icu-config Man page



icu-config – output ICU build options


icu-config [ –bindir ] [ –cc ] [ –cflags ] [ –cppflags ] [
–cppflags-searchpath ] [ –cxx ] [ –cxxflags ] [ –detect-prefix ] [
–exec-prefix ] [ –exists ] [ –help, -?, –usage ] [ –icudata ] [
–icudata-install-dir ] [ –icudata-mode ] [ –icudatadir ] [ –invoke
] [ –invoke=prog ] [ –ldflags ] [ –ldflags-layout ] [ –ldflags-lib‐
sonly ] [ –ldflags-searchpath ] [ –ldflags-system ] [ –ldflags-icuio
] [ –mandir ] [ –prefix ] [ –prefix=prefix ] [ –sbindir ] [
–shared-datadir ] [ –sysconfdir ] [ –unicode-version ] [ –version ] [ –incfile ]


icu-config simplifies the task of building and linking against ICU as
compared to manually configuring user makefiles or equivalent. Because
icu-config is an executable script, it also solves the problem of
locating the ICU libraries and headers, by allowing the system PATH to
locate it.

icu-config can be used without a makefile. The command line below is
sufficient for building a single-file c++ program against ICU. (For
example, icu/source/samples/props/props.cpp)

`icu-config –cxx –cxxflags –cppflags –ldflags` -o props

More commonly, icu-config will be called from within a makefile, and
used to set up variables. The following example also builds the props

CC=$(shell icu-config –cc)

CXX=$(shell icu-config –cxx)

CPPFLAGS=$(shell icu-config –cppflags)

CXXFLAGS=$(shell icu-config –cxxflags)

LDFLAGS =$(shell icu-config –ldflags)

all: props

props.o: props.cpp

make will automatically use the above variables.


Prints the binary (executable) directory path. Normally equiva‐
lent to ‘bin’. ICU user-executable applications and scripts are
found here.

–cc Print the C compiler used. Equivalent to the $(CC) Makefile

Print the C compiler flags. Equivalent to the $(CFLAGS) Makefile
variable. Does NOT include preprocessor directives such as
include path or defined symbols. Examples include debugging (-g)
and optimization flags

Print the C preprocessor flags. Equivalent to the $(CPPFLAGS)
Makefile variable. Examples are -I include paths and -D define

Print the C preprocessor flags, as above but only -I search

–cxx Print the C++ compiler. Equivalent to the $(CXX) Makefile vari‐

Print the C++ compiler flags. Equivalent to the $(CXXFLAGS)
Makefile variable.

If ICU has been moved from its installed location, prepending
this flag to other icu-config calls will attempt to locate ICU
relative to where the icu-config script has been located. Can be
used as a last-chance effort if the ICU install has been dam‐

Print the prefix used for executable program directories (such
as bin, sbin, etc). Normally the same as the prefix.

Script will return with a successful (0) status if ICU seems to
be installed and located correctly, otherwise an error message
and nonzero status will be displayed.

–help, -?,–usage
Print a help and usage message.

Print the shortname of the ICU data file. This does not include
any suffix such as .dat, .dll, .so, .lib, .a, etc nor does it
include prefixes such as ‘lib’. It may be in the form icudt21b

Print the directory where ICU packaged data should be installed.
Can use as pkgdata‘s –install option.

Print the default ICU pkgdata mode, such as dll or common. Can
use as pkgdata‘s –mode option.

Print the path to packaged archive data. (should be where
$ICU_DATA or equivalent default path points.) Will NOT point to
the libdir.

If ICU is not installed in a location where the operating system
will locate its shared libraries, this option will print out
commands so as to set the appropriate environment variables to
load ICU’s shared libraries. For example, on many systems a
variable named LD_LIBRARY_PATH or equivalent must be set.

Same as the –invoke option, except includes options for invok‐
ing a program named prog. If prog is the name of an ICU tool,
such as genrb, then icu-config will also include the full
path to that tool.

Print any flags which should be passed to the linker. These may
include -L for library search paths, and -l for including ICU
libraries. By default, this option will attempt to link in the
“common” (libicuuc) and “i18n” (libicui18n) libraries, as well
as the data library. If additional libraries are required, any
of the following two flags may be added in conjunction with this
one, for example “–ldflags –ldflags-icuio” if the icuio
library is required in addition to the standard ICU libraries.
Equivalent to the $(LDFLAGS) Makefile variable.

Prints the link option for the ICU layout library.

Prints the link option to add the ICU I/O package

Similar to –ldflags but only includes the -l options.

Similar to –ldflags but only includes the -L search path

Similar to –ldflags but only includes system libraries (such as
pthreads) –mandir Prints the location of the installed ICU man
pages. Normally (man)

Prints the prefix (base directory) under which the installed ICU

Sets the ICU prefix to prefix for the remainder of this command
line. Does test whether the new prefix is valid.

Prints the location of ICU system binaries, normally (sbin)

Prints the location of ICU shared data, normally (share)

Prints the location of ICU system configuration data, normally

Prints the Version of the Unicode Standard which the current ICU

Prints the current version of ICU.

Prints the ‘’ path, suitable for use with pkg‐
data(1)’s -O option.

Steven Loomis



Copyright (C) 2002-2004 IBM, Inc. and others.