WebRTC development

The currently supported platforms are Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Android and iOS. See the Android and iOS pages for build instructions and example applications specific to these mobile platforms.

Before You Start

First, be sure to install the prerequisite software.

Getting the Code

For desktop development:

  1. Create a working directory, enter it, and run fetch webrtc:
$ mkdir webrtc-checkout
$ cd webrtc-checkout
$ fetch --nohooks webrtc
$ gclient sync

NOTICE: During your first sync, you'll have to accept the license agreement of the Google Play Services SDK.

The checkout size is large due the use of the Chromium build toolchain and many dependencies. Estimated size:

  • Linux: 6.4 GB.
  • Linux (with Android): 16 GB (of which ~8 GB is Android SDK+NDK images).
  • Mac (with iOS support): 5.6GB
  1. Optionally you can specify how new branches should be tracked:
$ git config branch.autosetupmerge always
$ git config branch.autosetuprebase always
  1. Alternatively, you can create new local branches like this (recommended):
$ cd src
$ git checkout main
$ git new-branch your-branch-name

See the Android and iOS pages for separate instructions.

NOTICE: if you get Remote: Daily bandwidth rate limit exceeded for <ip>, make sure you're logged in. The quota is much larger for logged in users.

Updating the Code

Update your current branch with:

$ git checkout main
$ git pull origin main
$ gclient sync
$ git checkout my-branch
$ git merge main


Ninja is the default build system for all platforms.

See the Android and iOS pages for build instructions specific to those platforms.

Generating Ninja project files

Ninja project files are generated using GN. They're put in a directory of your choice, like out/Debug or out/Release, but you can use any directory for keeping multiple configurations handy.

To generate project files using the defaults (Debug build), run (standing in the src/ directory of your checkout):

$ gn gen out/Default

To generate ninja project files for a Release build instead:

$ gn gen out/Default --args='is_debug=false'

To clean all build artifacts in a directory but leave the current GN configuration untouched (stored in the args.gn file), do:

$ gn clean out/Default

To build the fuzzers residing in the test/fuzzers directory, read the instructions at the fuzzers page.

See the GN documentation for all available options. There are also more platform specific tips on the Android and iOS instructions.


When you have Ninja project files generated (see previous section), compile (standing in src/) using:

For Ninja project files generated in out/Default:

$ autoninja -C out/Default

To build everything in the generated folder (out/Default):

$ autoninja all -C out/Default

autoninja is a wrapper that automatically provides optimal values for the arguments passed to ninja.

See Ninja build rules to read more about difference between ninja and ninja all.

To build a particular target (like a fuzzer which is not included in the main target) use

autoninja -C out/Default h264_depacketizer_fuzzer

Using Another Build System

Other build systems are not supported (and may fail), such as Visual Studio on Windows or Xcode on OSX. GN supports a hybrid approach of using Ninja for building, but Visual Studio/Xcode for editing and driving compilation.

To generate IDE project files, pass the --ide flag to the GN command. See the GN reference for more details on the supported IDEs.

Working with Release Branches

To see available release branches, run:

$ git branch -r

To create a local branch tracking a remote release branch (in this example, the branch corresponding to Chrome M80):

$ git checkout -b my_branch refs/remotes/branch-heads/3987
$ gclient sync

NOTICE: depot_tools are not tracked with your checkout, so it's possible gclient sync will break on sufficiently old branches. In that case, you can try using an older depot_tools:

which gclient
$ # cd to depot_tools dir
$ # edit update_depot_tools; add an exit command at the top of the file
$ git log  # find a hash close to the date when the branch happened
$ git checkout <hash>
$ cd ~/dev/webrtc/src
$ gclient sync
$ # When done, go back to depot_tools, git reset --hard, run gclient again and
$ # verify the current branch becomes REMOTE:origin/main

The above is untested and unsupported, but it might help.

Commit log for the branch: https://webrtc.googlesource.com/src/+log/branch-heads/3987 To browse it: https://webrtc.googlesource.com/src/+/branch-heads/3987

For more details, read Chromium's Working with Branches and Working with Release Branches pages. To find the branch corresponding to a Chrome release check the Chromium Dashboard.

Contributing Patches

Please see Contributing Fixes for information on how to run git cl upload, getting your patch reviewed, and getting it submitted. You can also find info on how to run trybots and applying for try rights.

Chromium Committers

Many WebRTC committers are also Chromium committers. To make sure to use the right account for pushing commits to WebRTC, use the user.email Git config setting. The recommended way is to have the chromium committer account set globally as described at the depot tools setup page and then set user.email locally for the WebRTC repos using:

$ cd /path/to/webrtc/src
$ git config user.email <YOUR_WEBRTC_COMMITTER_EMAIL>

Example Applications

WebRTC contains several example applications, which can be found under src/webrtc/examples. Higher level applications are listed first.


Peerconnection consist of two applications using the WebRTC Native APIs:

  • A server application, with target name peerconnection_server
  • A client application, with target name peerconnection_client (not currently supported on Mac/Android)

The client application has simple voice and video capabilities. The server enables client applications to initiate a call between clients by managing signaling messages generated by the clients.

Setting up P2P calls between peerconnection_clients

Start peerconnection_server. You should see the following message indicating that it is running:

Server listening on port 8888

Start any number of peerconnection_clients and connect them to the server. The client UI consists of a few parts:

Connecting to a server: When the application is started you must specify which machine (by IP address) the server application is running on. Once that is done you can press Connect or the return button.

Select a peer: Once successfully connected to a server, you can connect to a peer by double-clicking or select+press return on a peer's name.

Video chat: When a peer has been successfully connected to, a video chat will be displayed in full window.

Ending chat session: Press Esc. You will now be back to selecting a peer.

Ending connection: Press Esc and you will now be able to select which server to connect to.

Testing peerconnection_server

Start an instance of peerconnection_server application.

Open src/webrtc/examples/peerconnection/server/server_test.html in your browser. Click Connect. Observe that the peerconnection_server announces your connection. Open one more tab using the same page. Connect it too (with a different name). It is now possible to exchange messages between the connected peers.

STUN Server

Target name stunserver. Implements the STUN protocol for Session Traversal Utilities for NAT as documented in RFC 5389.

TURN Server

Target name turnserver. Used for unit tests.