Continuous Integration for package sodium Pub Version

Dart bindings for libsodium, supporting both the VM and JS without flutter dependencies.

Table of contents

Table of contents generated with markdown-toc


  • Provides a simple to use dart API for accessing libsodium - High-Level API that is the same for both VM and JS - Aims to provide access to all primary libsodium APIs. See API Status for more details.
  • Provides native APIs for tighter integration, if necessary

API Status

The following table shows the current status of the implementation. APIs that have already been ported get the ✔️, those that are planned but not there yet have 🚧. If you see an ❌, it means that the API is not available on that platform and thus cannot be implemented. The Sumo column specifies whether the API is available as sumo extension. Those listed with a ✔️ are available only in the sumo API, while those marked with ➕ have extended sumo APIs. APIs that are not listet yet have either been forgotten or are not planned. If you find one you would like to have made available, please create an issue for it, and I will add it to the list.

API based on libsodium version: 1.0.19

libsodium API VM JS Sumo Documentation
padding ✔️ ✔️
memory ✔️
randombytes ✔️ ✔️
crypto_secretbox ✔️ ✔️
crypto_secretstream ✔️ ✔️
crypto_aead_... ✔️ ✔️
> _xchacha20poly1305_ietf ✔️ ✔️
> _chacha20poly1305 ✔️ ✔️
crypto_auth ✔️ ✔️
crypto_box ✔️ ✔️
crypto_sign ✔️ ✔️
crypto_box_seal ✔️ ✔️
crypto_generichash ✔️ ✔️
crypto_shorthash ✔️ ✔️
crypto_pwhash ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
crypto_kdf ✔️ ✔️
crypto_kx ✔️ ✔️
crypto_scalarmult ✔️ ✔️ ✔️

Note: Memory Management in JS is limited to overwriting the memory with 0. All other Memory-APIs are only available in the VM.

Considered for the future

The following APIs I considered adding, but since they all appear below the "Advanced" Tab in the documentation, I decided against it for version 1.0.0. However, with version 2.0.0, support for advanced APIs has been enabled via sumo. This means all of those have now become feasible to implement and might be added in the future. If you need one of these or some other advanced API, please create an issue.

libsodium API VM JS Documentation


Simply add sodium to your pubspec.yaml and run pub get (or flutter pub get).


The usage can be split into two parts. The first one is about loading the native libsodium into dart, the second one about using the API.

Loading libsodium

How you load the library depends on whether you are running in the dart VM or as transpiled JS code.

Note: For flutter users, you should use the sodium_libs package, as it provides embedded (or compile time added) binaries for every flutter platform. This way you can simply use the library without thinking about this part. You can check the documentation of sodium_libs to add it to your project and then continue at Using the API.

Note: When using the sumo APIs, simply replace SodiumInit with SodiumSumoInit from the package:sodium/sodium_sumo.dart import.

VM - loading the dynamic library

In the dart VM, dart:ffi is used as backend to load and interact with the libsodium binary. So, all you need to do is load such a library and then pass it to the sodium APIs. This generally looks like this:

// required imports
import 'dart:ffi';
import 'package:sodium/sodium.dart';

// define a loader method that loads the dynamic library into dart
DynamicLibrary loadLibsodium() {
  return'/path/to/libsodium.XXX'); // or DynamicLibrary.process()

// initialize the sodium APIs
final sodium = await SodiumInit.init2(loadLibsodium);

The tricky part here is the path, aka '/path/to/libsodium.XXX'. It depends on the platform and how you intend to use the library. My recommendation is to follow to get the library binary for your platform and then pass the correct path. If you are linking statically, you can use DynamicLibrary.process() (except on windows) instead of the path.

However, here are some tips on how to get the library for some platforms and how to load it there. For flutter users, you can simply add sodium_libs to your project, which takes care of this for you.

  • Linux: Install libsodium via your system package manager. Then, you can load the from where the package manager put it.
  • Windows: Download the correct binary from and simply use the path where you placed the library.
  • macOS: Use homebrew and run brew install libsodium - then locate the binary in the Cellar. It is typically something like /usr/local/Cellar/libsodium/<version>/lib/libsodium.dylib.
  • Android: Clone the official sources and run the correct build script located at The build will produce an .so file you can add to your main/src/jniLibs folder.
  • iOS: Simply add the swift-sodium package to your project. It will statically link your app with the library. You can use DynamicLibrary.process() to access the symbols.

Transpiled JavaScript - loading the JavaScript code.

The correct setup depends on your JavaScript environment (i.e. browser, nodejs, ...) - however, the general way is the same:

// required imports
import 'package:sodium/sodium.dart';

// define a loader method that loads the javascript object into dart
dynamic loadSodiumJS() {
  return ...; // somehow load the sodium.js into dart

// initialize the sodium APIs
final sodium = await SodiumInit.init2(loadSodiumJS);

The complex part is how to load the library into dart. Generally, you can refer to on how to load the library into your JS environment. However, since we are running JavaScript code, the setup is a little more complex. For flutter users, you can simply add sodium_libs to your project, which takes care of this for you.

The only platform I have tried so far is the browser. However, similar approaches should work for all JS environments that you can run transpiled dart code in.

Loading sodium.js into the browser via dart.

The idea here is, that the dart code asynchronously loads the sodium.js into the browser and then acquires the result of loading it (As recommended in The following code uses the package:js to interop with JavaScript and perform these steps. You can download the sodium.js file from here:

// make the dart library JS-interoperable
library interop;

// required imports
import 'package:js/js.dart';
import 'package:sodium/sodium.dart';

// declare a JavaScript type that will provide the callback for the loaded
// sodium JavaScript object.
class SodiumBrowserInit {
  external void Function(dynamic sodium) get onload;

  external factory SodiumBrowserInit({void Function(dynamic sodium) onload});

Future<dynamic> loadSodiumInBrowser() async {
  // create a completer that will wait for the library to be loaded
  final completer = Completer<dynamic>();

  // Set the global `sodium` property to our JS type, with the callback being
  // redirected to the completer
  setProperty(window, 'sodium', SodiumBrowserInit(
    onload: allowInterop(completer.complete),

  // Load the sodium.js into the page by appending a `<script>` element
  final script = ScriptElement();
    ..type = 'text/javascript'
    ..async = true
    ..src = 'sodium.js'; // use the path where you put the file on your server

  // return the completer
  return completer.future;

// in your main:
final sodium = await SodiumInit.init2(loadSodiumInBrowser);

Using the API

Once you have acquired the Sodium instance, usage is fairly straight forward. The API mirrors the original native C api, splitting different categories of methods into different classes for maintainability, which are all built up in hierarchical order starting at Sodium. For example, if you wanted to use the crypto_secretbox_easy method from the C api, the equivalent dart code would be:

final sodium = // load libsodium for your platform

// The message to be encrypted, converted to an unsigned char array.
final String message = 'my very secret message';
final Int8List messageChars = message.toCharArray();
final Uint8List messageBytes = messageChars.unsignedView();

// A randomly generated nonce
final nonce = sodium.randombytes.buf(

// Generate a secret key
final SecureKey key = sodium.crypto.secretBox.keygen();

// Encrypt the data
final encryptedData = sodium.crypto.secretBox.easy(
  message: messageBytes,
  nonce: nonce,
  key: key,


// after you are done:

The only main differences here are, that instead of raw pointers, the dart typed lists are used. Also, instead of simply passing a byte array as the key, the SecureKey is used. It is a special class created for this library that wraps native memory, thus providing a secure way of keeping your keys in memory. You can either create such keys via the *_keygen methods, or directly via*.

Note: Since these keys wrap native memory, it is mandatory that you dispose of them after you are done with a key, as otherwise they will leak memory.


The documentation is available at A full example can be found at

The example runs both in the VM and on the web. To use it, see below.

As preparation for all platforms, run the following steps:

cd packages/sodium
dart pub get
dart run build_runner build

Example for the dart VM

Locate/Download the libsodium binary and run the example with it:

cd packages/sodium/example
dart pub get
dart run bin/main_native.dart '/path/to/libsodium.XXX'

Example in the browser

First download sodium.js into the examples web directory. Then simply run the example:

dart pub global activate webdev

cd packages/sodium/example/web
curl -Lo sodium.js

cd ..
dart pub get
dart pub global run webdev serve --release
# Visit in the browser