PMDK C++ bindings  1.5.2
This is the C++ bindings documentation for PMDK's libpmemobj.
C++ Bindings For libpmemobj

This is the C++ API for libpmemobj.

During the development of libpmemobj, many difficulties were encountered and compromises were made to make the C API as much user-friendly as possible. This is mostly due to the semantics of the C language. Since C++ is a more expressive language, it was natural to try and bridge the gap using native C++ features.

There are three main features of the C++ bindings:

  • the persistent_ptr<> smart pointer,
  • the transaction, which comes in two flavours - scoped and closure,
  • the p<> property.

The main issue with the C API is the generic PMEMoid and its typed counterpart, the TOID. For them to be conveniently used in transactions, a large set of macros has been defined. This made using the generic pointer easier, yet still unintuitive. In C++, the persistent_ptr<> template makes it a lot easier providing well known smart pointer semantics and built-in transactions support.

The other drawback of the C API is the transaction semantics. Manual usage of setjmp and jmpbuf is error prone, so they were once again wrapped in macros. They themselves have issues with undefined values of automatic variables (see the libpmemobj manpage for more details). The transactions defined in the C++ bindings try to fix the inadequacies of their C counterparts.

The p<>, which is called the persistent property, was designed with seamless persistent memory integration in mind. It is designed to be used with basic types within classes, to signify that these members in fact reside in persistent memory and need to be handled appropriately.

Please remember to take extra care when using static class members. They are not stored in persistent memory, therefore their value will not always be consistent across subsequent executions or compilations of user applications.

If you find any issues or have suggestion about these bindings please file an issue in There are also blog articles in which you might find helpful.

Have fun! The PMDK team

Compiler notice

The C++ bindings require a C++11 compliant compiler, therefore the minimal versions of GCC and Clang are 4.8.1 and 3.3 respectively. However the pmem::obj::transaction::automatic class requires C++17, so you need a more recent version for this to be available(GCC 6.1/Clang 3.7). It is recommended to use these or newer versions of GCC or Clang.

Standard notice

Please note that the C++11 standard, section 3.8, states that a valid non-trivially default constructible object (in other words, not plain old data) must be properly constructed in the lifetime of the application. Libpmemobj, or any shared memory solution for that matter, does not strictly adhere to that constraint.

We believe that in the future, languages that wish to support persistent memory will need to alter their semantics to establish a defined behavior for objects whose lifetimes exceed that of the application. In the meantime, the programs that wish to use persistent memory will need to rely on compiler-defined behavior.

Our library, and by extension these bindings, have been extensively tested in g++, clang++ and MSVC++ to make sure that our solution is safe to use and practically speaking implementation defined. The only exception to this rule is the use of polymorphic types, which are notably forbidden when using C++ bindings.

Important classes/functions