Resolving Native Dependencies for RdKafka

04 Jan 2017, Jonathan Leaver


When you run and load code using the RdKafka wrapper, you may encounter the following error:

    The type initializer for 'RdKafka.Internal.LibRdKafka' threw an exception.
System.DllNotFoundException: Unable to load DLL 'librdkafka':
    The specified module could not be found. (Exception from HRESULT: 0x8007007E)

at RdKafka.Internal.LibRdKafka.NativeMethods.rd_kafka_version()
at RdKafka.Internal.LibRdKafka..cctor()
--- End of inner exception stack trace ---
at RdKafka.Internal.LibRdKafka.conf_new()
at RdKafka.Internal.SafeConfigHandle.Create()
at Project.RdKafka.Connect.config(String brokerCsv) in C:\Project\RdKafka.fs:line 165
at Project.RdKafka.Connect.producer(String source, BrokerCsv _arg1) in C:\Project\RdKafka.fs:line 192
at Project.RdKafka.subscribeBatch[a](String brokerCsv, String group, String topic, Int32 parallelism, Int32 batchSize, Int32 batchTimeoutMs, FSharpFunc`2 batchHandle) in C:\Project\RdKafka.fs:line 537
at Project.RdKafka.subscribe(String brokerCsv, String group, String topic, Int32 parallelism, FSharpFunc`2 handle) in C:\Project\RdKafka.fs:line 638


The RdKafka C# wrapper is distributed separately from its C-native dependencies.

The two NuGet packages are:

If you’re using 0.9.1 or newer, these dependencies are already being copied to your output folder under the x64 and x86 directories. You should see something like the following:

 Mode                LastWriteTime         Length Name
----                -------------         ------ ----
-a----        6/27/2016  10:19 PM        2342912 librdkafka.dll
-a----        6/27/2016  10:19 PM          77824 zlib.dll


  1. You are missing the RdKafka.Internal.librdkafka library files. Verify that the x64 and x86 folders are included with your installer.

  2. If you are using an older version of the C# wrapper library, the native dependencies are not copied from the nuget packages folder. In this case, you will be missing the x64 and x86 folders entirely. Simply copy these to your output folder with a pre-build event.

    With the paket dependency manager, your project pre-build event would be:

      xcopy /y /d /f
  3. You are missing the Visual C++ Redistributable package. 64-bit RdKafka 0.9.1 requires Microsoft Visual C++ 2013 Redistributable (x64) - 12.0.30501

    This is problematic because many development workstations include this dependency as part of Visual Studio. The problem only appears during deployment to production.

Docker for Windows

To resolve (3) above, you can include the C++ redistributable package within your deployment DockerFile.

  # Microsoft Visual C++ 2013 Redistributable (x64) - 12.0.30501
  ADD \vcredist_x64.exe
  RUN Start-Process -Wait -FilePath '\vcredist_x64.exe' -ArgumentList '/install /passive /norestart'
  RUN Remove-Item -Force /vcredist_x64.exe

Assuming, of course, that Powershell is your default shell.

  # Configure Powershell as the Default Shell
  SHELL ["powershell", "-NoProfile", "-Command", "$ErrorActionPreference = 'Stop';"]


For more information about using RdKafka to support F# Microservices, I’ve written an extensive post here.

Have fun!