strongSwan Developer Documentation » History » Version 33

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Andreas Steffen, 22.04.2010 10:51
added libcharon and libhydra

strongSwan Developer Documentation

Getting the Source Code

The easiest way to get the source code is checking it out from our Git repository:

git clone git://

Source Code Documentation

The newer parts of strongSwan use extractable inline documentation extensively. This documentation is extracted with doxygen three times a day and uploaded to the /apidoc folder.

Code style

For new code (charon, libstrongswan, ...) we heavily use an object oriented programming style for C. Also have a look to our basic programming style guidelines.


Before starting development, please read our contribution requirements.


The src directory in the strongSwan distribution contains a set of compoments:

charon The IKEv2 keying daemon.
pluto The IKEv1 keying daemon.
libstrongswan The strongSwan library with basic functions used by the daemons and utilities
libcharon Contains most of the code of the charon daemon
libhydra Contains daemon-specific code and plugins used by both the charon und pluto daemons
libfreeswan The deprecated library used by pluto.
dumm An new and experimental UML testing framework in development.
ipsec The ipsec command line tool wrapping commands and other tools.
libfast A lightweight framework to build native web applications using ClearSilver and FastCGI.
manager A graphical management application for charon based on libfast.
openac Utility to build attribute certificates on the command line.
pki Public Key Infrastructure utility.
scepclient Utility to enroll certificates using the SCEP protocol.
starter Reads ipsec.conf and controls the keying daemons pluto and charon.
stroke Command line utility to control charon via the stroke protocol.
whack Command line utility to control pluto via the whack protocol.