Clixon runs on Linux, FreeBSD port and Mac/Apple. CPU architecures include x86_64, i686, ARM32.

You can also run Clixon in a docker container.

Ubuntu Linux

Installing dependencies

Install packages:

sudo apt-get install flex bison

There are two RESTCONF variants. Either a reverse proxy solution using fcgi and (for example) nginx:

sudo apt-get install fcgi-dev nginx

For RESTCONF using the native http solution libevhtp needs to be built from source as well as:

sudo apt-get install libevent-2.1

Install and build CLIgen:

git clone
cd cligen;
make install

Add a clicon user and group, using useradd and usermod:

sudo useradd -M -U clicon
sudo usermod -a -G clicon <youruser>
sudo usermod -a -G clicon www-data

Build from source

configure                 # or: configure --with-restconf=evhtp
make                      # Compile
sudo make install         # Install libs, binaries, config-files and include-files


FreeBSD has ports for both cligen and clixon available. You can install them as binary packages, or you can build them in a ports source tree locally.

If you install using binary packages or build from the ports collection, the installation locations comply with FreeBSD standards and you have some assurance that the installed package is correct and functional.

The nginx setup for RESTCONF is altered - the system user www is used, and the restconf daemon is placed in /usr/local/sbin.

Binary package install

To install the pre-built binary package, use the FreeBSD pkg command:

% pkg install clixon

This will install clixon and all the dependencies needed.

Build from source

If you prefer you can also build clixon from the FreeBSD ports collection

Once you have the Ports Collection installed, you build clixon like this

% cd /usr/ports/devel/clixon
% make && make install

One issue with using the Ports Collection is that it may not install the latest version from GitHub. The port is generally updated soon after an official release, but there is still a lag between it and the master branch. The maintainer for the port tries to assure that the master branch will compile always, but no FreeBSD specific functional testing is done.


Once installed, Clixon can be setup using systemd. The following shows an example with the backend and restconf daemons for the main example. Install them as /etc/systemd/system/example.service and /etc/systemd/system/example_retsconf.service, for example.

Systemd backend

The backend service is installed at /etc/systemd/system/example.service, for example. Note that in this example, the backend installation requires the restconf service, which is not necessary.

Description=Starts and stops a clixon example service on this system
ExecStart=/usr/local/sbin/clixon_backend -s running -f /usr/local/etc/example.xml

Systemd restconf

The Restconf service is installed at /etc/systemd/system/example_restconf.service, for example:

Description=Starts and stops an example clixon restconf service on this system
ExecStart=/www-data/clixon_restconf -f /usr/local/etc/example.xml


For RESTCONF using native http build evhtp from source as follows:

sudo git clone
cd libevhtp/build
sudo make install


Clixon can run in a docker container. As an example the docker directory has code for building and running the clixon test suite:

cd docker/main
make docker
make test

The docker tests are run in the [clixon travis CI](


Clixon uses vagrant in testing. For example to start a freebsd vagrant host, install Clixon and run the test suite, do

cd test/vagrant
./ freebsd/FreeBSD-12.1-STABLE

Other platforms include: ubuntu/bionic64 and generic/centos8

Advanced install

The Clixon configure script (generated by autoconf) includes several options apart from the standard ones.

These include (standard options are omitted)
--enable-debug Build with debug symbols, default: no
 Include optional yang files in clixon install used for example and testing, default: no
 Enable publish of notification streams using SSE and curl
 Use CLIGEN here
 RESTCONF using fcgi/ reverse proxy. This is default.
 RESTCONF using native http with libevhtp
 Set www user different from www-data
 set default path to config file
--with-libxml2 use gnome/libxml2 regex engine
 Install Clixon yang files here (default: ${prefix}/share/clixon)
 Install optional yang files here (default: ${prefix}/share/clixon)