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1.0 The SQLite Amalgamation

The core SQLite library consists of 102 files of C code (as of Version 3.8.8) in the core with 18 additional files in the FTS3 and RTREE extensions. Most of these are "source" files in the sense that they are stored in the configuration management system and are maintained directly. But 6 of the core C files are generated automatically using scripts or auxiliary programs during the compilation process. Of the 102 core files, 75 are C code and 26 are C header files.

The standard makefiles for SQLite have a target for building an object we call the "amalgamation". The amalgamation is a single C code file, named "sqlite3.c", that contains all C code for the core SQLite library and the FTS3 and RTREE extensions. This file contains about 153K lines of code (93K if you omit blank lines and comments) and is over 5.4 megabytes in size.

The amalgamation contains everything you need to integrate SQLite into a larger project. Just copy the amalgamation into your source directory and compile it along with the other C code files in your project. (A more detailed discussion of the compilation process is available.) You may also want to make use of the "sqlite3.h" header file that defines the programming API for SQLite. The sqlite3.h header file is available separately. The sqlite3.h file is also contained within the amalgamation, in the first few thousand lines. So if you have a copy of sqlite3.c but cannot seem to locate sqlite3.h, you can always regenerate the sqlite3.h by copying and pasting from the amalgamation.

In addition to making SQLite easier to incorporate into other projects, the amalgamation also makes it run faster. Many compilers are able to do additional optimizations on code when it is contained with in a single translation unit such as it is in the amalgamation. We have measured performance improvements of between 5 and 10% when we use the amalgamation to compile SQLite rather than individual source files. The downside of this is that the additional optimizations often take the form of function inlining which tends to make the size of the resulting binary image larger.

2.0 The Split Amalgamation

Developers sometimes experience difficulting debugging the 150,000-line-long amalgamation source file because some debuggers are only able to handle source code line numbers less than 32,768. The amalgamation source code runs fine. One just cannot single-step through it in a debugger.

To circumvent this limitation, the amalgamation is also available in a split form, consisting of files "sqlite3-1.c", "sqlite3-2.c", and so forth, where each file is less than 32,768 lines in length and where the concatenation of the files contain all of the code for the complete amalgamation. Then there is a separate source file named "sqlite3-all.c" which basically consists of code like this:

#include "sqlite3-1.c"
#include "sqlite3-2.c"
#include "sqlite3-3.c"
#include "sqlite3-4.c"
#include "sqlite3-5.c"

Applications using the split amalgamation simply compile against "sqlite3-all.c" instead of "sqlite3.c". The two files work exactly the same. But with "sqlite3-all.c", no single source file contains more than 32,767 lines of code, and so it is more convenient to use some debuggers. The downside of the split amalgamation is that it consists of 6 C source code files instead of just 1.

3.0 Download Copies Of The Amalgamation

The amalgamation and the sqlite3.h header file are available on the download page as a file named where the X is replaced by the appropriate version number.

4.0 Building The Amalgamation From Canonical Source Code

To build the amalgamation (either the full amalgamation or the split amalgamation), first get the canonical source code from one of the three servers. Then, on both unix-like systems and on Windows systems that have the free MinGW development environment installed, the amalgamation can be built using the following commands:

sh configure
make sqlite3.c

To build using Microsoft Visual C++, run this command:

nmake /f makefile.msc sqlite3.c

In both cases, the split amalgamation can be obtained by substituting "sqlite3-all.c" for "sqlite3.c" as the make target.

4.1 Dependencies

The build process makes extensive use of the Tcl scripting language. You will need to have a copy of TCL installed in order for the make targets above to work. Easy-to-use installers can be obtained from May unix workstations of Tcl installed by default.

The build process also uses AWK. AWK is almost always installed by default on unix-like workstations, but it may need to be downloaded and installed on Windows development platforms. There are many versions of AWK available for Windows. Use a search engine to find one.

4.2 See Also

Additional notes on compiling SQLite can be found on the How To Compile SQLite page.