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

What is a CMake module?

A CMake module is a logical entity that contains CMake code, functions, and macros that are put together to serve a particular purpose. A module can provide functions and macros for other CMake code and execute CMake commands when included. CMake is shipped with many pre-made modules by default. These modules provide extra utility to consume CMake code and allow the discovery of third-party tools and dependencies (Find*.cmake modules). A list of the modules that CMake provides by default is available at The official CMake documentation categorizes modules in the following two main categories:

  • Utility modules
  • Find modules

As their name suggests, the utility modules provide utility, whereas the find modules are designed to search for third-party software in a system. As you can recall, we have covered the find modules thoroughly in Chapter 4, Packaging, Deploying, and Installing...