Book Image

CMake Best Practices

By : Dominik Berner, Mustafa Kemal Gilor
5 (2)
Book Image

CMake Best Practices

5 (2)
By: Dominik Berner, Mustafa Kemal Gilor

Overview of this book

CMake is a powerful tool used to perform a wide variety of tasks, so finding a good starting point for learning CMake is difficult. This book cuts to the core and covers the most common tasks that can be accomplished with CMake without taking an academic approach. While the CMake documentation is comprehensive, it is often hard to find good examples of how things fit together, especially since there are lots of dirty hacks and obsolete solutions available on the internet. This book focuses on helping you to tie things together and create clean and maintainable projects with CMake. You'll not only get to grips with the basics but also work through real-world examples of structuring large and complex maintainable projects and creating builds that run in any programming environment. You'll understand the steps to integrate and automate various tools for improving the overall software quality, such as testing frameworks, fuzzers, and automatic generation of documentation. And since writing code is only half of the work, the book also guides you in creating installers and packaging and distributing your software. All this is tailored to modern development workflows that make heavy use of CI/CD infrastructure. By the end of this CMake book, you'll be able to set up and maintain complex software projects using CMake in the best way possible.
Table of Contents (22 chapters)
Part 1: The Basics
Part 2: Practical CMake – Getting Your Hands Dirty with CMake
Part 3: Mastering the Details


In this chapter, you learned how to customize a build by executing external tasks and programs. We covered how to add custom build actions as targets, how to add them to existing targets, and how to execute them during the configuration step. We went over how commands can generate files and how CMake can copy and modify files with the configure_file command. Finally, we learned how the CMake command-line utility can be used to perform tasks in a platform-independent manner.

The ability to customize a CMake build is a very powerful tool but it also tends to make builds more brittle as the complexity of the builds often increases when any customized tasks are performed. Although sometimes not avoidable, relying on external programs other than a compiler and linker being installed may mean that a piece of software can be built on a platform where those programs haven't been installed or aren't available. This means special care must be taken to ensure that custom...