Building From Source

This page gives instructions on how to build and install XGBoost from the source code on various systems. If the instructions do not work for you, please feel free to ask questions at the user forum.


Pre-built binary is available: now with GPU support

Consider installing XGBoost from a pre-built binary, to avoid the trouble of building XGBoost from the source. Checkout Installation Guide.

Obtaining the Source Code

To obtain the development repository of XGBoost, one needs to use git.


Use of Git submodules

XGBoost uses Git submodules to manage dependencies. So when you clone the repo, remember to specify --recursive option:

git clone --recursive

For windows users who use github tools, you can open the git shell and type the following command:

git submodule init
git submodule update

Building the Shared Library

This section describes the procedure to build the shared library and CLI interface independently. For building language specific package, see corresponding sections in this document.

  • On Linux and other UNIX-like systems, the target library is

  • On MacOS, the target library is libxgboost.dylib

  • On Windows the target library is xgboost.dll

This shared library is used by different language bindings (with some additions depending on the binding you choose). The minimal building requirement is

  • A recent C++ compiler supporting C++11 (g++-5.0 or higher)

  • CMake 3.14 or higher.

For a list of CMake options like GPU support, see #-- Options in CMakeLists.txt on top level of source tree.

Building on Linux and other UNIX-like systems

After obtaining the source code, one builds XGBoost by running CMake:

cd xgboost
mkdir build
cd build
cmake ..
make -j$(nproc)

Building on MacOS

Obtain libomp from Homebrew:

brew install libomp

Rest is the same as building on Linux.

Building on Windows

XGBoost support compilation with Microsoft Visual Studio and MinGW. To build with Visual Studio, we will need CMake. Make sure to install a recent version of CMake. Then run the following from the root of the XGBoost directory:

mkdir build
cd build
cmake .. -G"Visual Studio 14 2015 Win64"
# for VS15: cmake .. -G"Visual Studio 15 2017" -A x64
# for VS16: cmake .. -G"Visual Studio 16 2019" -A x64
cmake --build . --config Release

This specifies an out of source build using the Visual Studio 64 bit generator. (Change the -G option appropriately if you have a different version of Visual Studio installed.)

After the build process successfully ends, you will find a xgboost.dll library file inside ./lib/ folder. Some notes on using MinGW is added in Building Python Package for Windows with MinGW-w64 (Advanced).

Building with GPU support

XGBoost can be built with GPU support for both Linux and Windows using CMake. See Building R package with GPU support for special instructions for R.

An up-to-date version of the CUDA toolkit is required.


Checking your compiler version

CUDA is really picky about supported compilers, a table for the compatible compilers for the latest CUDA version on Linux can be seen here.

Some distros package a compatible gcc version with CUDA. If you run into compiler errors with nvcc, try specifying the correct compiler with -DCMAKE_CXX_COMPILER=/path/to/correct/g++ -DCMAKE_C_COMPILER=/path/to/correct/gcc. On Arch Linux, for example, both binaries can be found under /opt/cuda/bin/.

From the command line on Linux starting from the XGBoost directory:

mkdir build
cd build
cmake .. -DUSE_CUDA=ON
make -j4


Specifying compute capability

To speed up compilation, the compute version specific to your GPU could be passed to cmake as, e.g., -DCMAKE_CUDA_ARCHITECTURES=75. A quick explanation and numbers for some architectures can be found in this page.


Faster distributed GPU training with NCCL

By default, distributed GPU training is enabled with the option USE_NCCL=ON. Distributed GPU training depends on NCCL2, available at this link. Since NCCL2 is only available for Linux machines, Distributed GPU training is available only for Linux.

mkdir build
cd build
cmake .. -DUSE_CUDA=ON -DUSE_NCCL=ON -DNCCL_ROOT=/path/to/nccl2
make -j4

Some additional flags are available for NCCL, BUILD_WITH_SHARED_NCCL enables building XGBoost with NCCL as a shared library, while USE_DLOPEN_NCCL enables XGBoost to load NCCL at runtime using dlopen.

On Windows, run CMake as follows:

mkdir build
cd build
cmake .. -G"Visual Studio 17 2022" -A x64 -DUSE_CUDA=ON

(Change the -G option appropriately if you have a different version of Visual Studio installed.)

The above cmake configuration run will create an xgboost.sln solution file in the build directory. Build this solution in Release mode, either from Visual studio or from command line:

cmake --build . --target xgboost --config Release

To speed up compilation, run multiple jobs in parallel by appending option -- /MP.

Federated Learning

The federated learning plugin requires grpc and protobuf. To install grpc, refer to the installation guide from the gRPC website. Alternatively, one can use the libgrpc and the protobuf package from conda forge if conda is available. After obtaining the required dependencies, enable the flag: -DPLUGIN_FEDERATED=ON when running CMake. Please note that only Linux is supported for the federated plugin.

Building Python Package from Source

The Python package is located at python-package/.

Building Python Package with Default Toolchains

There are several ways to build and install the package from source:

  1. Build C++ core with CMake first

You can first build C++ library using CMake as described in Building the Shared Library. After compilation, a shared library will appear in lib/ directory. On Linux distributions, the shared library is lib/ The install script pip install . will reuse the shared library instead of compiling it from scratch, making it quite fast to run.

$ cd python-package/
$ pip install .  # Will re-use lib/
  1. Install the Python package directly

You can navigate to python-package/ directory and install the Python package directly by running

$ cd python-package/
$ pip install -v .

which will compile XGBoost’s native (C++) code using default CMake flags. To enable additional compilation options, pass corresponding --config-settings:

$ pip install -v . --config-settings use_cuda=True --config-settings use_nccl=True

Use Pip 22.1 or later to use --config-settings option.

Here are the available options for --config-settings:

class BuildConfiguration:  # pylint: disable=R0902
    """Configurations use when building libxgboost"""

    # Whether to hide C++ symbols in
    hide_cxx_symbols: bool = True
    # Whether to enable OpenMP
    use_openmp: bool = True
    # Whether to enable CUDA
    use_cuda: bool = False
    # Whether to enable NCCL
    use_nccl: bool = False
    # Whether to load nccl dynamically
    use_dlopen_nccl: bool = False
    # Whether to enable federated learning
    plugin_federated: bool = False
    # Whether to enable rmm support
    plugin_rmm: bool = False
    # Special option: See explanation below
    use_system_libxgboost: bool = False

use_system_libxgboost is a special option. See Item 4 below for detailed description.


Verbose flag recommended

As pip install . will build C++ code, it will take a while to complete. To ensure that the build is progressing successfully, we suggest that you add the verbose flag (-v) when invoking pip install.

  1. Editable installation

To further enable rapid development and iteration, we provide an editable installation. In an editable installation, the installed package is simply a symbolic link to your working copy of the XGBoost source code. So every changes you make to your source directory will be immediately visible to the Python interpreter. To install XGBoost as editable installation, first build the shared library as previously described, then install the Python package:

# Under xgboost source directory
mkdir build
cd build
# Build shared library
cmake .. -GNinja
# Install as editable installation
cd ../python-package
pip install -e .
  1. Use on system path.

This option is useful for package managers that wish to separately package and the XGBoost Python package. For example, Conda publishes libxgboost (for the shared library) and py-xgboost (for the Python package).

To use this option, first make sure that exists in the system library path:

import sys
import pathlib
libpath = pathlib.Path(sys.base_prefix).joinpath("lib", "")
assert libpath.exists()

Then pass use_system_libxgboost=True option to pip install:

cd python-package
pip install . --config-settings use_system_libxgboost=True


See Notes on packaging XGBoost’s Python package for instructions on packaging and distributing XGBoost as Python distributions.

Building Python Package for Windows with MinGW-w64 (Advanced)

Windows versions of Python are built with Microsoft Visual Studio. Usually Python binary modules are built with the same compiler the interpreter is built with. However, you may not be able to use Visual Studio, for following reasons:

  1. VS is proprietary and commercial software. Microsoft provides a freeware “Community” edition, but its licensing terms impose restrictions as to where and how it can be used.

  2. Visual Studio contains telemetry, as documented in Microsoft Visual Studio Licensing Terms. Running software with telemetry may be against the policy of your organization.

So you may want to build XGBoost with GCC own your own risk. This presents some difficulties because MSVC uses Microsoft runtime and MinGW-w64 uses own runtime, and the runtimes have different incompatible memory allocators. But in fact this setup is usable if you know how to deal with it. Here is some experience.

  1. The Python interpreter will crash on exit if XGBoost was used. This is usually not a big issue.

  2. -O3 is OK.

  3. -mtune=native is also OK.

  4. Don’t use -march=native gcc flag. Using it causes the Python interpreter to crash if the DLL was actually used.

  5. You may need to provide the lib with the runtime libs. If mingw32/bin is not in PATH, build a wheel (pip wheel), open it with an archiver and put the needed dlls to the directory where xgboost.dll is situated. Then you can install the wheel with pip.

Building R Package From Source

By default, the package installed by running install.packages is built from source. Here we list some other options for installing development version.

Installing the development version (Linux / Mac OSX)

Make sure you have installed git and a recent C++ compiler supporting C++11 (See above sections for requirements of building C++ core).

Due to the use of git-submodules, remotes::install_github() cannot be used to install the latest version of R package. Thus, one has to run git to check out the code first, see Obtaining the Source Code on how to initialize the git repository for XGBoost. The simplest way to install the R package after obtaining the source code is:

cd R-package

But if you want to use CMake build for better performance (which has the logic for detecting available CPU instructions) or greater flexibility around compile flags, the above snippet can be replaced by:

mkdir build
cd build
cmake .. -DR_LIB=ON
make -j$(nproc)
make install

Installing the development version with Visual Studio (Windows)

On Windows, CMake with Visual C++ Build Tools (or Visual Studio) can be used to build the R package.

While not required, this build can be faster if you install the R package processx with install.packages("processx").


Setting correct PATH environment variable on Windows

If you are using Windows, make sure to include the right directories in the PATH environment variable.

  • If you are using R 4.x with RTools 4.0: - C:\rtools40\usr\bin - C:\rtools40\mingw64\bin

  • If you are using R 3.x with RTools 3.x:

    • C:\Rtools\bin

    • C:\Rtools\mingw_64\bin

Open the Command Prompt and navigate to the XGBoost directory, and then run the following commands. Make sure to specify the correct R version.

cd C:\path\to\xgboost
mkdir build
cd build
cmake .. -G"Visual Studio 16 2019" -A x64 -DR_LIB=ON -DR_VERSION=4.0.0
cmake --build . --target install --config Release

Building R package with GPU support

The procedure and requirements are similar as in Building with GPU support, so make sure to read it first.

On Linux, starting from the XGBoost directory type:

mkdir build
cd build
make install -j$(nproc)

When default target is used, an R package shared library would be built in the build area. The install target, in addition, assembles the package files with this shared library under build/R-package and runs R CMD INSTALL.

On Windows, CMake with Visual Studio has to be used to build an R package with GPU support. Rtools must also be installed.


Setting correct PATH environment variable on Windows

If you are using Windows, make sure to include the right directories in the PATH environment variable.

  • If you are using R 4.x with RTools 4.0:

    • C:\rtools40\usr\bin

    • C:\rtools40\mingw64\bin

  • If you are using R 3.x with RTools 3.x:

    • C:\Rtools\bin

    • C:\Rtools\mingw_64\bin

Open the Command Prompt and navigate to the XGBoost directory, and then run the following commands. Make sure to specify the correct R version.

cd C:\path\to\xgboost
mkdir build
cd build
cmake .. -G"Visual Studio 16 2019" -A x64 -DUSE_CUDA=ON -DR_LIB=ON -DR_VERSION=4.0.0
cmake --build . --target install --config Release

If CMake can’t find your R during the configuration step, you might provide the location of R to CMake like this: -DLIBR_HOME="C:\Program Files\R\R-4.0.0".

If on Windows you get a “permission denied” error when trying to write to …Program Files/R/… during the package installation, create a .Rprofile file in your personal home directory (if you don’t already have one in there), and add a line to it which specifies the location of your R packages user library, like the following:

.libPaths( unique(c("C:/Users/USERNAME/Documents/R/win-library/3.4", .libPaths())))

You might find the exact location by running .libPaths() in R GUI or RStudio.

Building JVM Packages

Building XGBoost4J using Maven requires Maven 3 or newer, Java 7+ and CMake 3.13+ for compiling Java code as well as the Java Native Interface (JNI) bindings.

Before you install XGBoost4J, you need to define environment variable JAVA_HOME as your JDK directory to ensure that your compiler can find jni.h correctly, since XGBoost4J relies on JNI to implement the interaction between the JVM and native libraries.

After your JAVA_HOME is defined correctly, it is as simple as run mvn package under jvm-packages directory to install XGBoost4J. You can also skip the tests by running mvn -DskipTests=true package, if you are sure about the correctness of your local setup.

To publish the artifacts to your local maven repository, run

mvn install

Or, if you would like to skip tests, run

mvn -DskipTests install

This command will publish the xgboost binaries, the compiled java classes as well as the java sources to your local repository. Then you can use XGBoost4J in your Java projects by including the following dependency in pom.xml:


For sbt, please add the repository and dependency in build.sbt as following:

resolvers += "Local Maven Repository" at "file://"+Path.userHome.absolutePath+"/.m2/repository"

"ml.dmlc" % "xgboost4j" % "latest_source_version_num"

If you want to use XGBoost4J-Spark, replace xgboost4j with xgboost4j-spark.


XGBoost4J-Spark requires Apache Spark 2.3+

XGBoost4J-Spark now requires Apache Spark 2.3+. Latest versions of XGBoost4J-Spark uses facilities of extensively to provide for a tight integration with Spark MLLIB framework, and these facilities are not fully available on earlier versions of Spark.

Also, make sure to install Spark directly from Apache website. Upstream XGBoost is not guaranteed to work with third-party distributions of Spark, such as Cloudera Spark. Consult appropriate third parties to obtain their distribution of XGBoost.

Enabling OpenMP for Mac OS

If you are on Mac OS and using a compiler that supports OpenMP, you need to go to the file xgboost/jvm-packages/ and comment out the line


in order to get the benefit of multi-threading.

Building with GPU support

If you want to build XGBoost4J that supports distributed GPU training, run

mvn -Duse.cuda=ON install

Building the Documentation

XGBoost uses Sphinx for documentation. To build it locally, you need a installed XGBoost with all its dependencies along with:

  • System dependencies

    • git

    • graphviz

  • Python dependencies

    Checkout the requirements.txt file under doc/

Under xgboost/doc directory, run make <format> with <format> replaced by the format you want. For a list of supported formats, run make help under the same directory.