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Chapter 6. Boost.Container

Ion Gaztanaga

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

Table of Contents

Building Boost.Container
Tested compilers
Efficient insertion
Move-aware containers
Emplace: Placement insertion
Containers of Incomplete Types
Recursive containers
Type Erasure
Non-standard containers
flat_(multi)map/set associative containers
C++11 Conformance
Move and Emplace
Stateful allocators and Scoped allocators
Initializer lists
Other features
History and reasons to use Boost.Container
Boost.Container history
Why Boost.Container?
Boost.Container Header Reference
Header <boost/container/container_fwd.hpp>
Header <boost/container/deque.hpp>
Header <boost/container/flat_map.hpp>
Header <boost/container/flat_set.hpp>
Header <boost/container/list.hpp>
Header <boost/container/map.hpp>
Header <boost/container/set.hpp>
Header <boost/container/slist.hpp>
Header <boost/container/stable_vector.hpp>
Header <boost/container/string.hpp>
Header <boost/container/vector.hpp>
Acknowledgements, notes and links
Release Notes

Boost.Container library implements several well-known containers, including STL containers. The aim of the library is to offers advanced features not present in standard containers or to offer the latest standard draft features for compilers that comply with C++03.

In short, what does Boost.Container offer?

  • Move semantics are implemented, including move emulation for pre-C++11 compilers.
  • New advanced features (e.g. placement insertion, recursive containers) are present.
  • Containers support stateful allocators and are compatible with Boost.Interprocess (they can be safely placed in shared memory).
  • The library offers new useful containers:
    • flat_map, flat_set, flat_multiset and flat_multiset: drop-in replacements for standard associative containers but more memory friendly and with faster searches.
    • stable_vector: a std::list and std::vector hybrid container: vector-like random-access iterators and list-like iterator stability in insertions and erasures.
    • slist: the classic pre-standard singly linked list implementation offering constant-time size(). Note that C++11 forward_list has no size().

There is no need to compile Boost.Container, since it's a header only library. Just include your Boost header directory in your compiler include path.

Boost.Container requires a decent C++98 compatibility. Some compilers known to work are:

  • Visual C++ >= 7.1.
  • GCC >= 3.4.
  • Intel C++ >= 9.0

Last revised: November 12, 2011 at 13:42:23 GMT