Building Dawn

System requirements

  • Git
  • CMake (3.10.2 or later) (if desired)
  • GN (if desired)
  • Ninja (or other build tool)
  • Python, for fetching dependencies
  • [depot_tools] in your path
  • Linux

    • The pkg-config command:
      # Install pkg-config on Ubuntu
      sudo apt-get install pkg-config
  • Mac

    • Xcode 12.2+.
    • The macOS 11.0 SDK. Run xcode-select to check whether you have it.
      ls `xcode-select -p`/Platforms/MacOSX.platform/Developer/SDKs

Get the code and its dependencies

Using depot_tools

Dawn uses the Chromium build system and dependency management so you need to install depot_tools and add it to the PATH.

# Clone the repo as "dawn"
git clone dawn && cd dawn

# Bootstrap the gclient configuration
cp scripts/standalone.gclient .gclient

# Fetch external dependencies and toolchains with gclient
gclient sync

Without depot_tools

If you cannot or do not want to depend on depot_tools, you may use the tools/ to clone the dependencies' repositories:

# Clone the repo as "dawn"
git clone dawn && cd dawn

# Fetch dependencies (lose equivalent of gclient sync)
python tools/ --use-test-deps

Use python tools/ -h to know more about the available options. The --use-test-deps option used above specifies to also fetch dependencies needed by tests. Contrary to depot_tools, this scripts does not figure out option-dependent requirements automatically.

Linux dependencies

The following packages are needed to build Dawn. (Package names are the Ubuntu names).

  • libxrandr-dev
  • libxinerama-dev
  • libxcursor-dev
  • mesa-common-dev
  • libx11-xcb-dev
  • pkg-config
  • nodejs
  • npm
sudo apt-get install libxrandr-dev libxinerama-dev libxcursor-dev mesa-common-dev libx11-xcb-dev pkg-config nodejs npm

Note, nodejs and npm are only needed if building dawn.node.

Build Dawn

Compiling using CMake + Ninja

mkdir -p out/Debug
cd out/Debug
cmake -GNinja ../..
ninja # or autoninja

Compiling using CMake + make

mkdir -p out/Debug
cd out/Debug
cmake ../..
make # -j N for N-way parallel build

Compiling using gn + ninja

mkdir -p out/Debug
gn gen out/Debug
autoninja -C out/Debug

The most common GN build option is is_debug=true/false; otherwise gn args out/Debug --list shows all the possible options.

On macOS you‘ll want to add the use_system_xcode=true in most cases. (and if you’re a googler please get XCode from go/xcode).

To generate a Microsoft Visual Studio solution, add ide=vs2022 and ninja-executable=<dawn parent directory>\dawn\third_party\ninja\ninja.exe. The .sln file will be created in the output directory specified.

Fuzzers on MacOS

If you are attempting fuzz, using TINT_BUILD_FUZZERS=ON, the version of llvm in the XCode SDK does not have the needed libfuzzer functionality included.

The build error that you will see from using the XCode SDK will look something like this:

ld: file not found:/Applications/

The solution to this problem is to use a full version llvm, like what you would get via homebrew, brew install llvm, and use something like CC=<path to full clang> cmake .. to setup a build using that toolchain.