Project history

The cpp-netlib was founded by Dean Michael Berris in 2007. Initially it consisted of a message template and an HTTP client. It found a home on Sourceforge but was migrated at the end of 2009 to Github where development is actively continued by a committed community.


We’re a group of C++ developers and we kept becoming annoyed that we had to repeatedly write the same code when building applications that needed to be network-aware.

We found that there was a lack of accessible networking libraries, either standard or open source, that fulfilled our needs. Such libraries exist for every other major language. So, building on top of Boost.Asio, we decided to get together and build our own.


The objectives of the cpp-netlib are to:

  • develop a high quality, portable, easy to use C++ networking library
  • enable developers to easily extend the library
  • lower the barrier to entry for cross-platform network-aware C++ applications

The goal the of cpp-netlib has never been to build a fully-featured web server - there are plenty of excellent options already available. The niche that this library targets is for light-weight networking functionality for C++ applications that have demanding performance requirements or memory constraints, but that also need to be portable. This type of application is becoming increasingly common as software becomes more distributed, and applications need to communicate with services.

While many languages provide direct library support for high level network programming, this feature is missing in C++. Therefore, this library has been developed with the intention of eventually being submitted to Boost, a collection of general, high quality libraries for C++ developers.

Eventually, the cpp-netlib will be extended to support many of the application layer protocols such as SMTP, FTP, SOAP, XMPP etc.