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Mozilla sccache: ccache with cloud storage

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sccache is a ccache-like compiler caching tool. It is used as a compiler wrapper and avoids compilation when possible, storing cached results either on local disk or in one of several cloud storage backends.

sccache includes support for caching the compilation of C/C++ code, Rust, as well as NVIDIA’s CUDA using nvcc, and clang.

sccache also provides icecream-style distributed compilation (automatic packaging of local toolchains) for all supported compilers (including Rust). The distributed compilation system includes several security features that icecream lacks such as authentication, transport layer encryption, and sandboxed compiler execution on build servers. See the distributed quickstart guide for more information.

sccache is also available as a GitHub Actions to facilitate the deployment using GitHub Actions cache.


There are prebuilt x86-64 binaries available for Windows, Linux (a portable binary compiled against musl), and macOS on the releases page. Several package managers also include sccache packages, you can install the latest release from source using cargo, or build directly from a source checkout.


On macOS sccache can be installed via Homebrew:

or via MacPorts:

sudo port install sccache


On Windows, sccache can be installed via scoop:

Via cargo

If you have a Rust toolchain installed you can install sccache using cargo. Note that this will compile sccache from source which is fairly resource-intensive. For CI purposes you should use prebuilt binary packages.

cargo install sccache --locked


Running sccache is like running ccache: prefix your compilation commands with it, like so:

sccache gcc -o foo.o -c foo.c

If you want to use sccache for caching Rust builds you can define build.rustc-wrapper in the
cargo configuration file. For example, you can set it globally
in $HOME/.cargo/config.toml by adding:

rustc-wrapper = "/path/to/sccache"

Note that you need to use cargo 1.40 or newer for this to work.

Alternatively you can use the environment variable RUSTC_WRAPPER:

export RUSTC_WRAPPER=/path/to/sccache
cargo build

sccache supports gcc, clang, MSVC, rustc, NVCC, NVC++, and Wind River’s diab compiler. Both gcc and msvc support Response Files, read more about their implementation here.

If you don’t specify otherwise, sccache will use a local disk cache.

sccache works using a client-server model, where the server runs locally on the same machine as the client. The client-server model allows the server to be more efficient by keeping some state in memory. The sccache command will spawn a server process if one is not already running, or you can run sccache --start-server to start the background server process without performing any compilation.

You can run sccache --stop-server to terminate the server. It will also terminate after (by default) 10 minutes of inactivity.

Running sccache --show-stats will print a summary of cache statistics.

Some notes about using sccache with Jenkins are here.

To use sccache with cmake, provide the following command line arguments to cmake 3.4 or newer:


To generate PDB files for debugging with MSVC, you can use the /Z7 option. Alternatively, the /Zi option together with /Fd can work if /Fd names a different PDB file name for each object file created. Note that CMake sets /Zi by default, so if you use CMake, you can use /Z7 by adding code like this in your CMakeLists.txt:


By default, sccache will fail your build if it fails to successfully communicate with its associated server. To have sccache instead gracefully failover to the local compiler without stopping, set the environment variable SCCACHE_IGNORE_SERVER_IO_ERROR=1.

Update: On CMake 3.25, you have to use the new CMAKE_MSVC_DEBUG_INFORMATION_FORMAT option, meant to configure the -Z7 flag:


Example configuration where we automatically look for sccache in the PATH:

find_program(SCCACHE sccache REQUIRED)


And you can build code as usual without any additional flags in the command line, useful for IDEs.

Build Requirements

sccache is a Rust program. Building it requires cargo (and thusrustc). sccache currently requires Rust 1.67.1. We recommend you install Rust via Rustup.


If you are building sccache for non-development purposes make sure you use cargo build --release to get optimized binaries:

cargo build --release [--no-default-features --features=s3|redis|gcs|memcached|azure]

By default, sccache builds with support for all storage backends, but individual backends may be disabled by resetting the list of features and enabling all the other backends. Refer the Cargo Documentation for details on how to select features with Cargo.

Feature vendored-openssl can be used to statically link with openssl if feature openssl is enabled.

Building portable binaries

When building with the dist-server feature, sccache will depend on OpenSSL, which can be an annoyance if you want to distribute portable binaries. It is possible to statically link against OpenSSL using the openssl/vendored feature.


Build with cargo and use ldd to check that the resulting binary does not depend on OpenSSL anymore.


Build with cargo and use otool -L to check that the resulting binary does not depend on OpenSSL anymore.


On Windows, the binary might also depend on a few MSVC CRT DLLs that are not available on older Windows versions.

It is possible to statically link against the CRT using a .cargo/config.toml file with the following contents.

rustflags = ["-Ctarget-feature=+crt-static"]

Build with cargo and use dumpbin /dependents to check that the resulting binary does not depend on MSVC CRT DLLs anymore.

When statically linking with OpenSSL, you will need Perl available in your $PATH.

Separating caches between invocations

In situations where several different compilation invocations
should not reuse the cached results from each other,
one can set SCCACHE_C_CUSTOM_CACHE_BUSTER to a unique value
that’ll be mixed into the hash.
already exhibit such reuse-suppression behaviour.
There are currently no such variables for compiling Rust.

Overwriting the cache

In situations where the cache contains broken build artifacts, it can be necessary to overwrite the contents in the cache. That can be achieved by setting the SCCACHE_RECACHE environment variable.


You can set the SCCACHE_ERROR_LOG environment variable to a path and set SCCACHE_LOG to get the server process to redirect its logging there (including the output of unhandled panics, since the server sets RUST_BACKTRACE=1 internally).

SCCACHE_ERROR_LOG=/tmp/sccache_log.txt SCCACHE_LOG=debug sccache

You can also set these environment variables for your build system, for example

SCCACHE_ERROR_LOG=/tmp/sccache_log.txt SCCACHE_LOG=debug cmake --build /path/to/cmake/build/directory

Alternatively, if you are compiling locally, you can run the server manually in foreground mode by running SCCACHE_START_SERVER=1 SCCACHE_NO_DAEMON=1 sccache, and send logging to stderr by setting the SCCACHE_LOG environment variable for example. This method is not suitable for CI services because you need to compile in another shell at the same time.


Interaction with GNU make jobserver

sccache provides support for a GNU make jobserver. When the server is started from a process that provides a jobserver, sccache will use that jobserver and provide it to any processes it spawns. (If you are running sccache from a GNU make recipe, you will need to prefix the command with + to get this behavior.) If the sccache server is started without a jobserver present it will create its own with the number of slots equal to the number of available CPU cores.

This is most useful when using sccache for Rust compilation, as rustc supports using a jobserver for parallel codegen, so this ensures that rustc will not overwhelm the system with codegen tasks. Cargo implements its own jobserver (see the information on NUM_JOBS in the cargo documentation) for rustc to use, so using sccache for Rust compilation in cargo via RUSTC_WRAPPER should do the right thing automatically.

Known Caveats


  • Absolute paths to files must match to get a cache hit. This means that even if you are using a shared cache, everyone will have to build at the same absolute path (i.e. not in $HOME) in order to benefit each other. In Rust this includes the source for third party crates which are stored in $HOME/.cargo/registry/cache by default.


  • Crates that invoke the system linker cannot be cached. This includes bin, dylib, cdylib, and proc-macro crates. You may be able to improve compilation time of large bin crates by converting them to a lib crate with a thin bin wrapper.
  • Incrementally compiled crates cannot be cached. By default, in the debug profile Cargo will use incremental compilation for workspace members and path dependencies. You can disable incremental compilation.

More details on Rust caveats

Symbolic links

  • Symbolic links to sccache won’t work. Use hardlinks: ln sccache /usr/local/bin/cc

Storage Options

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