Top 10 C++ Libraries in 2024

C++ is a powerful programming language that provides a wide range of libraries to help developers build efficient and effective software. These libraries cover a variety of domains, including general-purpose programming, graphics, networking, databases, and more.

However, be careful choosing a software library is not always an easy task, specially if many concurrent libraries exist for a specific need. Many factors could influence a developement team to choose a library, here are some of them:

1- Licensing

The library license is the first thing to check, it’s very important to verify if the license is compatible with your project, before going further and discover the library capabilities.

2- Is the library satisfy your needs?

It’s a trivial factor, but how many devlopers realized a mini proof of concept to check that all their major needs are satistified by the library. Sometimes we discover very late that the library is not suitable for various reasons.

3- The community is active?

Many problems could occurs when using a library, if its community is very active, it will be very easy to find quickly a solution.

4- Documentation

A well documented library will helps you considerably when you use it. specially if it contains many samples of using it.

5- Did you care about performence when using the library?

If you plan to use a library in a context where the performence is very important, don’t only trust the benchmarks found in the web. It’s preferable to make a POC with your specific constraints to have a better idea of how the library behaves in your specific context.

Let’s explore the most popular C++ libraries:


The STL is a collection of template classes and functions that provide common data structures (like vectors, lists, queues, and stacks) and algorithms (such as sorting and searching). It is an integral part of C++ and is widely used for its generic programming capabilities.


Boost is a set of high-quality, peer-reviewed libraries that extend the functionality of C++. These libraries cover a wide range of areas, including smart pointers, regular expressions, multithreading, networking, and more. Many Boost libraries have been proposed for standardization and some are already part of the C++ Standard Library.


Folly (acronymed loosely after Facebook Open Source Library) is a library of C++17 components designed with practicality and efficiency in mind. Folly contains a variety of core library components used extensively at Facebook. In particular, it’s often a dependency of Facebook’s other open source C++ efforts and place where those projects can share code.


Qt is a cross-platform application framework that simplifies GUI (Graphical User Interface) development. It provides a set of libraries and tools for creating desktop, mobile, and embedded applications. Qt is known for its ease of use and flexibility.


Poco is a set of C++ class libraries that simplify and accelerate the development of network-centric, portable applications. It covers areas such as networking, file systems, and thread management.


OpenCV is a computer vision library that provides a wide range of tools and algorithms for image and video processing. It’s widely used in computer vision applications, robotics, and machine learning.


TensorFlow is an open-source machine learning (ML) library developed by the Google Brain team. It is designed to facilitate the development and deployment of machine learning models, particularly for deep learning applications. TensorFlow provides a comprehensive ecosystem of tools, libraries, and community resources, making it one of the most widely used frameworks in the field of artificial intelligence


The Active Template Library (ATL) is a set of template-based C++ classes developed by Microsoft, intended to simplify the programming of Component Object Model (COM) objects. The COM support in Microsoft Visual C++ allows developers to create a variety of COM objects, OLE Automation servers, and ActiveX controls.  ATL includes an object wizard that sets up primary structure of the objects quickly with a minimum of hand coding. ATL still widely used and Microsoft still maintain and add new features to this library.


Asio is a cross-platform C++ library for network and low-level I/O programming that provides developers with a consistent asynchronous model using a modern C++ approach.


Eigen is a C++ template library for linear algebra. It provides classes and functions for handling matrices, vectors, and numerical operations. Eigen is known for its performance and ease of integration with other libraries.

Let’s explore the popularity of these libraries by tracking the google and stackoverflow search results.

Google search results:

StackOverflow questions results:

As a begginner developer it’s recommended to master first the STL library, and after that and dependening on your specific needs use the other ones, for example for GUI purpose Qt is maybe the most suitable for your needs.