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README.txt

1# Documentation
2
3The most up-to-date documentation is supposed to be available on the
4[BearSSL Web site](https://www.bearssl.org/).
5
6# Disclaimer
7
8BearSSL is considered beta-level software. Most planned functionalities
9are implemented; new evolution may still break both source and binary
10compatibility.
11
12Using BearSSL for production purposes would be a relatively bold but not
13utterly crazy move. BearSSL is free, open-source software, provided
14without any guarantee of fitness or reliability. That being said, it
15appears to behave properly, and only minor issues have been found (and
16fixed) so far. You are encourage to inspect its API and code for
17learning, testing and possibly contributing.
18
19The usage license is explicited in the `LICENSE.txt` file. This is the
20"MIT license". It can be summarised in the following way:
21
22 - You can use and reuse the library as you wish, and modify it, and
23   integrate it in your own code, and distribute it as is or in any
24   modified form, and so on.
25
26 - The only obligation that the license terms put upon you is that you
27   acknowledge and make it clear that if anything breaks, it is not my
28   fault, and I am not liable for anything, regardless of the type and
29   amount of collateral damage. The license terms say that the copyright
30   notice "shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of
31   the Software": this is how the disclaimer is "made explicit".
32   Basically, I have put it in every source file, so just keep it there.
33
34# Installation
35
36Right now, BearSSL is a simple library, along with a few test and debug
37command-line tools. There is no installer yet. The library _can_ be
38compiled as a shared library on some systems, but since the binary API
39is not fully stabilised, this is not a very good idea to do that right
40now.
41
42To compile the code, just type `make`. This will try to use sane
43"default" values. On a Windows system with Visual Studio, run a console
44with the environment initialised for a specific version of the C compiler,
45and type `nmake`.
46
47To override the default settings, create a custom configuration file in
48the `conf` directory, and invoke `make` (or `nmake`) with an explicit
49`CONF=` parameter. For instance, to use the provided `samd20.mk`
50configuration file (that targets cross-compilation for an Atmel board
51that features a Cortex-M0+ CPU), type:
52
53    make CONF=samd20
54
55The `conf/samd20.mk` file includes the `Unix.mk` file and then overrides
56some of the parameters, including the destination directory. Any custom
57configuration can be made the same way.
58
59Some compile-time options can be set through macros, either on the
60compiler command-line, or in the `src/config.h` file. See the comments
61in that file. Some settings are autodetected but they can still be
62explicitly overridden.
63
64When compilation is done, the library (static and DLL, when appropriate)
65and the command-line tools can be found in the designated build
66directory (by default named `build`). The public headers (to be used
67by applications linked against BearSSL) are in the `inc/` directory.
68
69To run the tests:
70
71  - `testcrypto all` runs the cryptographic tests (test vectors on all
72    implemented cryptogaphic functions). It can be slow. You can also
73    run a selection of the tests by providing their names (run
74    `testcrypto` without any parameter to see the available names).
75
76  - `testspeed all` runs a number of performance benchmarks, there again
77    on cryptographic functions. It gives a taste of how things go on the
78    current platform. As for `testcrypto`, specific named benchmarks can
79    be executed.
80
81  - `testx509` runs X.509 validation tests. The test certificates are
82    all in `test/x509/`.
83
84The `brssl` command-line tool produced in the build directory is a
85stand-alone binary. It can exercise some of the functionalities of
86BearSSL, in particular running a test SSL client or server. It is not
87meant for production purposes (e.g. the SSL client has a mode where it
88disregards the inability to validate the server's certificate, which is
89inherently unsafe, but convenient for debug).
90
91**Using the library** means writing some application code that invokes
92it, and linking with the static library. The header files are all in the
93`inc` directory; copy them wherever makes sense (e.g. in the
94`/usr/local/include` directory). The library itself (`libbearssl.a`) is
95what you link against.
96
97Alternatively, you may want to copy the source files directly into your
98own application code. This will make integrating ulterior versions of
99BearSSL more difficult. If you still want to go down that road, then
100simply copy all the `*.h` and `*.c` files from the `src` and `inc`
101directories into your application source code. In the BearSSL source
102archive, the source files are segregated into various sub-directories,
103but this is for my convenience only. There is no technical requirement
104for that, and all files can be dumped together in a simple directory.
105
106Dependencies are simple and systematic:
107
108  - Each `*.c` file includes `inner.h`
109  - `inner.h` includes `config.h` and `bearssl.h`
110  - `bearssl.h` includes the other `bearssl_*.h`
111
112# Versioning
113
114I follow this simple version numbering scheme:
115
116 - Version numbers are `x.y` or `x.y.z` where `x`, `y` and `z` are
117   decimal integers (possibly greater than 10). When the `.z` part is
118   missing, it is equivalent to `.0`.
119
120 - Backward compatibility is maintained, at both source and binary levels,
121   for each major version: this means that if some application code was
122   designed for version `x.y`, then it should compile, link and run
123   properly with any version `x.y'` for any `y'` greater than `y`.
124
125   The major version `0` is an exception. You shall not expect that any
126   version that starts with `0.` offers any kind of compatibility,
127   either source or binary, with any other `0.` version. (Of course I
128   will try to maintain some decent level of source compatibility, but I
129   make no promise in that respect. Since the API uses caller-allocated
130   context structures, I already know that binary compatibility _will_
131   be broken.)
132
133 - Sub-versions (the `y` part) are about added functionality. That is,
134   it can be expected that `1.3` will contain some extra functions when
135   compared to `1.2`. The next version level (the `z` part) is for
136   bugfixes that do not add any functionality.
137