Author PhotoBy Christian Stefansen, Native Client Team

Native Client (NaCl) enables you to write high-performance apps that run your C and C++ code in the browser. With the new Native Client add-in for Microsoft Visual Studio and the new Native Client debugger it just got a lot easier.

The Visual Studio add-in makes it easy to set up, build, run, and debug your app as a Pepper plug-in and as a Native Client module. If you are porting an existing application to Native Client, building as a Pepper plug-in is a convenient intermediate stage for development enabling you to gradually rewrite the app to use the Pepper APIs (video).


The Native Client debugger, affectionately called nacl-gdb, works on Windows, Mac, and Linux and is now available in the SDK. So whatever your development platform, you can now spend more time coding features and less time chasing bugs with printf.

Following the Native Client philosophy of being OS-independent and open source, nacl-gdb is based on... well... gdb! For those of you who are not excited by a text interface, the Visual Studio add-in makes interacting with the debugger easier. If you use a different development environment that can interact with gdb, you can point it to nacl-gdb and use the same commands plus some additional NaCl-specific commands.


Whether you’re an existing Native Client developer or thinking about using Native Client for your next project, now is a great time to grab the SDK, write an amazing app, and quickly squash any bugs you find. We look forward to questions on Stack Overflow and ideas and comments in the discussion forum.


Christian Stefansen is the Product Manager for Native Client and Pepper (PPAPI). When he is not busy planning new features for Native Client, he likes traveling and writing. He is currently writing a book about India.

Posted by Scott Knaster, Editor