Building for MacOS/Linux

Building PLV8 for MacOS or Linux has some specific requirements:


The following packages must be installed to build on Ubuntu or Debian:

  • libtinfo5
  • build-essential
  • pkg-config
  • libstdc++-12-dev (depending on version, may be 10 instead of 12)
  • cmake
  • git

The following packages must be installed to build on EL9 or EL8:

  • 'development tools' - via groupinstall
  • cmake
  • git

Note that some distributions of Linux may have additional requirements. This is not meant to be an exhaustive list.


The following packages must be install to build on MacOS:

  • XCode - and the command line tools
  • cmake

Downloading Source

Downloading the source code is very straightforward:

$ wget $ tar -xvzf v3.0.0.tar.gz $ cd plv8-3.0.0 $ make


Building is simple:

$ make

This will download v8 and compile it as well.

| Note: If you have multiple versions of PostgreSQL installed like 9.5 and 9.6, Plv8 will only be built for PostgreSQL 9.6. This is because make calls pg_config to get the version number, which will always be the latest version installed. If you need to build Plv8 for PostgreSQL 9.5 while you have 9.6 installed pass make the PG_CONFIG variable to your 9.5 version of pg_config. This works for make, and make install. For example in Ubuntu:

$ make PG_CONFIG=/usr/lib/postgresql/13/bin/pg_config

Building with Execution Timeout

Plv8 allows you to optionally build with an execution timeout for Javascript functions, when enabled at compile-time.


By default, the execution timeout is not compiled, but when configured it has a timeout of 300 seconds (5 minutes). You can override this by setting the plv8.execution_timeout variable. It can be set between 1 second and 65536 seconds, but cannot be disabled.

Building with ICU

Building with ICU requires you to enable ICU in your build process:

$ make USE_ICU=1

If you build with ICU, you will need to install the correct ICU file, located in contrib/icu.

  • icudtl.dat - Little Endian architectures (Intel)
  • icudtb.dat - Big Endian architectures (Sparc)

For ARM, you will need to figure out which Endianess your hardware and OS is configured for.

NOTE: it is important that the user that Postgres is started with has read access to the file.


Once PLV8 has been built, you need to install it for PostgreSQL to be able to use it:

$ make install

This might require root access, depending on how PostgreSQL is installed:

$ sudo make install


Once PLV8 is installed, you can verify the install by running:

$ make installcheck