Compiling & Installing LevelDB on Linux

Update: Please also take a look at this followup article for an automatic compilation script that builds Ubuntu DEB packages!


You want to compile and install LevelDB (including development headers) on your Linux computer. ./configure && make && make install does not work so you don’t know how to do this.


You have successfully compiled LevelDB, but make install doesn’t work (there is no official installation procedure yet) and you don’t know how to install it to your system


Compilation: Let’s start from scratch. I recommend using the bleeding-edge version in the git repository, but this method should also work for the downloadable archive

  1. Install git and snappy, for example on Ubuntu: sudo apt-get install git-core libsnappy-dev
  2. Clone LevelDB into a directory of your choice: git clone
  3. cd into the directory: cd leveldb
  4. make

You don’t neccessarily need snappy as LevelDB will work without it but you would need to recompile if you don’t install it before compiling.


Excecute the following shell snippet as root from your LevelDB folder:

cp --preserve=links libleveldb.* /usr/local/lib
cp -r include/leveldb /usr/local/include/

This installs LevelDB to /usr/local/lib and /usr/local/include in order to make it easier to uninstall/update it later.

This procedure might also work under other operating systems like Cygwin/MSYS-based environments, but I didn’t test this. Besides that I assume that LevelDB has been tested by Google on Linux servers only, so don’t assume it’s stable on other OSs without testing.

Update 20 Jan 2013: Added guide how to compile and what dependencies are needed