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Install Boost on Ubuntu

Learn to install the boost C++ library easily or opt for the manual method to install a specific version on Ubuntu.

Sagar Sharma

When your C++ program demands the boost library and your system doesn't have one, it will show the following error:

fatal error: boost/array.hpp: No such file or directory

No worries! It's quite easy to overcome this error by installing boost.

In this tutorial, I will walk you through two ways to install the boost library on Ubuntu:

  • Using default repository (easy)
  • Manual installation to get the desired version (complicated)

So let's start with the first and the easy method.

This is the easiest way to install the boost library on Ubuntu.

Unless you need a specific version, you should stick to this method.

To install the boost library, all you have to do is execute the given command:

sudo apt get install libboost-all-dev

To confirm the installation, you can check the installed version of the boost library:

dpkg -S /usr/include/boost/version.hp
check the installed version of the boost library on ubuntu

And there you have it!

Install the boost library on Ubuntu manually

If your workflow demands a specific version of the boost library or you want to have the latest version of the boost, you can refer to this method.

To find the desired version of the boost library, visit the Boost version history webpage.

Once you find the preferred version, click on the Download button:

visit boost version history to install desired version of boost library on ubuntu

And it will open the download page with multiple options.

Look for the .tar.gz option, right-click on that option, and select the copy link option:

select .tar.gz option to install the boost library

Now, use the wget command to download the file from the link you have just copied:

download boost library manually on ubuntu

Once you are done with the download, extract the compressed file using the tar command:

tar xvf boost*.tar.gz

Next, install the required packages to build the boost library:

sudo apt install build-essential g++ python3-dev autotools-dev libicu-dev libbz2-dev 

Now, change your directory where the files were extracted using the cd command:

cd boost_1_81_0/

And run the with --prefix=/usr/:

sudo ./ --prefix=/usr/
execute bootstap script to install boost library on ubuntu

Next, execute the ./b2 to perform build checks and to build the boost library:


And if it shows no errors, you can install the boost library using the following command:

sudo ./b2 install

You can find the installed libraries where you gave the path to the --prefix. (usr in our case):

ls /usr/lib/libboost_*
installed location of boost library with manual installation

Testing the boost library with the C++ program

Here, I have created a simple code-named Nerd.c.

First, create a file named Nerd.c and open it using the following:

nano Nerd.c

Now, enter the following into the file:

#include <boost/array.hpp>
#include <iostream>
using namespace std;
int main()
    boost::array<int, 10> arr
        = { { 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 } };
    for (int i = 0; i < 10; i++) {
        cout << "being Ubuntu user, your nerd Rank is :" << arr[i] << "*"
             << "\n";
    return 0;

Save changes and exit from the nano text editor.

Now, compile the file and it will show no errors:

g++ Nerd.c

And finally, run the code:

run C++ programs in ubuntu

Quite simple. Isn't it?

Wrapping Up

I hope you will find this guide helpful!

Let me know if you face any errors while executing the shown steps.

And if you have any suggestions related to what should I cover next, let me know in the comments.

Sagar Sharma