Setup your C/C++ environment

To build C applications that use the Wasmer runtime as a host for guest Wasm modules, you will need a C compiler installed (clang or gcc, for example). Check the compiler installation instructions here.

Starting with Wasmer 1.0 all the releases ship with the required libraries and headers to use Wasmer from C and C++.

If you haven't yet, let's install Wasmer:

curl -sSfL | sh

Once Wasmer is installed, you can get the pkg-config easily:

$ wasmer config --pkg-config
Name: wasmer
Description: The Wasmer library for running WebAssembly
Version: 1.0.0
Cflags: -I/Users/USER/.wasmer/include/wasmer
Libs: -L/Users/syrus/.wasmer/lib -lwasmer

Manual Installation

Download Wasmer from Wasmer releases page. Depending on your system, you will need to download:

  • Linux: wasmer-linux-amd64.tar.gz or wasmer-linux-aarch64.tar.gz

  • macOS: wasmer-darwin-amd64.tar.gz or wasmer-darwin-arm64.tar.gz

  • Windows: wasmer-windows.tar.gz

Once you have downloaded the framework, you can now extract its contents and set the WASMER_DIR environment variable to the path of the wasmer directory (this will be very useful when running the examples):

# Extract the contents to a dir
mkdir wasmer
tar -C wasmer -zxvf wasmer-*.tar.gz
export WASMER_DIR=$(pwd)/wasmer
# Update LD_LIBRARY_PATH to link against the in the examples

Note: You can also build the C-API from source.

Installing Clang/GCC

First, you can test if clang or gcc is installed already by running:

gcc --version

If this command does not return the version, then see the following:


gcc / clang is usually installed by default. However, if it is not, you can install gcc/clang by installing xcode-select on your mac.

Debian / Debian Based / Linux

To install gcc on a Debian based, you will want to run the following:

sudo apt-get install build-essential

Gcc should be installable on your favorite linux distro as well. Please search for the correct command for your desired distribution.


To install gcc on Windows, you will probably want to install a GNU environment on windows. We suggest using MinGW.

gcc --version
# This should output: "ATTRIBUTIONS LICENSE bin include lib"

If these commands work, The compiler and the Wasmer C API are successfully installed!

Next, let's take a look at some examples!