Programs using the PBC library should include the file pbc.h:

#include <pbc.h>

and linked against the PBC library and the GMP library, e.g.

$ gcc program.c -L. -lpbc -lgmp

The file pbc.h already includes gmp.h.

PBC follows GMP in several respects:

Since the PBC library is built on top of GMP, the GMP types are available. PBC types are similar to GMP types. The following example is paraphrased from an example in the GMP manual, and shows how to declare the PBC data type element_t.

element_t sum;
struct foo { element_t x, y; };
element_t vec[20];

GMP has the mpz_t type for integers, mpq_t for rationals and so on. In contrast, PBC uses the element_t data type for elements of different algebraic structures, such as elliptic curve groups, polynomial rings and finite fields. Functions assume their inputs come from appropriate algebraic structures.

PBC data types and functions can be categorized as follows. The first two alone suffice for a range of applications.

Functions operating on a given data type usually have the same prefix, e.g. those involving element_t objects begin with element_.