Treehopper C++ API

Treehopper's C++ API has Linux support


This section will discuss requirements necessary to build Treehopper's C++ API on Linux, along with build and runtime requirements for apps that use Treehopper.


You'll obviously need a C++ toolchain to build C++ apps. Every Linux distribution has a package manager that will allow you to easily install a toolchain. Consult the documentation for your particular distribution.

Treehopper is written in standards-compliant C++11. On Linux, the only compiler we regularly test is gcc (though llvm is supported on macOS, and should work on Linux).


Treehopper's C++ API uses libusb-1.0, the ubiquitous USB library that's found in almost every device running Linux.

To build the the Treehopper API, you'll need the development headers for libusb 1.0. Most Linux distributions have dev packages that contain headers needed to compile and link to installed libraries; e.g.

 $ sudo apt-get install libusb-1.0.0-dev
Treehopper uses libusb-1.0, not the ancient libusb-0.1 package; In most distributions, the libusb-dev package is actually the libusb-0.1 development package, not the libusb-1.0 one. Be sure to install libusb-1.0-dev.

Rumtime requirements & permissions (udev rules)

Unless you statically link to libusb, the only runtime dependency is (or equivalent) present on the system. Even simple Linux devices like consumer WiFi routers usually have this library present, so this shouldn't be an issue for most users.

By default, most Linux-based operating systems restrict normal users from interacting with USB devices. To enable non-root users to interact with Treehopper boards, you must add a udev rule.

Paste and run this quick snippet into a terminal window:

$ sudo echo "SUBSYSTEM==\"usb\", ATTRS{idVendor}==\"10c4\", ATTRS{idProduct}==\"8a7e\", MODE:=\"666\", GROUP=\"users\"" > /etc/udev/rules.d/999-treehopper.rules

Verify the rule was created:

$ cat /etc/udev/rules.d/999-treehopper.rules 
SUBSYSTEM=="usb", ATTRS{idVendor}=="10c4", ATTRS{idProduct}=="8a7e", MODE:="666", GROUP="users"

Note that, for some distributions, sudo may not be configured to allow this. You can launch a root shell and repeat the command.

$ sudo su
# echo "SUBSYSTEM==\"usb\", ATTRS{idVendor}==\"10c4\", ATTRS{idProduct}==\"8a7e\", MODE:=\"666\", GROUP=\"users\"" > /etc/udev/rules.d/999-treehopper.rules

Building the library

Treehopper's C++ API is not distributed in binary form; you will need to build it before including and linking to your project.


Treehopper's C++ API is built with CMake. Once the API is built, you can use whatever build system you wish (Autotools, raw Makefiles, etc) with your own applications, but this tutorial will assume you're using CMake.

Use your package manager to install it; e.g.:

sudo zypper install cmake

Using vcpkg

The recommended way of obtaining Treehopper's C++ API is with Microsoft's new open-source vcpkg tool, a cross-platform C/C++ library manager that will automatically download, build, and install packages to your system. Vcpkg contains more than 900 different commonly-used C/C++ packages.

Installing Vcpkg

If you do not already have Vcpkg installed, clone or download the vcpkg repo.

Then, build the vcpkg executable:

$ ./

Installing Treehopper's C++ API

Once Vcpkg is installed, install the treehopper package:

$ ./vcpkg install treehopper

Manually using CMake

If you do not wish to use vcpkg, you can manually clone Treehopper's repo, open the C++ folder in CMake, generate a project, and build/install it.


Once you have the treehopper package installed, you're ready to build your first project.

Create a blinky directory for your new project. Inside, create a main.c file:

// main.c
#include <Treehopper/ConnectionService.h>
#include <chrono>
using namespace Treehopper;
using namespace std::chrono;
int main()
for (int i = 0; i<20; i++)
return 0;

Also, create a CMakeLists.txt file inside the directory:

# CMakeLists.txt
cmake_minimum_required(VERSION 3.0)



find_package(treehopper REQUIRED)

add_executable(main main.cpp)
target_link_libraries(main treehopper)

Now, run cmake. If you're using Vcpkg, make sure to append the toolchain file:

$ cmake .. "-DCMAKE_TOOLCHAIN_FILE=/path/to/vcpkg/scripts/buildsystems/vcpkg.cmake"

This will create a Makefile in the project directory. You can simply

$ make

Or, CMake can build it for you, too:

$ cmake --build .

In this case, CMake will refresh the CMakeLists.txt file in case you have committed updates.

Now that your program has been built, you can execute it:

$ ./main

This code will get a reference to the first board found connected to the system, connect to it, and blink the LED 20 times before disconnecting and exiting.