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


In this chapter, we covered a general approach for finding files, libraries, and programs, along with the more complex search for CMake packages. You learned how to create an imported package definition if it cannot be found automatically by providing your own find module. We looked over source code-based dependencies with ExternalProject and FetchContent and how even non-CMake projects can be built using CMake.

Additionally, if you want to become even more sophisticated with your dependency management, we briefly introduced Conan and vcpkg as two package handlers that integrate very well with CMake.

Dependency management is a tough topic to cover and can be tedious at times. Nevertheless, it pays off to take the time to set it up correctly with the techniques described in this chapter. The versatility of CMake and its various ways of finding dependencies are its greatest strengths but also its greatest weaknesses. By using the various find_ commands, FetchContent, ExternalProject...