at least version 1.1.2). It comes with most operating systems.

For supporting bzip2-compressed zip archives, you need bzip2.

For supporting lzma- and xz-compressed zip archives, you need liblzma which is part of xz, at least version 5.2.

For supporting zstd-compressed zip archives, you need zstd.

For AES (encryption) support, you need one of these cryptographic libraries, listed in order of preference:

  • Apple's CommonCrypto (available on macOS and iOS)
  • GnuTLS and Nettle (at least nettle 3.0)
  • mbed TLS
  • OpenSSL >= 1.0.
  • Microsoft Windows Cryptography Framework

If you don't want a library even if it is installed, you can pass -DENABLE_<LIBRARY>=OFF to cmake, where <LIBRARY> is one of COMMONCRYPTO, GNUTLS, MBEDTLS, or OPENSSL.

The basic usage is

mkdir build
cd build
cmake ..
make test
make install

Some useful parameters you can pass to cmake with -Dparameter=value:

  • BUILD_SHARED_LIBS: set to ON or OFF to enable/disable building of shared libraries, defaults to ON
  • CMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX: for setting the installation path
  • DOCUMENTATION_FORMAT: choose one of man, mdoc, and html for the installed documentation (default: decided by cmake depending on available tools)
  • LIBZIP_DO_INSTALL: If you include libzip as a subproject, link it statically and do not want to let it install its files, set this variable to OFF. Defaults to ON.

If you want to compile with custom CFLAGS, set them in the environment before running cmake:


If you are compiling on a system with a small stack size, add -DZIP_ALLOCATE_BUFFER to CFLAGS.

If you are building on a 32-bit Linux system it might be necessary to define _FILE_OFFSET_BITS to 64. Your distro will need to provide a fts.h file that is new enough to support this, or the build will break in zipcmp.

You can get verbose build output with by passing VERBOSE=1 to make.

You can also check the cmake FAQ.