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The Boost Statechart Library

(formerly known as boost::fsm)



Supported platforms
Getting started
Tutorial [pdf: English, Japanese]
UML to Boost.Statechart mapping summary
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Reference [pdf: English]
Rationale [pdf: English]
To-do list
Change history


Welcome to Boost.Statechart, a C++ library for finite state machines. Features include:

Supported platforms

Whether and how Boost.Statechart will work on your platform is best determined on the release branch status page. If the cells in your compilers column are all green, the library should work as advertised. Cells of different color indicate possible problems; follow the links for details. Before employing the library I would also advise to run the tests (see Getting started) on your particular platform in all the modes (debug, release, etc.) that are later used during development (the status page shows debug mode results only). The closer the test compiler switches mirror the ones that are later used during development, the less likely are future surprises. An example of such a surprise is Intel 9.0 with MSVC 7.1 base toolset, where DllTestNormal and DllTestNative pass in debug mode but fail in release mode.

Getting started

  1. Follow the steps 1-4 described on the Boost Getting Started Page. Since Boost.Statechart is a header-only library, you should now know enough to compile the examples in the tutorial in your favorite environment (except PingPong which requires Boost.Thread binaries)
  2. Optional: If you want to compile the PingPong example or use fifo_scheduler<> in your project, you need to get hold of the Boost.Thread binaries and link against them, see steps 5-6 on the Boost Getting Started Page
  3. Optional: If you want to run the tests, you need to get the bjam executable, as described under step 5.2 on the Boost Getting Started Page. After doing so, bjam should be installed in your PATH. Open a command prompt and change the current directory to boost_1_38_0/libs/statechart/test. Type
    bjam --toolset=your-toolset

    (where your-toolset is one of the names documented under step 5.2.2 on the Boost Getting Started Page) and hit CR. After the test run, failures (if any) are indicated at the end of the output, in the form of  a "...failed updating X targets..." message. For some platforms certain failures are expected, see Supported platforms.


Throughout all Boost.Statechart documentation it is assumed that the reader is familiar with the state machine concept, UML statecharts and most of the UML state machine terminology. The following links might be interesting if this is not the case:

Some of the used terminology cannot be found in the UML specifications, please see Definitions for more information.

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Revised 09 April, 2007

Copyright © 2003-2007 Andreas Huber Dönni

Distributed under the Boost Software License, Version 1.0. (See accompanying file LICENSE_1_0.txt or copy at