This page contains instructions on how to build and link a program against TileDB.

macOS or Linux

To use TileDB C API in a program, just #include <tiledb/tiledb.h> and specify -ltiledb when compiling, e.g.

$ gcc example.c -o example -ltiledb

To use the C++ API, add #include <tiledb/tiledb> to your C++ project instead. The TileDB C++ API requires a compiler with C++11 support, so your project must be compiled using the C++11 standard, e.g.

$ g++ -std=c++11 example.cpp -o example -ltiledb

If TileDB was installed in a non-default location on your system, use the -I and -L options

$ gcc example.c -o example -I<path/to/TileDB>/include -L<path/to/TileDB>/lib -ltiledb

At runtime, if TileDB is installed in a non-default location, you must make the linker aware of where the shared library resides by exporting an environment variable:


$ export DYLD_LIBRARY_PATH="<path/to/TileDB>/lib:$DYLD_LIBRARY_PATH"
$ ./example


$ export LD_LIBRARY_PATH="<path/to/TileDB>/lib:$LD_LIBRARY_PATH"
$ ./example

You can avoid the use of these environment variables by installing TileDB in a global (standard) location on your system, or hard-coding the path to the TileDB library at build time by configuring the rpath, e.g.

$ g++ -std=c++11 example.cpp -o example \
     -I<path/to/TileDB>/include \
     -L<path/to/TileDB>/lib \
     -Wl,-rpath,<path/to/TileDB>/lib \

Building your program this way will result in a binary that will run without having to configure the LD_LIBRARY_PATH or DYLD_LIBRARY_PATH environment variables.


To use TileDB from a Visual Studio C++ project, we need to add project properties telling the compiler and linker where to find the headers and libraries.

Open your project’s Property Pages. Under the General options for C/C++, edit the “Additional Include Directories” property. Add a new entry pointing to your TileDB installation (either built from source or extracted from the binary release .zip file), e.g. C:\path\to\TileDB\dist\include.

Under the General options for the Linker, edit the “Additional Library Directories” property. Add a new entry pointing to your TileDB installation, e.g. C:\path\to\TileDB\dist\lib. Under the Input options for Linker, edit “Additional Dependencies” and add tiledb.lib.

You should now be able to #include <tiledb/tiledb.h> (C API) or #include <tiledb/tiledb> (C++ API) in your project.


When building your project in Visual Studio, ensure that the x64 build configuration is selected. Because TileDB is currently only available as a 64-bit library, applications that link with TileDB must also be 64-bit.

At runtime, the directory containing the DLLs must be in your PATH environment variable, or you will see error messages at startup that the TileDB library or its dependencies could not be located. You can do this in Visual Studio by adding PATH=C:\path\to\TileDB\dist\bin to the “Environment” setting under “Debugging” in the Property Pages. You can also do this from the Windows Control Panel, or at the command prompt like so:


> $env:Path += ";C:\path\to\TileDB\dist\bin"
> my_program.exe


> set PATH=%PATH%;C:\path\to\TileDB\dist\bin
> my_program.exe


Should you experience any problem with the usage (e.g., getting errors about missing .dll files when running a program), it is always a good idea to delete the build and dist directories in your TileDB repo path and restart the build from scratch, as cmake’s cached state could present some unexpected problems.


TileDB includes support for CMake’s find_package(). To use, TileDB must be installed globally or CMAKE_PREFIX_PATH must be set to the TileDB installation directory.

For example if TileDB was built with ../bootstrap and no prefix was given then the </path/to/TileDB>/dist/lib/cmake/TileDB directory will contain the TileDBConfig.cmake file used for find_package(TileDB). In your project, you would set CMAKE_PREFIX_PATH like so:

list(APPEND CMAKE_PREFIX_PATH "</path/to/TileDB>/dist")

You can also pass this like any other CMake variable on the command line when configuring your project, e.g.

$ cmake -DCMAKE_PREFIX_PATH=</path/to/TileDB>/dist ..

To link the executable MyExe in your project with the TileDB shared library, you would then use:

# Find TileDB
find_package(TileDB REQUIRED)
# Link to shared library, this will set header include directories also.
target_link_libraries(MyExe PRIVATE TileDB::tiledb_shared)

While disabled by default, TileDB can also be built as a static library. To do this, use the --enable-static-tiledb (macOS/Linux) or -EnableStaticTileDB (Windows) bootstrap flag when configuring TileDB, or use the CMake equivalent flag -DTILEDB_STATIC=ON. Then in your project simply link against the tiledb_static target instead:

# Find TileDB
find_package(TileDB REQUIRED)
# Link to static library, this will set header include directories also
target_link_libraries(MyExe PRIVATE TileDB::tiledb_static)

You can see the example CMake project in the TileDB source repository to see an example project structure that links against TileDB.