Build and install Gramine from source

Gramine consists of several components:

  • The Library OS itself (a shared library named

  • The Platform Adaptation Layer, or PAL (a shared library named

  • A patched C Library (shared library and possibly others). Currently there are two options: musl and GNU C Library (glibc).

Building Gramine implies building at least the first two components. The build of the patched C library is optional but highly recommended for performance reasons. You can choose at most one of the libcs available. By default glibc is built.

Gramine currently only works on the x86_64 architecture. Gramine is currently tested on Ubuntu 20.04/22.04, along with Linux kernel version 5.x. We recommend building and installing Gramine on Ubuntu with Linux kernel version 5.11 or higher. If you find problems with Gramine on other Linux distributions, contact us with a detailed bug report.

Install dependencies

Common dependencies

Run the following command on Ubuntu LTS to install dependencies:

sudo apt-get install -y build-essential \
    autoconf bison gawk nasm ninja-build pkg-config python3 python3-click \
    python3-jinja2 python3-pip python3-pyelftools wget
sudo python3 -m pip install 'meson>=0.56' 'tomli>=1.1.0' 'tomli-w>=0.4.0'

You can also install Meson, python3-tomli and python3-tomli-w from apt instead of pip, but only if your distro is new enough to have Meson >= 0.56, python3-tomli >= 1.1.0 and python3-tomli-w >= 0.4.0 (e.g. Ubuntu 22.04 or Debian 11 with bullseye-backports repo enabled).

For GDB support and to run all tests locally you also need to install:

sudo apt-get install -y libunwind8 musl-tools python3-pytest

If you want to build the patched libgomp library, you also need to install GCC’s build dependencies:

sudo apt-get install -y libgmp-dev libmpfr-dev libmpc-dev libisl-dev

Dependencies for SGX

The build of Gramine with SGX support requires CPU with Flexible Launch Control (FLC) feature and the corresponding SGX software infrastructure to be installed on the system. We require Linux kernel with SGX driver built in (CONFIG_X86_SGX=y, which is the case for most of available distribution kernels), which is available since version 5.11 (and also as backported patches to older kernels in certain distros).

Kernel version can be checked using the following command:

uname -r

If your current kernel version is lower than 5.11, then you have two options:

  • Update the Linux kernel to at least 5.11 in your OS distro. If you use Ubuntu, you can follow this tutorial.

  • Install out-of-tree driver and use our provided patches to the Linux kernel version 5.4. See section Legacy kernel and hardware for the exact steps.

1. Required packages

Run the following commands on Ubuntu to install SGX-related dependencies:

sudo apt-get install -y libprotobuf-c-dev protobuf-c-compiler \
    protobuf-compiler python3-cryptography python3-pip python3-protobuf

2. Install Intel SGX SDK/PSW

Follow the installation instructions from the latest version of “Intel SGX Software Installation Guide”:

In general, various documentation for Intel SGX SDK/PSW can be found here:

Additional information, package descriptions, etc. can be found in the official “Intel SGX for Linux” GitHub repo:

3. Install dependencies for DCAP

If you plan on enabling -Ddcap option, you need to install libsgx-dcap-quote-verify package (and its development counterpart):

# Below commands work on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS and 20.04 LTS
sudo curl -fsSLo /usr/share/keyrings/intel-sgx-deb.asc
echo "deb [arch=amd64 signed-by=/usr/share/keyrings/intel-sgx-deb.asc] $(lsb_release -sc) main" \
| sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/intel-sgx.list

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install libsgx-dcap-quote-verify-dev

Build Gramine

To build Gramine, you need to first set up the build directory. In the root directory of Gramine repo, run the following command (recall that “direct” means non-SGX version):

meson setup build/ --buildtype=release -Ddirect=enabled -Dsgx=enabled \
    -Dsgx_driver=(upstream|oot) -Dsgx_driver_include_path=<path-to-sgx-driver-sources>


If you plan to contribute changes to Gramine, then you should always build it with --werror added to the invocation above.


If you invoked meson setup once, the next invocation of this command will not have any effect. Instead, to change the build configuration, use meson configure. For example, if you built with meson setup build/ -Dsgx=disabled first and now want to enable SGX, type meson configure build/ -Dsgx=enabled.

Set -Ddirect= and -Dsgx= options to enabled or disabled according to whether you built the corresponding PAL (the snippet assumes you built both).

The -Dsgx_driver parameter controls which SGX driver to use:

  • upstream (default) for upstreamed in-kernel driver (mainline Linux kernel 5.11+),

  • oot for non-DCAP, out-of-tree version of the driver.

The -Dsgx_driver_include_path parameter must point to the absolute path where the SGX driver was downloaded or installed in the previous step. For example, for the OOT driver installed at the default path, you can specify -Dsgx_driver_include_path="/opt/intel/linux-sgx-driver". If this parameter is omitted, Gramine’s build system will try to determine the right path, so, it’s usually not needed.


If you have a DCAP driver installed on the system (e.g. on 18.04 Azure), then you can still use the upstream driver and specify the upstream header file. This is because the DCAP and the upstream drivers have compatible APIs.

Set -Dlibc option to musl if you wish to build musl instead of glibc (which is built by default), or to none if you do not want to build any libc.

Then, build and install Gramine by running the following:

ninja -C build/
sudo ninja -C build/ install

Installation prefix

By default, Meson uses installation prefix /usr/local.

  • When installing from sources, Gramine executables are placed under /usr/local/bin. Some Linux distributions (notably CentOS) do not search for executables under this path. If your system reports that Gramine programs can not be found, you might need to edit your configuration files so that /usr/local/bin is in your path (in $PATH environment variable). Alternatively, you can modify the installation prefix (e.g. to /usr) or the executable directory (e.g. meson --bindir=/usr/bin).

  • When installing from sources, Gramine Python modules are placed under /usr/local/lib/ (or under /usr/local/lib/ on Debian-like distros). Some Linux distributions (notably Alpine) do not search for Python modules under this path. If your system fails to find Gramine Python modules, you might need to adjust PYTHONPATH environment variable. Alternatively, you can modify the installation prefix, e.g. to /usr.

To install into some other place than /usr/local, use meson --prefix=<prefix>. Note that if you chose something else than /usr then for things to work, you probably need to adjust several environment variables:


What to add

Read more



POSIX.1-2018 8.3







This very much depends on a particular distribution, so please consult relevant documentation provided by your distro.

Additional build options

  • To build test binaries, run meson -Dtests=enabled. This is necessary if you will be running regression tests. See Contributing to Gramine for details.

  • In order to run SGX tools with DCAP version of RA-TLS library (, build with meson -Ddcap=enabled option. See RA-TLS example’s README.


    EPID version of RA-TLS library ( is built by default.

  • To create a debug build, run meson --buildtype=debug. This adds debug symbols in all Gramine components, builds them without optimizations, and enables detailed debug logs in Gramine.


    Debug builds are not suitable for production.

  • To create a debug build that does not disable optimizations, run meson --buildtype=debugoptimized.


    Debug builds are not suitable for production.


    This is generally not recommended, because optimized builds lose some debugging information, and may cause GDB to display confusing tracebacks or garbage data. You should use --buildtype=debugoptimized only if you have a good reason (e.g. for profiling).

  • To compile with undefined behavior sanitization (UBSan), run meson -Dubsan=enabled. This causes Gramine to abort when undefined behavior is detected (and display information about source line). UBSan can be enabled for both debug and non-debug builds.


    UBSan builds (even non-debug) are not suitable for production.

  • To compile with address sanitization (ASan), run meson -Dasan=enabled. In this mode, Gramine will attempt to detect invalid memory accesses. ASan can be enabled for both debug and non-debug builds.

    ASan is supported only when compiling with Clang (before building, set the appropriate environment variables with export CC=clang CXX=clang++ AS=clang).


    ASan builds (even non-debug) are not suitable for production.

  • To build with -Werror, run meson --werror.

  • To compile a patched version of GCC’s OpenMP library (libgomp), install GCC’s build prerequisites (see Common dependencies), and use meson -Dlibgomp=enabled.

    The patched version has significantly better performance under SGX (libgomp uses inline SYSCALL instructions for futex calls; our patch replaces them with a jump to Gramine LibOS, same as for glibc).

    Building the patched libgomp library is disabled by default because it can take a long time: unfortunately, the only supported way of building libgomp is as part of a complete GCC build.

Prepare a signing key

These instructions are only required for systems using Intel SGX that have not already created a signing key.

The following command generates an RSA 3072 key suitable for signing SGX enclaves and stores it in HOME/.config/gramine/enclave-key.pem. Protect this key and do not disclose it to anyone:


After signing the application’s manifest, users may ship the application and Gramine binaries, along with an SGX-specific manifest (.manifest.sgx extension), the SIGSTRUCT signature file (.sig extension), and the EINITTOKEN file (.token extension) to execute on another SGX-enabled host.

Advanced: building without network access

First, before you cut your network access, you need to download (or otherwise obtain) a checkout of Gramine repository and all wrapped subprojects’ distfiles. The files subprojects/*.wrap describe those downloads and their respective SHA-256 checksums. You can use meson subprojects download to download and check them automatically. Otherwise, you should put all those distfiles into subprojects/packagecache directory. Pay attention to expected filenames as specified in wrap files. (You don’t need to checksum them separately, Meson will do that for you later if they’re mismatched or corrupted).

Alternatively, you can prepare a “dist” tarball using meson dist command, which apart from Gramine code will contain all wrapped subprojects and also git submodules. For this you need to create a dummy builddir using meson setup command:

meson setup build-dist/ \
    -Ddirect=disabled -Dsgx=disabled -Dskeleton=enabled \
    -Dlibc=glibc -Dlibgomp=enabled
meson dist -C build-dist/ --no-tests --include-subprojects --formats=gztar

The options specified with -D (especially -Dlibc and -Dlibgomp) are important, because they determine which subprojects will be included in the tarball. They need to match what you intend to build. The command meson dist still needs network access, because it downloads subprojects and checks out git submodules. The tarballs are located in build-dist/meson-dist. You can adjust --formats option to your needs.

You can now sever your network connection:

sudo unshare -n su "$USER"

If you build from dist tarball, unpack it and cd to the main directory. If not, go to the repository checkout where you’ve downloaded subproject/packagecache. In either case, you can now meson setup your build directory with the switch --wrap-mode=nodownload, which prevents Meson from downloading subprojects. Those subprojects should already be downloaded and if you didn’t unshare -n, it prevents a mistake. Proceed with compiling and installing as usual.

meson setup build/ --prefix=/usr --wrap-mode=nodownload \
    -Ddirect=enabled -Dsgx=enabled -Dsgx_driver=upstream
meson compile -C build/
meson install -C build/

Legacy kernel and hardware

Although we recommend kernel version 5.11 or later, Gramine can be run on older kernels with out-of-tree SGX driver. OOT driver is also the only possibility to run Gramine on non-FLC hardware. In this configuration, we require kernel at least 5.4, and for kernels between 5.4 (inclusive) and 5.9 (exclusive) we additionally require FSGSBASE patchset (see below).

Beware that some enterprise distributions provide kernels that report some old version, but actually provide upstream SGX driver that has been backported (like RHEL and derivatives since version 8, which has nominally kernel 4.18). If you have one of those enterprise kernels, this section does not apply. If in doubt, check kernel’s .config and consult your distro documentation.

1. Install Linux kernel with patched FSGSBASE

FSGSBASE is a feature in recent processors which allows direct access to the FS and GS segment base addresses. For more information about FSGSBASE and its benefits, see this discussion.

FSGSBASE patchset was merged in Linux kernel version 5.9, so if your kernel version is 5.9 or higher, then the FSGSBASE feature is already supported and you can skip this step. For older kernels it is available as separate patches. (Note that Gramine was prevously called Graphene and was hosted under a different organization, hence the name of the linked repository.)

The following instructions to patch and compile a Linux kernel with FSGSBASE support below are written around Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) with a Linux 5.4 LTS stable kernel but can be adapted for other distros as necessary. These instructions ensure that the resulting kernel has FSGSBASE support.

  1. Clone the repository with patches:

    git clone
  2. Setup a build environment for kernel development following the instructions in the Ubuntu wiki. Clone Linux version 5.4 via:

    git clone --single-branch --branch linux-5.4.y \
    cd linux
  3. Apply the provided FSGSBASE patches to the kernel source tree:

    git am <graphene-sgx-driver>/fsgsbase_patches/*.patch

    The conversation regarding this patchset can be found in the kernel mailing list archives here.

  4. Build and install the kernel following the instructions in the Ubuntu wiki.

  5. After rebooting, verify the patched kernel is the one that has been booted and is running:

    uname -r
  6. Also verify that the patched kernel supports FSGSBASE (the below command must return that bit 1 is set):

    # Linux kernel doesn't support FSGSBASE: patch or use higher version!
    $ LD_SHOW_AUXV=1 /bin/true | grep AT_HWCAP2
    AT_HWCAP2:       0x0
    # Linux kernel supports FSGSBASE (example where only bit 1 is set)
    $ LD_SHOW_AUXV=1 /bin/true | grep AT_HWCAP2
    AT_HWCAP2:       0x2

After the patched Linux kernel is installed, you may proceed with installations of other SGX software infrastructure: the Intel SGX Linux driver, the Intel SGX SDK/PSW, and Gramine itself.

2. Install the Intel SGX driver

This step depends on your hardware and kernel version. Note that if your kernel version is 5.11 or higher, then the Intel SGX driver is already installed and you can skip this step.

If you have an older CPU without FLC support, you need to download and install the following out-of-tree (OOT) Intel SGX driver:

For this driver, you need to set vm.mmap_min_addr=0 in the system (only required for the legacy SGX driver and not needed for newer DCAP/in-kernel drivers):

sudo sysctl vm.mmap_min_addr=0

Note that this is an inadvisable configuration for production systems.

Alternatively, if your CPU supports FLC, you can choose to install the DCAP version of the Intel SGX driver from: