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

Using sysroots to isolate build environments

In a nutshell, a system root, or just sysroot, is a directory that a build system considers to be the root directory from which to locate headers and libraries. In brief, they contain a stripped-down version of the root filesystem for the platform for which software is being compiled. They are often used when cross-compiling software for other platforms, as described in Chapter 12, Cross-Platform Compiling and Custom Toolchains. If containers for shipping whole build environments are not an option, sysroots can be an alternative to provide a defined build environment.

To use a sysroot with CMake, a toolchain file is needed. As the name suggests, these files define the tools to use to compile and link the software as well as where to find any libraries. In a normal build, CMake automatically detects the toolchain by introspecting the system. Toolchain files are passed to CMake with the CMAKE_TOOLCHAIN_FILE variable like this: