Boost C++ Libraries of the most highly regarded and expertly designed C++ library projects in the world. Herb Sutter and Andrei Alexandrescu, C++ Coding Standards

This is the documentation for an old version of Boost. Click here to view this page for the latest version.

Configuring and building the library

The library has a separately compiled part which should be built as described in the Getting Started guide. One thing should be noted, though. If your application consists of more than one module (e.g. an exe and one or several dll's) that use Boost.Log, the library must be built as a shared object. If you have a single executable or a single module that works with Boost.Log, you may build the library as a static library.

The library supports a number of configuration macros:

Table 1.1. Configuration macros

Macro name



If defined in user code, the library will assume the binary is built as a dynamically loaded library ("dll" or "so"). Otherwise it is assumed that the library is built in static mode. This macro must be either defined or not defined for all translation units of user application that uses logging. This macro can help with auto-linking on platforms that support it.


Same as BOOST_LOG_DYN_LINK but also affects other Boost libraries the same way.


If defined, disables multithreading support. Affects the compilation of both the library and users' code. The macro is automatically defined if no threading support is detected.


If defined, disables support for narrow character logging. Affects the compilation of both the library and users' code.


If defined, disables support for wide character logging. Affects the compilation of both the library and users' code.


This macro is only useful on Windows. It affects the compilation of both the library and users' code. If defined, disables support for the QueryPerformanceCounter API in the timer attribute. This will result in significantly less accurate time readings. The macro is intended to solve possible problems with earlier revisions of AMD Athlon CPU, described here and here. There are also known chipset hardware failures that may prevent this API from functioning properly (see here).


Affects only compilation of the library. If for some reason support for the native SysLog API is not detected automatically, define this macro to forcibly enable it


Affects only compilation of the library. If defined, the parsers for settings will be built without any default factories for filters and formatters. The user will have to register all attributes in the library before parsing any filters or formatters from strings. This can substantially reduce the binary size.


Affects only compilation of the library. If defined, none of the facilities related to the parsers for settings will be built. This can substantially reduce the binary size.


Affects only compilation of the library. If defined, the support for debugger output on Windows will not be built.


Affects only compilation of the library. If defined, the support for Windows event log will not be built. Defining the macro also makes Message Compiler toolset unnecessary.


Affects only compilation of the library. If defined, the support for syslog backend will not be built.


Affects only compilation of users' code. If defined, some deprecated shorthand macro names will not be available.


Affects compilation of both the library and users' code. This macro is Windows-specific. If defined, the library makes use of the Windows NT 6 (Vista, Server 2008) and later APIs to generate more efficient code. This macro will also enable some experimental features of the library. Note, however, that the resulting binary will not run on Windows prior to NT 6. In order to use this feature Platform SDK 6.0 or later is required.


Affects only compilation of the library. This macro enables support for compiler intrinsics for thread-local storage. Defining it may improve performance of Boost.Log if certain usage limitations are acceptable. See below for more comments.


Affects only compilation of the library. By defining one of these macros the user can instruct Boost.Log to use std::regex, Boost.Regex or Boost.Xpressive internally for string matching filters parsed from strings and settings. If none of these macros is defined then Boost.Log uses Boost.Regex by default. Using std::regex or Boost.Regex typically produces smaller executables, Boost.Regex usually also being the fastest in run time. Using Boost.Xpressive allows to eliminate the dependency on Boost.Regex compiled binary. Note that these macros do not affect filtering expressions created by users.

You can define configuration macros in the bjam command line, like this:

bjam --with-log variant=release define=BOOST_LOG_WITHOUT_EVENT_LOG define=BOOST_LOG_USE_WINNT6_API stage

However, it may be more convenient to define configuration macros in the "boost/config/user.hpp" file in order to automatically define them both for the library and user's projects. If none of the options are specified, the library will try to support the most comprehensive setup, including support for all character types and features available for the target platform.

The logging library uses several other Boost libraries that require building too. These are Boost.Filesystem, Boost.System, Boost.DateTime, Boost.Thread and in some configurations Boost.Regex. Refer to their documentation for detailed instructions on the building procedure.

One final thing should be added. The library requires run-time type information (RTTI) to be enabled for both the library compilation and user's code compilation. Normally, this won't need anything from you except to verify that RTTI support is not disabled in your project.

Notes about compiler-supplied intrinsics for TLS

Many widely used compilers support builtin intrinsics for managing thread-local storage, which is used in several parts of the library. This feature is also included in the C++11 standard. Generally, these intrinsics allow for a much more efficient access to the storage than any surrogate implementation, be that Boost.Thread or even native operating system API. However, this feature has several caveats:

The library provides the BOOST_LOG_USE_COMPILER_TLS configuration macro that allows to enable the use of this feature, which will improve the library performance at the cost of these limitations:

Note that the BOOST_LOG_USE_COMPILER_TLS macro only controls use of TLS in Boost.Log but not in other libraries used by Boost.Log. For example, Boost.ASIO uses compiler-supplied TLS by default. In order to build Boost.Log binaries completely free from use of compiler-supplied TLS, this feature has to be disabled in those other libraries as well (in case of Boost.ASIO this can be achieved by defining BOOST_ASIO_DISABLE_THREAD_KEYWORD_EXTENSION when building and using Boost).