author Ted Mielczarek <>
Thu, 10 Nov 2016 11:10:00 -0500
changeset 12855 c2b5a69382c4ec47436e5777ca2238c5f0fa8d5d
parent 12800 819e912a4a6b80ee3a41928440bd3a8c659c8e3b
child 12907 0ce009e2303a2d9184e650ccf2955bc7cc2c645f
permissions -rw-r--r--
bug 1316604 - Add variables for <(nss_dist_dir)/{public,private}. r=franziskus Mozilla's build system currently puts NSS public headers directly in $(DIST)/include/nss, so we need a way to override the export directory.

# Network Security Services

Network Security Services (NSS) is a set of libraries designed to support cross-platform development of security-enabled client and server applications. NSS supports SSL v3-TLS 1.2 (experimental TLS 1.3), PKCS #5, PKCS #7, PKCS #11, PKCS #12, S/MIME, X.509 v3 certificates, and other security standards.

## Getting started
In order to get started create a new directory on that you will be uses as your local work area, and check out NSS and NSPR. (Note that there's no git mirror of NSPR and you require mercurial to get the latest NSPR source.)

    git clone
    hg clone

NSS can also be cloned with mercurial `
    hg clone`

## Building NSS
*This build system is under development. It does not yet support all the features or platforms that NSS supports. To build on anything other than Mac or Linux please use the legacy build system as described below.*

Build requirements:

* [gyp](
* [ninja](

After changing into the NSS directory a typical build is done as follows


Once the build is done the build output is found in the directory `../dist/*.OBJ`, where `*` will be a name dynamically derived from your system's architecture. Exported header files can be found in the `include` directory, library files in directory `lib`, and tools in directory `bin`. In order to run the tools, set your system environment to use the libraries of your build from the "lib" directory, e.g., using the `LD_LIBRARY_PATH` or `DYLD_LIBRARY_PATH`.

    Usage: [-hcgv] [-j <n>] [--test] [--fuzz] [--scan-build[=output]]
                    [-m32] [--opt|-o]

    -h            display this help and exit
    -c            clean before build
    -g            force a rebuild of gyp (and NSPR, because why not)
    -j <n>        run at most <n> concurrent jobs
    -v            verbose build
    -m32          do a 32-bit build on a 64-bit system
    --test        ignore map files and export everything we have
    --fuzz        enable fuzzing mode. this always enables test builds
    --scan-build  run the build with scan-build (scan-build has to be in the path)
                  --scan-build=/out/path sets the output path for scan-build
    --opt|-o      do an opt build

## Building NSS (legacy build system)
After changing into the NSS directory a typical build of 32-bit NSS is done as follows

    make nss_build_all

The following environment variables might be useful:
* `BUILD_OPT=1` to get an optimised build
* `USE_64=1` to get a 64-bit build (recommended)
* `NSS_ENABLE_TLS_1_3=1` to enable TLS 1.3 support

The complete list of environment variables can be found [here](

To clean the build directory run

    make nss_clean_all

## Tests
### Setup
Make sure that the address `$HOST.$DOMSUF` on your computer is available. This is necessary because NSS tests generate certificates and establish TLS connections, which requires a fully qualified domain name.
You can test this by calling `ping $HOST.$DOMSUF`. If this is working, you're all set.
If it's not, set or export

Note that you might have to add `nss.local` to `/etc/hosts` if it's not there. The entry should look something like `       nss.local   nss`.
If you get name resolution errors, try to disable IPv6 on the loopback device, i.e. comment the lines starting with `::1` in your `/etc/hosts` .

### Running tests
*Runnning all tests will take a while!*

    cd tests
Make sure that all environment variables set for the build are set while running the tests as well.
Test results are published in the folder `../../test_results/`.
Individual tests can be run with the `NSS_TESTS` environment variable, e.g. `NSS_TESTS=ssl_gtests ./` or by changing into the according directory and running the bash script there `cd ssl_gtests && ./`.  The following tests are available:

    cipher lowhash libpkix cert dbtests tools fips sdr crmf smime ssl ocsp merge pkits chains ec gtests ssl_gtests bogo

To make tests run faster it's recommended to set `NSS_CYCLES=standard` to run only the standard cycle.

## Releases
NSS releases can be found at [Mozilla's download server]( Because NSS depends on the base library NSPR you should download the archive that combines both NSS and NSPR.

## Contributing
[Bugzilla]( is used to track NSS development and bugs. File new bugs in the NSS product.
A list with good first bugs to start with are [listed here](

### NSS Folder Structure
The nss directory contains the following important subdirectories:
- `coreconf` contains the build logic.
- `lib` contains all library code that is used to create the runtime libraries.
- `cmd` contains a set of various tool programs that are built with NSS. Several tools are general purpose and can be used to inspect and manipulate the storage files that software using the NSS library creates and modifies. Other tools are only used for testing purposes.
- `test` and `gtests` contain the NSS test suite. While `test` contains shell scripts to drive test programs in `cmd`, `gtests` holds a set of [gtests](

A more comprehensible overview of the NSS folder structure and API guidelines can be found [here](