Boost C++ Libraries of the most highly regarded and expertly designed C++ library projects in the world. Herb Sutter and Andrei Alexandrescu, C++ Coding Standards

This is the documentation for an old version of Boost. Click here to view this page for the latest version.


This library uses the Networking Technical Specification, scheduled to become an official part of C++ no sooner than the year 2023. Three implementations exist, with cosmetic differences but otherwise using the same function signatures and type declarations: Boost.Asio, stand-alone Asio, and networking-ts-impl. This table shows how a variable of type io_context is declared in each implementation by including the appropriate header and using a suitable namespace alias:

Table 1.2. Networking Implementations


Namespace and Header Example


#include <boost/asio/io_context.hpp>
namespace net = boost::asio;
net::io_context ioc;

Asio (Standalone)

#include <asio/io_context.hpp>
namespace net = asio;
net::io_context ioc;


#include <experimental/io_context>
namespace net = std::experimental::net;
net::io_context ioc;

This document refers to the three implementations above interchangeably and collectively as Networking (or just networking). The Boost.Asio and Asio flavors of Networking provide additional features not currently proposed for C++, but likely to appear in a future specification, such as:

Boost.Beast depends specifically on the Boost.Asio flavor of Networking, although this may change in the future. While this library offers performant implementations of the HTTP and WebSocket network protocols, it depends on the networking interfaces to perform general tasks such as performing domain name resolution (DNS lookup), establishing outgoing connections, and accepting incoming connections. Callers are responsible for interacting with networking to initialize objects to the correct state where they are usable by this library.

In this documentation, the example code, and the implementation, the net namespace is used to qualify Networking identifiers. For Boost.Beast, net will be an alias for the boost::asio namespace.

To further ease of use, this library provides an extensive collection of types and algorithms. This section of the documentation explains these types and algorithms, provides examples of usage, and also provides refreshers and tutorials for working with networking.


This documentation assumes familiarity with Boost.Asio, which is required to work with Beast. Sample code and identifiers used throughout are written as if the following declarations are in effect:

#include <boost/beast/core.hpp>
#include <boost/asio.hpp>
#include <boost/asio/ssl.hpp>
#include <iostream>
#include <thread>
using namespace boost::beast;
namespace net = boost::asio;
namespace ssl = boost::asio::ssl;
using tcp = net::ip::tcp;

net::io_context ioc;
net::any_io_executor work =
std::thread t{[&](){; }};

error_code ec;
tcp::socket sock{ioc};