Building GStreamer from git

Is there a way to test or develop against GStreamer from git without interfering with my system GStreamer installed from packages?

Yes! You have two options: you can either run GStreamer in an uninstalled setup (see How do I develop against an uninstalled GStreamer copy?), or you can use GNOME's jhbuild.

How do I check out GStreamer from git?

GStreamer and its various official modules are hosted on For starters, you will likely be interested in the core gstreamer module and the basic base functionality provided by the gst-plugins-base and gst-plugins-good modules. Additionally, and in case you want more comprehensive media format support, you might want to check out the gst-plugins-ugly, gst-plugins-bad and gst-libav modules.

You can use the following command to download the latest source code for the base modules:

for module in gstreamer gst-plugins-base gst-plugins-good; do
  git clone$module ;

This will create three directories in your current directory: gstreamer, gst-plugins-base, and gst-plugins-good. If you want to get another module, use the above git clone command line and replace $module with the name of the module. Then you will need to go into each directory and run ./, this will, among other things, checkout the common module underneath each module checkout.

You can get a list of active modules and their description from the modules page.

How do I get developer access to GStreamer git?

If you want to gain developer access to the GStreamer source-code repositories, you need to either send a request to the development lists, or directly ask one of the maintainers. We usually only consider requests by developers who have been active for some time and have shown to be competent GStreamer contributors.

I ran, but it failed with aclocal errors. What's wrong?

+ running aclocal -I m4 -I common/m4 ...
aclocal: 8: macro `AM_DISABLE_STATIC' not found in library
aclocal: 17: macro `AM_PROG_LIBTOOL' not found in library
aclocal failed

What's wrong?

aclocal is unable to find two macros installed by libtool in a file called libtool.m4. Normally, this would indicate that you don't have libtool, but that would mean should have failed on not finding libtool.

It is more likely that you installed automake (which provides aclocal) and libtool in different prefixes. You can check this by examining in what prefix aclocal and libtool are installed.

You can do three things to fix this :

  1. install automake in the same prefix as libtool

  2. force use of the automake installed in the same prefix as libtool by using the --with-automake option

  3. figure out what prefix libtool has been installed to and point aclocal to the right location by running

    export ACLOCAL_FLAGS="-I $(prefix)/share/aclocal"
where you need to replace `$(prefix)` with the one where `libtool` was
installed to.

Why is "-Wall -Werror" being used?

-Wall is being used because it finds a lot of possible problems with code. Not all of them are necessarily a problem, but it's better to have the compiler report some false positives and find a work-around than spending days chasing a bug the compiler was already hinting to.

-Werror is turned off for actual releases. It's turned on by default for git and prereleases so that people actually notice and fix problems found by -Wall. We want people to actively hit and report or fix them.

If for any reason you want to bypass these flags and you are certain it's the right thing to do, you can run:


to clear these error checking CFLAGS.

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