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

Chapter 1: Kickstarting CMake

If you're developing software using C++ or C, you have probably heard about CMake before. Over the last 20 years, CMake has evolved into something that's an industry standard when it comes to building C++ applications. But CMake is more than just a build system – it is a build system generator, which means it produces instructions for other build systems such as Makefile, Ninja, Visual Studio, Qt Creator, Android Studio, and Xcode. And it does not stop at building software – CMake also includes features that support installing, packaging, and testing software.

As a de facto industry standard, CMake is a must-know technology for any C++ programmer.

In this chapter, you will get a high-level overview of what CMake is and learn about the necessary basics to build your first program. We will have a look at CMake's build process and provide an overview of how to use the CMake language to configure build processes.

In this chapter, we will cover the following topics:

  • CMake in a nutshell
  • Installing CMake
  • The CMake build process
  • Writing CMake files
  • Different toolchains and build configurations

Let's begin!