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 existing cross-platform toolchain files

When building software for multiple platforms, the most straightforward way to do this is to compile software on the target system itself. The downside of that is that each developer has to have a running version of the target system to build the software. If these are desktop systems, that might work reasonably well, although moving between different installations for developing the software also makes the developer workflow quite tedious. Less powerful devices such as embedded systems might be very uncomfortable because of the lack of proper development tools or because compiling the software takes very long.

So, a much more convenient way from the developer's perspective is to use cross-compiling. This means the software engineer writes code and builds the software on their own machine, but the resulting binaries are for a different platform. The machine and platform on which the software is built are usually called the host...