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Tiny cross-platform webview library for C/C++. Uses WebKit (GTK/Cocoa) and Edge WebView2 (Windows).


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A tiny cross-platform webview library for C/C++ to build modern cross-platform GUIs.

The goal of the project is to create a common HTML5 UI abstraction layer for the most widely used platforms.

It supports two-way JavaScript bindings (to call JavaScript from C/C++ and to call C/C++ from JavaScript).


Language binding for Go has moved. Versions <= 0.1.1 are available in this repository.

Platform Support

Platform Technologies
Linux GTK 3, WebKitGTK
macOS Cocoa, WebKit
Windows Windows API, WebView2


The most up-to-date documentation is right in the source code. Improving the documentation is a continuous effort and you are more than welcome to contribute.


Your compiler must support minimum C++11 except for platforms that require a more modern version.

Linux and BSD

The GTK and WebKit2GTK libraries are required for development and distribution. You need to check your package repositories regarding how to install those those.

Debian-based systems:

  • Packages:
    • Development: apt install libgtk-3-dev libwebkit2gtk-4.0-dev
    • Production: apt install libgtk-3-0 libwebkit2gtk-4.0-37

Fedora-based systems:

  • Packages:
    • Development: dnf install gtk3-devel webkit2gtk4.0-devel
    • Production: dnf install gtk3 webkit2gtk4.0

BSD-based systems:

  • FreeBSD packages: pkg install webkit2-gtk3
  • Execution on BSD-based systems may require adding the wxallowed option (see mount(8)) to your fstab to bypass W^X memory protection for your executable. Please see if it works without disabling this security feature first.


Your compiler must support C++14 and we recommend to pair it with an up-to-date Windows 10 SDK.

For Visual C++ we recommend Visual Studio 2022 or later. We have a separate section for MinGW-w64.

Developers and end-users must have the WebView2 runtime installed on their system for any version of Windows before Windows 11.

Getting Started

If you are a developer of this project then please go to the development section.

Instructions here are written for GCC when compiling C/C++ code using Unix-style command lines, and assumes that multiple commands are executed in the same shell session. Command lines for Windows use syntax specific to the Command shell but you can use any shell such as PowerShell as long as you adapt the commands accordingly. See the MinGW-w64 requirements when building on Windows.

You will have a working app but you are encouraged to explore the available examples and try the ones that go beyond the mere basics.

Start with creating a new directory structure for your project:

mkdir my-project && cd my-project
mkdir build libs "libs/webview"

Windows Preparation

The WebView2 SDK is required when compiling programs:

mkdir libs\webview2
curl -sSL "" | tar -xf - -C libs\webview2

If you wish to use the official WebView2 loader (WebView2Loader.dll) then grab a copy of the DLL (replace x64 with your target architecture):

copy /Y libs\webview2\build\native\x64\WebView2Loader.dll build

Note: See the WebView2 loader section for more options.

C/C++ Preparation

Fetch the webview library:

curl -sSLo "libs/webview/webview.h" ""
curl -sSLo "libs/webview/" ""

Getting Started with C++

Save the basic C++ example into your project directory:

curl -sSLo ""

Build and run the example:

# Linux
g++ -std=c++11 -Ilibs/webview $(pkg-config --cflags --libs gtk+-3.0 webkit2gtk-4.0) -o build/basic && ./build/basic
# macOS
g++ -std=c++11 -Ilibs/webview -framework WebKit -o build/basic && ./build/basic
# Windows/MinGW
g++ -std=c++14 -mwindows -Ilibs/webview -Ilibs/webview2/build/native/include -ladvapi32 -lole32 -lshell32 -lshlwapi -luser32 -lversion -o build/basic.exe && "build/basic.exe"

Bonus for Visual C++

Build a C++ example:

cl /std:c++14 /EHsc /Fobuild\ ^
    /I libs\webview ^
    /I libs\webview2\build\native\include ^
    /link /OUT:build\basic.exe

Getting Started with C

Save the basic C example into your project directory:

curl -sSLo basic.c ""

Build the library and example, then run it:

# Linux
g++ -c libs/webview/ -std=c++11 -DWEBVIEW_STATIC $(pkg-config --cflags gtk+-3.0 webkit2gtk-4.0) -o build/webview.o
gcc -c basic.c -std=c99 -Ilibs/webview -o build/basic.o
g++ build/basic.o build/webview.o $(pkg-config --libs gtk+-3.0 webkit2gtk-4.0) -o build/basic && build/basic
# macOS
g++ -c libs/webview/ -std=c++11 -DWEBVIEW_STATIC -o build/webview.o
gcc -c basic.c -std=c99 -Ilibs/webview -o build/basic.o
g++ build/basic.o build/webview.o -framework WebKit -o build/basic && build/basic
# Windows/MinGW
g++ -c libs/webview/ -std=c++14 -DWEBVIEW_STATIC -Ilibs/webview2/build/native/include -o build/webview.o
gcc -c basic.c -std=c99 -Ilibs/webview -o build/basic.o
g++ build/basic.o build/webview.o -mwindows -ladvapi32 -lole32 -lshell32 -lshlwapi -luser32 -lversion -o build/basic.exe && "build/basic.exe"

Bonus for Visual C++

Build a shared library:

cl libs\webview\ /std:c++14 /EHsc /Fobuild\ ^
    /I libs\webview ^
    /I libs\webview2\build\native\include ^
    /link /DLL /OUT:build\webview.dll

Build a C example using the shared library:

cl basic.c build\webview.lib /EHsc /Fobuild\ ^
    /I libs\webview ^
    /link /OUT:build\basic.exe

More Examples

The examples shown here are mere pieces of a bigger picture so we encourage you to try other examples and explore on your own—you can follow the same procedure. Please get in touch if you find any issues.

Compile-time Options

C API Linkage

Name Description
WEBVIEW_API Controls C API linkage, symbol visibility and whether it's a shared library. By default this is inline for C++ and extern for C.
WEBVIEW_BUILD_SHARED Modifies WEBVIEW_API for building a shared library.
WEBVIEW_SHARED Modifies WEBVIEW_API for using a shared library.
WEBVIEW_STATIC Modifies WEBVIEW_API for building or using a static library.

App Distribution

Distribution of your app is outside the scope of this library but we can give some pointers for you to explore.

macOS Application Bundle

On macOS you would typically create a bundle for your app with an icon and proper metadata.

A minimalistic bundle typically has the following directory structure:                 bundle
└── Contents
    ├── Info.plist          information property list
    ├── MacOS
    |   └── example         executable
    └── Resources
        └── example.icns    icon

Read more about the structure of bundles at the Apple Developer site.

Tip: The png2icns tool can create icns files from PNG files. See the icnsutils package for Debian-based systems.

Windows Apps

You would typically create a resource script file (*.rc) with information about the app as well as an icon. Since you should have MinGW-w64 readily available then you can compile the file using windres and link it into your program. If you instead use Visual C++ then look into the Windows Resource Compiler.

The directory structure could look like this:

├── icons/
|   ├── application.ico
|   └── window.ico
└── resources.rc


100 ICON "icons\\application.ico"
32512 ICON "icons\\window.ico"

Note: The ID of the icon resource to be used for the window must be 32512 (IDI_APPLICATION).


windres -o build/resources.o resources.rc
g++ build/resources.o [...]

Remember to bundle the DLLs you have not linked statically, e.g. those from MinGW-w64 and optionally WebView2Loader.dll.

MinGW-w64 Requirements

In order to build this library using MinGW-w64 on Windows then it must support C++14 and have an up-to-date Windows SDK.

Distributions that are known to be compatible:

MS WebView2 Loader

Linking the WebView2 loader part of the Microsoft WebView2 SDK is not a hard requirement when using our webview library, and neither is distributing WebView2Loader.dll with your app.

If, however, WebView2Loader.dll is loadable at runtime, e.g. from the executable's directory, then it will be used; otherwise our minimalistic implementation will be used instead.

Should you wish to use the official loader then remember to distribute it along with your app unless you link it statically. Linking it statically is possible with Visual C++ but not MinGW-w64.

Here are some of the noteworthy ways our implementation of the loader differs from the official implementation:

  • Does not support configuring WebView2 using environment variables such as WEBVIEW2_BROWSER_EXECUTABLE_FOLDER.
  • Microsoft Edge Insider (preview) channels are not supported.

The following compile-time options can be used to change how the library integrates the WebView2 loader:

  • WEBVIEW_MSWEBVIEW2_BUILTIN_IMPL=<1|0> - Enables or disables the built-in implementation of the WebView2 loader. Enabling this avoids the need for WebView2Loader.dll but if the DLL is present then the DLL takes priority. This option is enabled by default.
  • WEBVIEW_MSWEBVIEW2_EXPLICIT_LINK=<1|0> - Enables or disables explicit linking of WebView2Loader.dll. Enabling this avoids the need for import libraries (*.lib). This option is enabled by default if WEBVIEW_MSWEBVIEW2_BUILTIN_IMPL is enabled.


To build the library, examples and run tests, use one of the builds scripts in the script directory:


    • On Unix-based systems.
    • On Windows in a Unix-like environment such as MSYS2.
  • build.bat:

    • On Windows when building with Visual C++.

You can specify individual tasks on the command line for these scripts:

Task Description
info Displays information.
clean Cleans the build directory.
format Reformats code.
deps Fetches dependencies.
check Runs checks.
build Builds the library, examples and tests.
test Runs tests.

Additionally, the scripts accept the following environment variables.

Both scripts:

Variable Description
CI Changes behavior in CI environments (more strict).
TARGET_ARCH Target architecture for cross-compilation (x64, x86).
BUILD_DIR Overrides the path of the build directory.


Variable Description
HOST_OS Host operating system (linux, macos, windows).
TARGET_OS Target operating system for cross-compilation (see HOST_OS).
CC C compiler executable.
CXX C++ compiler executable.
LIB_PREFIX Library name prefix.
PKGCONFIG Alternative pkgconfig executable.


See the CI configuration for examples.


Browser Features

Since a browser engine is not a full web browser it may not support every feature you may expect from a browser. If you find that a feature does not work as expected then please consult with the browser engine's documentation and open an issue if you think that the library should support it.

For example, the library does not attempt to support user interaction features like alert(), confirm() and prompt() and other non-essential features like console.log().


Language Project
Ada thechampagne/webview-ada
Bun tr1ckydev/webview-bun
C# webview/webview_csharp
C3 thechampagne/webview-c3
Crystal naqvis/webview
D thechampagne/webview-d
Deno webview/webview_deno
Go webview/webview_go
Harbour EricLendvai/Harbour_WebView
Haskell lettier/webviewhs
Janet janet-lang/webview
Java webview/webview_java
Kotlin Winterreisender/webviewko
Nim oskca/webview, neroist/webview
Node.js Winterreisender/webview-nodejs
Odin thechampagne/webview-odin
Pascal PierceNg/fpwebview
Python zserge/webview-python
PHP 0hr/php-webview
Ruby Maaarcocr/webview_ruby
Rust Boscop/web-view
Swift jakenvac/SwiftWebview
V malisipi/mui, ttytm/webview
Zig thechampagne/webview-zig

If you wish to add bindings to the list, feel free to submit a pull request or open an issue.

Generating Bindings

You can generate bindings for the library by yourself using the included SWIG interface (webview.i).

Here are some examples to get you started. Unix-style command lines are used for conciseness.

mkdir -p build/bindings/{python,csharp,java,ruby}
swig -c++ -python -outdir build/bindings/python -o build/bindings/python/python_wrap.cpp webview.i
swig -c++ -csharp -outdir build/bindings/csharp -o build/bindings/csharp/csharp_wrap.cpp webview.i
swig -c++ -java -outdir build/bindings/java -o build/bindings/java/java_wrap.cpp webview.i
swig -c++ -ruby -outdir build/bindings/ruby -o build/bindings/ruby/ruby_wrap.cpp webview.i


Code is distributed under MIT license, feel free to use it in your proprietary projects as well.