Last modified 5 weeks ago Last modified on 12/10/16 12:24:11

Building WebKitGTK+ from a release tarball

You can build and install WebKitGTK+ from a release tarball the same as you would any other CMake module. The only trick is that you must pass the CMake option -DPORT=GTK. For example, to do a release build with debug info, with one parallel build per processor, and install the result:

make -j`nproc`
sudo make install

Building WebKitGTK+ from git

If you want to do development on WebKit itself, you'll need a git checkout. You'll also need to use our JHBuild moduleset to build several dependencies, as using other versions of dependencies may cause layout tests to fail.

Getting the source

To get the WebKitGTK+ source, please follow the instructions on the WebKit page. Many WebKit developer also use git to interact with the repository and the WebKit developer tools have strong support for git. contains tips for using git with WebKit.


  1. Install the base WebKitGTK+ dependencies:
    $ Tools/gtk/install-dependencies
  1. Download and build all jhbuild modules:
    $ Tools/Scripts/update-webkitgtk-libs


$ Tools/Scripts/build-webkit --gtk


  • You can pass parameters to the make command with the --makeargs argument.
    • For example, you can pass --makeargs="-jXX", where XX is an integer, to set the number of threads make will use. The default is one per logical CPU detected, but you might want fewer if it's bogging down your system.
  • JHBuild configuration and module files are stored as Tools/gtk/jhbuildrc and Tools/gtk/jhbuild.modules.
  • If everything builds properly tests should typically pass on your system. Please file a bug if they do not.
  • If you get build errors saying a library could not be found but you have the appropriate packages installed make sure you have up-to-date multiarch-support and binutils (or binutils-gold) packages.
  • You can also add more modules to the default WebKit JHBuild.

Speeding up the build process

There are several tricks that can be used to build WebKitGTK+ in less time. Check the WebKitGTK/SpeedUpBuild page for the details.


The code on Mac OS X should built like any Linux distribution, as long as you install the above build dependencies (in addition to an "ordinary build environment" that includes XCode Tools 2.3 or newer). MacPorts users can get the dependencies via:

$ sudo port install webkit-gtk

If you get an error about libjpeg when the build does the configuration step, you may find the following fixes it:

$ export CPPFLAGS="-I/opt/local/include"
$ export LDFLAGS="-L/opt/local/lib"

Cross Compiling for ARM devices

If you need to make ARM builds you might find useful the resources hosted in this git repository which basically provide a CMake Toolchain File to build WebKit2GTK+, together with instructions on how to setup a local chroot environment to use it, so that both the environment and the build are reproducible.

Wrapping up the instructions in there a bit, you'd basically have to follow 3 steps (or 2, after the initial setup):

  1. Create the chroot and provision it, running the bootstrap script provided (only once) as root (or with sudo)
  2. Configure the build as you please, pointing to the CMake Toolchain provided, which you placed somewhere in your disk
      $ mkdir /path/to/your/WebKit/BUILD && cd /path/to/your/WebKit/BUILD
      $ cmake -DCMAKE_TOOLCHAIN_FILE=/path/to/armv7l-toolchain.cmake \
            -DPORT=GTK \
            -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Release \
            -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=/usr \
            -DCMAKE_INSTALL_LIBDIR=lib/arm-linux-gnueabihf \
            -DCMAKE_INSTALL_LIBEXECDIR=lib/arm-linux-gnueabihf \
            -DENABLE_GLES2=ON \
            -DUSE_LD_GOLD=OFF \
  3. Build it:
      $ make VERBOSE=1 -j12    # Or anything else, this is just what I use

This has been tested with WebKit2GTK 2.12.x and 2.14.x releases as well as with trunk. If you find any issue/comment, please comment on the github repo, or open a pull request.