libffi VS SWIG

Compare libffi vs SWIG and see what are their differences.


A portable foreign-function interface library. (by libffi)


SWIG is a software development tool that connects programs written in C and C++ with a variety of high-level programming languages. (by swig)
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libffi SWIG
4 10
2,315 4,234
2.9% 1.8%
7.9 9.5
about 1 month ago 10 days ago
C C++
GNU General Public License v3.0 or later GNU General Public License v3.0 or later
The number of mentions indicates the total number of mentions that we've tracked plus the number of user suggested alternatives.
Stars - the number of stars that a project has on GitHub. Growth - month over month growth in stars.
Activity is a relative number indicating how actively a project is being developed. Recent commits have higher weight than older ones.
For example, an activity of 9.0 indicates that a project is amongst the top 10% of the most actively developed projects that we are tracking.


Posts with mentions or reviews of libffi. We have used some of these posts to build our list of alternatives and similar projects. The last one was on 2021-11-02.
  • buildozer -v android debug error
    4 projects | | 2 Nov 2021
    [INFO]: -> running basename
  • Part 1. Small Intro to SWIG
    1 project | | 22 Oct 2021
    libffi C library
  • Julia ❤ Python
    5 projects | | 24 Jul 2021
    If you have read my earlier posts you know I love multilingual programming. One important part of multilingual programming is how to interface one language with other. Typically this is called FFI or foreign function interface. At the lowest level often there are libraries (aka bindings) to talk across languages or across implementations of same language e.g. libffi. In my undergrad we did a group project where we created language bindings to separate algorithmic part written in python and opencv and X11 logic in c.
  • Can't compile gollvm on Void Linux
    1 project | | 9 Jan 2021
    is itself related to the bug in the build script, for dependency. Thus not an issue of your distro/beyond the scope of this bug.


Posts with mentions or reviews of SWIG. We have used some of these posts to build our list of alternatives and similar projects. The last one was on 2021-11-11.
  • A new tool for calling C++ from python
    4 projects | | 11 Nov 2021
  • SWIG and Perl
    3 projects | | 16 Oct 2021
    Check out the site it will answer several of your questions. XS code is specific to Perl that you have to know how to code and use. SWIG takes code from C and C++ (actually several languages) and uses code templates to generate all the XS code for you. I wrote both a C library and C++ library doing different things, and used SWIG to import them into Perl (via "use"), Python and PHP. There is a learning curve, but it's not that bad, and there is a lot of great documentation and examples on the SWIG site.
  • Text extraction, HELP
    1 project | | 23 Sep 2021
    Ohhh alrightt I went through the installation of pypodofo. 1. Install podofo library. For example in archlinux, pacman -S podofo 2. Install swig tool. Note, you should have installed gcc and g++ compilers 3. Build wrapper. python build 4. Copy dynamic library to python package. cp build/lib.linux-x86_64-3.7/ pypodofo/ 5. Install requirements. pip install -r requirements.txt (if possible in a virtualenv). 6. Run tests. nosetests tests/
  • Trying to write a cross-language library
    8 projects | | 25 Jul 2021
    Another option is SWIG, but I don't like it too much.
  • Obvious and possible software innovations nobody does
    8 projects | | 19 Jun 2021
    * I was using SWIG ( 15+20 years ago to bind C/C++ to Perl and Java and it still exists.*

    I've used it. It took the entire thing you want to call and generated one giant file of munged C. That's sort of where that idea takes you.

    But the author is on to something. There's a C to Rust translator. It sucks, because it works by emulating C pointer arithmetic in unsafe Rust, using its own set of primitives along the lines of "offset this pointer by this much". Now you have ugly, unsafe Rust.

    What's needed is something that infers the meaning of an ambiguous function call from the code. Something that reasons like this:

    Function call:

        int read(char* buf, size_t n)
  • ¿Cómo mejorar el rendimiento de una aplicación hecha en Django?
    3 projects | | 26 May 2021
  • Are there extensible environments in the manner of Emacs outside of text editors and developer tools generally?
    4 projects | | 3 Apr 2021
    For the parsing part it is probably not a big deal. Either your own elisp code or use something like clangd. I am not so knowledgable about the implementation deatils for LSP & Co, but it is definitely possible to parse headers and extract definitions. There are also tools like swig.
  • What exactly are bindings and how do they work?
    1 project | | 18 Mar 2021
    I’m not an expert on this but usually the use cases revolve around being able to reuse C/C++ within “scripting” languages. The SWIG Project is one that I know of for this exact use case. (I’m not sure what would cause some language to bind better or worse, it’s a weird angle on the question)
  • 2 steps into one of the most basic Kubernetes tutorials and it already doesn't work....this is why Kubernetes is so frustrating
    1 project | | 12 Mar 2021
    What I know is that I never experienced these pain points learning Docker Swarm, Ansible, Linux in general, or really anything else for that matter. The only thing that comes to mind that was more painful was when I had to use SWIG to get some legacy C code working in a Java environment in a production manner. I wouldn't wish that on anyone. It was awful, not just for me but an entire team of people.
  • Making A Synthesizer Using Python
    3 projects | | 2 Mar 2021
    SWIG is quite popular for this:

What are some alternatives?

When comparing libffi and SWIG you can also consider the following projects:


CppSharp - Tools and libraries to glue C/C++ APIs to high-level languages


JavaCPP - The missing bridge between Java and native C++

Cython - The most widely used Python to C compiler

PyCUDA - CUDA integration for Python, plus shiny features

Duktape - Duktape - embeddable Javascript engine with a focus on portability and compact footprint

JNA - Java Native Access

sol2 - Sol3 (sol2 v3.0) - a C++ <-> Lua API wrapper with advanced features and top notch performance - is here, and it's great! Documentation:

jpype - JPype is cross language bridge to allow python programs full access to java class libraries.

PyJNIus - Access Java classes from Python

cppimport - Import C++ files directly from Python!