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

Creating toolchain files

Toolchain files might seem intimidating at first, but on a closer look, they are often relatively trivial. The misconception that defining cross-compilation toolchains is hard stems from the fact that there are many overly complicated examples of toolchain files found on the internet. Many of them were written for early versions of CMake and thus implemented many additional tests and checks that are now part of CMake itself. CMake toolchain files basically do the following things:

  • Define the target system and architecture.
  • Provide paths to any tools needed to build the software for the defined platform. Often, these are just compilers.
  • Set default flags for the compiler and linkers.
  • Point to the sysroot and possibly any staging directory if cross-compiling.
  • Set hints for the search order for any find_ commands of CMake. Changing the search order is something the project might define, and it is debatable whether this belongs in the...