Compile Gerbera

Gerbera uses the excellent CMake build system.



Remember to install associated development packages, because development headers are needed for compilation!

In order to compile Gerbera you will have to install the following packages:

Library Min Version Required? Note Compile-time option Default Script
libupnp 1.14.0 XOR libnpupnp pupnp
libnpupnp 4.1.2 XOR libupnp npupnp WITH_NPUPNP Disabled  
libuuid   Depends on OS Not required on *BSD      
pugixml   Required XML file and data support
libiconv   Required Charset conversion      
sqlite3 3.7.11 Required Database storage      
zlib   Required Data compression      
fmtlib 7.1.3 Required Fast string formatting
spdlog 1.8.1 Required Runtime logging
duktape 2.1.0 Optional Scripting Support WITH_JS Enabled
mysql   Optional Alternate database storage WITH_MYSQL Disabled  
curl   Optional Enables web services WITH_CURL Enabled  
taglib 1.11.1 Optional Audio tag support WITH_TAGLIB Enabled
libmagic   Optional File type detection WITH_MAGIC Enabled  
libmatroska   Optional MKV metadata WITH_MATROSKA Enabled  
ffmpeg/libav   Optional File metadata WITH_AVCODEC Disabled  
libexif   Optional JPEG Exif metadata WITH_EXIF Enabled  
libexiv2   Optional Exif, IPTC, XMP metadata WITH_EXIV2 Disabled  
lastfmlib 0.4.0 Optional Enables scrobbling WITH_LASTFM Disabled
ffmpegthumbnailer   Optional Generate video thumbnails WITH_FFMPEGTHUMBNAILER Disabled  
inotify   Optional Efficient file monitoring WITH_INOTIFY Enabled  

Referenced packages:

Scripts for installation of (build) dependencies from source can be found under scripts.

Quick Start Build

git clone
mkdir build
cd build
cmake ../gerbera -DWITH_MAGIC=1 -DWITH_MYSQL=1 -DWITH_CURL=1 -DWITH_JS=1 \
make -j4
sudo make install

Alternatively, the options can be set using a GUI (make sure to press “c” to configure after toggling settings in the GUI):

git clone
mkdir build
cd build
cmake ../gerbera
make edit_cache
# Enable some of the WITH... options
make -j4
sudo make install

Using Conan

The simplest way to fetch dependencies and build Gerbera is to use Conan. Please read more here.

Build On Ubuntu 16.04

apt-get install uuid-dev libsqlite3-dev libmysqlclient-dev \
libmagic-dev libexif-dev libcurl4-openssl-dev libspdlog-dev libpugixml-dev
# If building with LibAV/FFmpeg (-DWITH_AVCODEC=1)
apt-get install libavutil-dev libavcodec-dev libavformat-dev libavdevice-dev \
libavfilter-dev libavresample-dev libswscale-dev libswresample-dev libpostproc-dev

The following packages are too old in 16.04 and must be installed from source: taglib (1.11.x), and libupnp (1.8.x).

libupnp must be configured/built with --enable-ipv6. See scripts/ for details.

Build On Ubuntu 18.04

To build gerbera on Ubuntu 18.04 you have to install a newer version of the gcc++ compiler and clang++:

sudo add-apt-repository -y ppa:ubuntu-toolchain-r/test
sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade
sudo apt install -y build-essential xz-utils curl gcc-8 g++-8 clang clang-9 libssl-dev  pkg-config
sudo update-alternatives --install /usr/bin/gcc gcc /usr/bin/gcc-7 30
sudo update-alternatives --install /usr/bin/gcc gcc /usr/bin/gcc-8 60
sudo update-alternatives --install /usr/bin/g++ g++ /usr/bin/g++-7 30
sudo update-alternatives --install /usr/bin/g++ g++ /usr/bin/g++-8 60
sudo update-alternatives --install /usr/bin/clang clang /usr/bin/clang-9 60
sudo update-alternatives --install /usr/bin/clang clang /usr/bin/clang-6.0 30
sudo update-alternatives --install /usr/bin/clang++ clang++ /usr/bin/clang++-9 60
sudo update-alternatives --install /usr/bin/clang++ clang++ /usr/bin/clang++-6.0 30
sudo update-alternatives --config gcc
sudo update-alternatives --config g++
sudo update-alternatives --config clang
sudo update-alternatives --config clang++
sudo update-alternatives --set cc /usr/bin/clang
sudo update-alternatives --set c++ /usr/bin/clang++
git clone
cd CMake
sudo make install
cd ..

Install all libraries gerbera needs. Because they are to old libupnp, libfmt must be build and installed from the source:

sudo apt install -y uuid-dev libsqlite3-dev libmysqlclient-dev libmagic-dev \
libexif-dev libcurl4-openssl-dev libspdlog-dev libpugixml-dev libavutil-dev \
libavcodec-dev libavformat-dev libavdevice-dev libavfilter-dev libavresample-dev \
libswscale-dev libswresample-dev libpostproc-dev duktape-dev libmatroska-dev \
libsystemd-dev libtag1-dev ffmpeg

Build and install libupnp with the --enable-ipv6 and --enable-reuseaddr option and libfmt from sourcec

wget "" -O libupnp-1.14.10.tar.bz2
tar -xf libupnp-1.14.10.tar.bz2
cd libupnp-1.14.10
./configure --enable-ipv6 --enable-reuseaddr
sudo make install
cd ..
git clone
cd fmt
cmake .
sudo make install
cd ../..

It is strongly recommended to to rebuild spdlog without bundled fmt:

git clone
cd spdlog
sudo make install

Now it’s time to get the source of gerbera and compile it.

git clone
mkdir build
cd build
sudo make install

Build On Debian Buster

This guide is based on buildinh Gerbera on Pogo Kirkwood Armel architecture boxes running Debian buster.

  1. Create a swapfile when using 128Mb devices (and probably 256MB too). Add a HD or SSD but not a USB stick because of the risk of hardware failure.
  2. If you for libnpupnp and libupnpp6 from - Follow the build instructions to create Debian packages which you can then install with dpkg.
  3. Build the latest Taglib cmake; make -j2 and run make install to install or use scripts/
  4. Use Apt-get to install the rest of the dev packages as per dependencies list. It is best to load fmtlib-dev and from the Buster Backports

5. Clone the Gerbera git and edit the CMakeLists.txt file and comment the original version and add the new.

# set(GERBERA_VERSION "git")
set(GERBERA_VERSION "1.6.4-185-gae283931+d")

and add these lines to make the debian package

# include (cmake)

6. This is the Cmake command:


Resolve any dependency issues now!

  1. the make -j2 will take at least some hours - go for a walk, read a book, grab some sleep …..
  2. cpack -G DEB will create a debian package file - All being well - no errors. Use dpkg to install.

9. follow the gerbera manual for installation. Create the gerbera user (give the user a home directory e.g. /home/gerbera). Make the /etc/gerbera folder and get the config.xml. Symbolic link the config file:

ln -s /etc/gerbera/config.xml /home/gerbera/.config/gerbera

Symbolic link the web directory:

ln -s /usr/share/gerbera /usr/local/share

10. Edit config.xml and change the path to


11. Start gerbera with the standard launch command. The server should start - watch the messages for errors. Check the web interface functions too. when happy that all is good - control-c to get back to shell

gerbera -c /etc/gerbera/config.xml

12. For SystemD users, copy the gerbera.service script into /usr/systemd/system and edit it to correct the path to the gerbera server the use the systemctl command as per the manual to start and stop the server and debug any problems.

ExecStart=/usr/bin/gerbera -c /etc/gerbera/config.xml
  1. For init.d users, you need a gerbera script which I took from the earlier version which is in the Debian APT library

14. You need to put your new gerbera package on hold to prevent apt-get upgrade downgrading back to 1.1

apt-mark hold gerbera

That should be everything you need. Gerbera version 1.6.4-185 build with this guide was running on a PogoPlug V2E02 and a V4 Pro quite happily using vlc and bubbleupnp as clients on to a fire stick and chromecast devices.

Build On FreeBSD

The following has been tested on FreeBSD 11.0 using a clean jail environment.

1. Install the required prerequisites as root using either ports or packages. This can be done via Package manager or ports. (pkg manager is used here.) Include mysql if you wish to use that instead of SQLite3.

pkg install wget git autoconf automake libtool taglib cmake gcc libav ffmpeg \
libexif pkgconf liblastfm gmake

2. Clone repository, build depdences in current in ports and then build gerbera.

git clone
mkdir build
cd build
sh ../gerbera/scripts/
sh ../gerbera/scripts/
make -j4
sudo make install

Build On macOS

The following has been tested on macOS High Sierra 10.13.4

The Gerbera Team maintains a Homebrew Tap to build and install Gerbera Media Server. Take a look at the Homebrew formula to see an example of how to compile Gerbera on macOS: homebrew-gerbera/gerbera.rb

Build Docker Container On Ubuntu

Install required tools in Ubuntu

sudo apt-get install git

Simplest way of building:

sudo docker build

After successfull build you should get something like

Successfully built a13ccc793373

Afterwards start the container like described in the Gerbera Docker documentation while replacing “gerbera/gerbera:vX.X.X” with the unique ID reported at the end of the build.

To change the compile options of Gerbera split up the process. Download the project:

git clone

Then modify the compile parameter values in gerbera/Dockerfile. Also additional libraries might be required. E.g. to build a container with exiv2 support add the compile option “-DWITH_EXIV2=YES” and the library “exiv2-dev” in the first “RUN apk” command and “exiv2” in the second “RUN apk” command in the gerbera/Dockerfile. To start the build enter

sudo docker build gerbera/

Support Development Effort

We welcome pull requests from everyone!

Gerbera was originally based on MediaTomb which is an old project that we started working on modernising - there were a lot of cobwebs.

For new code please use “modern” C++ (up to 17) constructs where possible.

First Steps

  1. Fork gerbera repo
  2. Clone your fork:
git clone
  1. Make your change.
  2. Compile and run ctest if tests are enabled
  3. Push to your fork
  4. Submit a pull request.

Some things that will increase the chance that your pull request is accepted:

It is also a good idea to run cmake with -DWITH_TESTS -DCMAKE_EXPORT_COMPILE_COMMANDS=ON -DCMAKE_CXX_FLAGS="-Werror" options for development.

Guidelines for Special Topics

Some topics require proper handling, so we explain the core steps here.