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Building APISIX from source

If you are looking to contribute to APISIX or setup a development environment, this guide is for you.

If you are looking to install and run APISIX, check out the Installation docs.


If you want to build and package APISIX for a specific platform, see apisix-build-tools.

Building APISIX from source#

To start, you have to install some dependencies. APISIX provides a handy script to get these installed:

curl -sL | bash -

Then, create a directory and set the environment variable APISIX_VERSION:

mkdir apisix-${APISIX_VERSION}

You can now download the APISIX source code by running the command below:


You can also download the source package from the Downloads page. You will also find source packages for APISIX Dashboard and APISIX Ingress Controller.

After you have downloaded the package, you can extract the files to the folder created previously:

tar zxvf apache-apisix-${APISIX_VERSION}-src.tgz -C apisix-${APISIX_VERSION}

Now, navigate to the directory, create dependencies, and install APISIX as shown below:

cd apisix-${APISIX_VERSION}
make deps
make install

This will install the runtime dependent Lua libraries and the apisix command.


If you get an error message like Could not find header file for LDAP/PCRE/openssl while running make deps, use this solution.

luarocks supports custom compile-time dependencies (See: Config file format). You can use a third-party tool to install the missing packages and add its installation directory to the luarocks' variables table. This method works on macOS, Ubuntu, CentOS, and other similar operating systems.

The solution below is for macOS but it works similarly for other operating systems:

  1. Install openldap by running:

    brew install openldap
  2. Locate the installation directory by running:

    brew --prefix openldap
  3. Add this path to the project configuration file by any of the two methods shown below:

    1. You can use the luarocks config command to set LDAP_DIR:

      luarocks config variables.LDAP_DIR /opt/homebrew/cellar/openldap/2.6.1
    2. You can also change the default configuration file of luarocks. Open the file ~/.luaorcks/config-5.1.lua and add the following:

      variables = { LDAP_DIR = "/opt/homebrew/cellar/openldap/2.6.1", LDAP_INCDIR = "/opt/homebrew/cellar/openldap/2.6.1/include", }

      /opt/homebrew/cellar/openldap/ is default path openldap is installed on Apple Silicon macOS machines. For Intel machines, the default path is /usr/local/opt/openldap/.

To uninstall the APISIX runtime, run:

make uninstall
make undeps

This operation will remove the files completely.

Installing etcd#

APISIX uses etcd to save and synchronize configuration. Before running APISIX, you need to install etcd on your machine. Installation methods based on your operating system are mentioned below.

tar -xvf etcd-v${ETCD_VERSION}-linux-amd64.tar.gz && \
cd etcd-v${ETCD_VERSION}-linux-amd64 && \
sudo cp -a etcd etcdctl /usr/bin/
nohup etcd >/tmp/etcd.log 2>&1 &

Running and managing APISIX server#

To initialize the configuration file, within the APISIX directory, run:

apisix init

You can run apisix help to see a list of available commands.

You can then test the created configuration file by running:

apisix test

Finally, you can run the command below to start APISIX:

apisix start

To stop APISIX, you can use either the quit or the stop subcommand.

apisix quit will gracefully shutdown APISIX. It will ensure that all received requests are completed before stopping.

apisix quit

Where as, the apisix stop command does a force shutdown and discards all pending requests.

apisix stop

Building runtime for APISIX#

Some features of APISIX requires additional Nginx modules to be introduced into OpenResty.

To use these features, you need to build a custom distribution of OpenResty (apisix-base). See apisix-build-tools for setting up your build environment and building it.

Running tests#

The steps below show how to run the test cases for APISIX:

  1. Install cpanminus, the package manager for Perl.

  2. Install the test-nginx dependencies with cpanm:

    sudo cpanm --notest Test::Nginx IPC::Run > build.log 2>&1 || (cat build.log && exit 1)
  3. Clone the test-nginx source code locally:

    git clone
  4. Append the current directory to Perl's module directory by running:

    export PERL5LIB=.:$PERL5LIB

    You can specify the Nginx binary path by running:

    TEST_NGINX_BINARY=/usr/local/bin/openresty prove -Itest-nginx/lib -r t
  5. Run the tests by running:

    make test

Some tests rely on external services and system configuration modification. See ci/ for a complete test environment build.


These are some common troubleshooting steps for running APISIX test cases.

Configuring Nginx path#

For the error Error unknown directive "lua_package_path" in /API_ASPIX/apisix/t/servroot/conf/nginx.conf, ensure that OpenResty is set to the default Nginx and export the path as follows:

  • Linux default installation path:

    export PATH=/usr/local/openresty/nginx/sbin:$PATH
  • macOS default installation path (view homebrew):

    export PATH=/usr/local/opt/openresty/nginx/sbin:$PATH

Running a specific test case#

To run a specific test case, use the command below:

prove -Itest-nginx/lib -r t/plugin/openid-connect.t

See testing framework for more details.