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

Making CMake targets installable

The most primitive way of supporting deployment in a project is by making it installable. The term installable here does not refer to installing a pre-made package of the software. On the contrary, the end user still has to acquire the source code for the project and build it from scratch. An installable project has extra build system code for installing the runtime or development artifacts on the system. The build system will perform the install action here, given that it has proper instructions on how to do so. Since we're using CMake to generate the build system files, CMake must generate the relevant install code. In this section, we will dive into the basics of how to instruct CMake to generate such code for the CMake targets.

The install() command

The install(...) command is a built-in CMake command that allows you to generate build system instructions for installing targets, files, directories, and more. CMake will not generate install...