author Gustavo J. A. M. Carneiro <>
Fri, 11 Jul 2008 18:39:19 +0100
changeset 3416 926ccb845111
parent 1788 572cef188fdf
child 3688 e49a3c85cfd9
permissions -rw-r--r--
Rescan APIs

The Waf build system is used to build ns-3.  Waf is a Python-based
build system (

=== Installing Waf ===

The top-level ns-3 directory should contain a current waf script.

=== Building with Waf ===

To build ns-3 with waf type the commands from the top-level directory:
 1. ./waf configure [options]
 2. ./waf

To see valid configure options, type ./waf --help.  The most important
option is -d <debug level>.  Valid debug levels (which are listed in
waf --help) are: "debug" or "optimized".  It is
also possible to change the flags used for compilation with (e.g.):
CXXFLAGS="-O3" ./waf configure.

[ Note:  Unlike some other build tools, to change the build target,
the option must be supplied during the configure stage rather than
the build stage (i.e., "./waf -d optimized" will not work; instead, do
"./waf -d optimized configure; ./waf" ]

The resulting binaries are placed in build/<debuglevel>/srcpath.

Other waf usages include:

 1. ./waf check
    Runs the unit tests

 2. ./waf --doxygen
    Run doxygen to generate documentation

 3. ./waf --lcov-report
    Run code coverage analysis (assuming the project was configured
with --enable-gcov)

 4. ./waf --run "program [args]"
    Run a ns3 program, given its target name, with the given
    arguments.  This takes care of automatically modifying the the
    path for finding the ns3 dynamic libraries in the environment
    before running the program.  Note: the "program [args]" string is
    parsed using POSIX shell rules.

 4.1 ./waf --run programname --command-template "... %s ..."

    Same as --run, but uses a command template with %s replaced by the
    actual program (whose name is given by --run).  This can be use to
    run ns-3 programs with helper tools.  For example, to run unit
    tests with valgrind, use the command:

         ./waf --run run-tests --command-template "valgrind %s"

 5. ./waf --shell
    Starts a nested system shell with modified environment to run ns3 programs.

 6. ./waf distclean
    Cleans out the entire build/ directory

 7. ./waf dist
    The command 'waf dist' can be used to create a distribution tarball.
    It includes all files in the source directory, except some particular
    extensions that are blacklisted, such as back files (ending in ~).

=== Extending ns-3 ===

To add new modules:
  1. Create the module directory under src (or src/devices, or whatever);
  2. Add the source files to it;
  3. Add a 'wscript' describing it;
  4. Add the module subdirectory name to the all_modules list in src/wscript.

A module's wscript file is basically a regular Waf script.  A ns-3
module is created as a cpp/shlib object, like this:

def build(bld):
    obj = bld.create_obj('cpp', 'shlib')

    ## set module name; by convention it starts with ns3- = 'ns3-mymodule' = 

    ## list dependencies to other modules
    obj.uselib_local = ['ns3-core'] 

    ## list source files (private or public header files excluded)
    obj.source = [

    ## list module public header files
    headers = bld.create_obj('ns3header')
    headers.source = [