Step-By-Step - Common Client Libraries

This document shows step-by-step how to get a minimal NFD running so you can start writing applications to use the NDN Common Client Libraries (NDN-CPP, NDN-JS, PyNDN, jNDN, NDN-DOT-NET).


OS X 10.11, macOS 10.12, macOS 10.13, macOS 10.14

  • Install Xcode. To install the command line tools, in a terminal enter:

    xcode-select --install

  • Install Brew from

In a terminal, enter:

brew install boost openssl pkg-config

Ubuntu 13.10, 14.04, 15.04, 16.04, 16.10, 17.04, 17.10 and 18.04

In a terminal, enter:

sudo apt-get install build-essential git libssl-dev libsqlite3-dev libcrypto++-dev libpcap-dev libboost-all-dev pkg-config

Raspbian Jessie (Rapberry Pi)

In a terminal, enter:

sudo apt-get install build-essential git libssl-dev libsqlite3-dev libcrypto++-dev libpcap-dev libboost1.50-all-dev

To run NFD on the Raspberry Pi, you need to enable IPv6 support. Enter sudo nano /etc/modules (or use your favorite editor). Add the following line to /etc/modules:


Reboot your Raspberry Pi.

(If you don't want to enable IPv6 support on the Raspberry Pi, you can disable IPv6 in NFD. After installing NFD, replace enable_v6 yes with enable_v6 no in the tcp and udp sections of /usr/local/etc/ndn/nfd.conf .)

Build/Install NFD

These are steps from build/install NFD which work with the CCL. In a terminal, enter:

git clone
git clone --recursive
cd ndn-cxx
./waf configure

It is OK if waf says "program not found" for doxygen, sphinx-build, rt, or rtnetlink.

sudo ./waf install
cd ..
cd NFD
./waf configure
sudo ./waf install
cd ..

The NFD programs are installed in /usr/local/bin . The NFD configuration file is in /usr/local/etc/ndn . Copy the sample configuration file to make it the default:

sudo cp /usr/local/etc/ndn/nfd.conf.sample /usr/local/etc/ndn/nfd.conf

Ubuntu and Raspbian (Raspberry Pi)

[Ubuntu and Raspbian only] Update the path to the shared libraries:

sudo /sbin/ldconfig

Configure NFD

NFD provides mechanisms to enable strict authorization for all management commands. In particular, one can authorize only a specific public key to create new Faces or to change the strategy choice for specific namespaces.
For more information about how to generate a private/public key pair, generate a self-signed certificate, and use this self-signed certificate to authorize NFD management commands, refer to NFD Configuration Tips.

In the sample configuration file, all authorization is disabled, effectively allowing anybody on the local machine to issue NFD management commands. The sample file is intended only for demo purposes and MUST NOT be used in a production environment.

Start NFD

Open a new terminal window (so you can watch the NFD messages) and enter:


On OS X it may ask for your keychain password or ask "nfd wants to sign using key in your keychain." Enter your keychain password and click Always Allow.

Later, you can stop NFD with nfd-stop .

Add a route to another NFD host (optional)

The previous instructions are good for testing on the local host. If you want to route an interest to another NFD host, in a terminal enter:

nfdc face create udp://<other host>
nfdc route add /ndn udp://<other host>

where <other host> is the name or IP address of the other host (e.g., The "/ndn" means that NFD will forward all interests that start with /ndn through the face to the other host. If you only want to forward interests with a certain prefix then use it instead of "/ndn".

This only forwards interests to the other host, but there is no "back route" for the other host to forward interests to you. For that, you must go to the other host and use nfdc to add the route. (The "back route" can also be automatically configured with nfd-autoreg. For more information refer to nfd-autoreg manpage.)

Install the Common Client Library

If you haven't done so, get the library from GitHub and follow the INSTALL instructions for your language:

Send an Interest to receive a Data packet

The example program "test get async" is a simple program to send some interests and get a data packet. Here they are on the various languages:

The main calls to the API are (using Python for example):

Call the Face constructor and specify the host.

face = Face("")

Create a Name for the Interest, using a Name URI.

name1 = Name("/ndn/edu/ucla/remap/ndn-js-test/howdy.txt")

Call expressInterest, passing in the callbacks for onData and onTimeout.

face.expressInterest(name1, counter.onData, counter.onTimeout)

Start an event loop to keep calling processEvents until the application is finished.
Your application should make sure that it calls processEvents in the same thread as expressInterest (which also modifies the pending interest table).

while counter._callbackCount < 3:
    # We need to sleep for a few milliseconds so we don't use 100% of the CPU.