We provide Debian GNU/Linux (i386 and amd64), Ubuntu (i386 and amd64) and CentOS (amd64 only) packages for YAZ. You should be able to create packages for other CPUs by building them from the source package.

YAZ is also part of several packages repositories. Some of them are

2.1. Compiling from source on Unix

You can choose to compile YAZ from official tar releases from http://ftp.indexdata.com/pub/yaz/ or clone it via GitHub https://github.com/indexdata/yaz.git.

If you wish to use character set conversion facilities in YAZ or if you are compiling YAZ for use with Zebra, it is a good idea to ensure that the iconv library is installed. Some Unixes today already have it - if not, we suggest GNU libiconv.

YAZ 3.0.16 and later includes a wrapper for the ICU (International Components for Unicode). In order to use this, the developer version of the ICU library must be available. ICU support is recommended for applications such as Pazpar2 and Zebra.

The libxslt, libxml2 libraries are required if YAZ is to support SRU/Solr. These libraries are very portable and should compile out-of-the box on virtually all Unix platforms. It is available in binary forms for Linux and others.

The GNU tools Autoconf, Automake and Libtool are used to generate Makefiles and configure YAZ for the system. You do not need these tools unless you're using the Git version of YAZ.

The CQL parser for YAZ is built using GNU Bison. This tool is only needed if you're using the Git version of YAZ.

YAZ includes a tiny ASN.1 compiler. This compiler is written in Tcl. But as for Bison you do not need it unless you're using Git version of YAZ or you're using the compiler to build your own codecs for private ASN.1.

If you are checking out from Git, run:


This will create the configure script and Makefiles.

The next step is always:


The configure script attempts to use use the C compiler specified by the CC environment variable. If not set, GNU C will be used if it is available. The CFLAGS environment variable holds options to be passed to the C compiler. If you're using Bourne-compatible shell, you may pass something like this to use a particular C compiler with optimization enabled:

     CC=/opt/ccs/bin/cc CFLAGS=-O ./configure

To customize YAZ, the configure script also accepts a set of options. The most important are:


Specifies installation prefix for YAZ. This is only needed if you run make install later to perform a "system" installation. The prefix is /usr/local if not specified.


The front end server will be built using Wietse's TCP wrapper library. It allows you to allow/deny clients depending on IP number. The TCP wrapper library is often used in GNU/Linux and BSD distributions. See hosts_access(5) and tcpd(8).


YAZ will be built using POSIX threads. Specifically, _REENTRANT will be defined during compilation.


The make process will not create shared libraries (also known as shared objects .so). By default, shared libraries are created - equivalent to --enable-shared.


The make process will not create static libraries (.a). By default, static libraries are created - equivalent to --enable-static.


Compile YAZ with iconv library in directory prefix. By default configure will search for iconv on the system. Use this option if it doesn't find iconv. Alternatively, --without-iconv, can be used to force YAZ not to use iconv.


Compile YAZ with libxslt in directory prefix. Use this option if you want XSLT and XML support. By default, configure will search for libxslt on the system. Use this option if libxslt is not found automatically. Alternatively, --without-xslt, can be used to force YAZ not to use libxslt.


Compile YAZ with libxml2 in directory prefix. Use this option if you want YAZ to use XML and support SRU/Solr. By default, configure will search for libxml2 on the system. Use this option if libxml2 is not found automatically. Alternatively, --without-xml2, can be used to force YAZ not to use libxml2.

Note that option --with-xslt also enables libxml2.


YAZ will be linked with the GNU TLS libraries and an SSL COMSTACK will be provided. By default configure enables SSL support for YAZ if the GNU TLS development libraries are found on the system.


YAZ will be linked the ICU library in the prefix if given. If prefix is not given, the libraries exposed by the script icu-config will be used if found.


YAZ will be linked with libMemcached to allow for result-set caching for ZOOM. The prefix can not be given. Note that 0.40 of libmemcached is required.


YAZ will be linked with the hiredis C library to allow for result-set caching for ZOOM on a redis server. The prefix can not be given.

When configured, build the software by typing:


The following files are generated by the make process:


Main YAZ library. This is no ordinary library. It's a Libtool archive. By default, YAZ creates a static library in lib/.libs/libyaz.a.


Generic Frontend server. This is an add-on for libyaz.la. Code in this library uses POSIX threads functions - if POSIX threads are available on the platform.


Functions that wrap the ICU library.


Test Z39.50 server.


Z39.50 client for testing the protocol. See chapter YAZ client for more information.


A Bourne-shell script, generated by configure, that specifies how external applications should compile - and link with YAZ.


The ASN.1 compiler for YAZ. Requires the Tcl Shell, tclsh, in PATH to operate.


This program converts data in one character set to another. This command exercises the YAZ character set conversion API.


This program parses ISO2709 encoded MARC records and prints them in line-format or XML.


This program exposes the ICU wrapper library if that is enabled for YAZ. Only if ICU is available this program is useful.


This program is a simple HTTP page fetcher ala wget or curl.


A simple shell implemented on top of the ZOOM functions. The shell is a command line application that allows you to enter simple commands to perform ZOOM operations.

zoom/zoomtst1, zoom/zoomtst2, ..

Several small applications that demonstrate the ZOOM API.

If you wish to install YAZ in system directories /usr/local/bin, /usr/local/lib .. etc, you can type:

     make install

You probably need to have root access in order to perform this. You must specify the --prefix option for configure if you wish to install YAZ in other directories than the default /usr/local/.

If you wish to perform an un-installation of YAZ, use:

     make uninstall

This will only work if you haven't reconfigured YAZ (and therefore changed installation prefix). Note that uninstall will not remove directories created by make install, e.g. /usr/local/include/yaz.

2.2. Compiling from source on MacOS

Compiling from source on MacOSX requires libxml2. This can be installed with Homebrew, for instance:

         brew install libxml2

Review the Caveats section (brew info libxml2) for the LDFLAGS, CPPFLAGS, and PKG_CONFIG_PATH environment variables before executing the ./compile command. For instance:

         export LDFLAGS="-L/usr/local/opt/libxml2/lib"
         export CPPFLAGS="-I/usr/local/opt/libxml2/include"
         export PKG_CONFIG_PATH="/usr/local/opt/libxml2/lib/pkgconfig"

2.3. How to make apps using YAZ on UNIX

This section describes how to compile - and link your own applications using the YAZ toolkit. If you're used to Makefiles this shouldn't be hard. As for other libraries you have used before, you need to set a proper include path for your C/C++ compiler and specify the location of YAZ libraries. You can do it by hand, but generally we suggest you use the yaz-config that is generated by configure. This is especially important if you're using the threaded version of YAZ which require you to pass more options to your linker/compiler.

The yaz-config script accepts command line options that makes the yaz-config script print options that you should use in your make process. The most important ones are: --cflags, --libs which prints C compiler flags, and linker flags respectively.

A small and complete Makefile for a C application consisting of one source file, myprog.c, may look like this:

      CFLAGS=`$(YAZCONFIG) --cflags`
      LIBS=`$(YAZCONFIG) --libs`
      myprog: myprog.o
         $(CC) $(CFLAGS) -o myprog myprog.o $(LIBS)

The CFLAGS variable consists of a C compiler directive that will set the include path to the parent directory of yaz. That is, if YAZ header files were installed in /usr/local/include/yaz, then include path is set to /usr/local/include. Therefore, in your applications you should use

      #include <yaz/proto.h>

and not

      #include <proto.h>

For Libtool users, the yaz-config script provides a different variant of option --libs, called --lalibs that returns the name of the Libtool archive(s) for YAZ rather than the ordinary ones.

For applications using the threaded version of YAZ, specify threads after the other options. When threads is given, more flags and linker flags will be printed by yaz-config. If our previous example was using threads, you'd have to modify the lines that set CFLAGS and LIBS as follows:

      CFLAGS=`$(YAZCONFIG) --cflags threads`
      LIBS=`$(YAZCONFIG) --libs threads`

There is no need specify POSIX thread libraries in your Makefile. The LIBS variable includes that as well.