CMake File

CMake is cross-platform, open-source build system developed by Kitware in 2001. To learn more about CMake you can study the CMake documentation. Here, I’m just giving you a simple example and a bit introduction related to CMake to start working with it.

Related Terms:

1. CMake- To build a simple executable code, to very elaborate projects.

2. CTest, CDash- These are used to test and debug your projects.

3. CPack- A packaging tool that finalizes your project for distribution.

Cmake is basically targeted towards C and C++ and is usable with various compiler/OS support. The main thing it requires for it’s working is CMakeLists.txt file.

How it can be created and Used:

It’s very easy to create CMake file. Here, I’m giving step by step guidence to create as well as to use this:

Step 1: Install CMake

First of all, make sure that you have cmake installed in your system. If not then install this by following command:

$ sudo apt-get install cmake cmake-curses-gui

*The CMake-curses-gui provides helpful gui, if you want.

Step 2: Setup you Project

Now create your simple c/C++ program. Here, I’m making a simple c++ code which will print “Hello World” on the screen. (It’s a simple example, no Libraries are included) It’ll be better to place your code in a seperate folder/directory. Follow the given steps:

$ mkdir /path/sample
$ cd sample/

Now here, create another directory where CMake files will be stored on running the cmake command.

sample/$ cd build
sample/$ cd ..

*Now you’re in sample directory where you’ve to place your .cpp file and CMakeLists.txt.

Write the code for your project. I’m using simple one with the name main.cpp

sample/$ vim main.cpp

//Type your code in the file,


using namespace std;

int main()
cout<<“Hello World!”;

After this create CMakeLists.txt file

sample/$ vim CMakeLists.txt

#Specify the version being used aswell as the language
cmake_minimum_required(VERSION 2.8)

#Name your project here

#This tells CMake to fib.c and name it fibonacci
add_executable(myapp main.cpp)

install(TARGETS myapp DESTINATION bin)

//Save this.

*If your making a .c file then you’ve to add the following code also. In c++ it is not required as available by default.

#Sends the -std=c99 flag to the gcc compiler

* add_executable defines our binary with all linked source files.
install tells cmake to install our binary into the bin directory of the install directory.

Step 3: Building

Now, what we have to do is just building our CMake. Open the build directory first.

sample/$ cd build

* now call cmake with the path to the project’s root (in this case the parent folder)

sample/build/$ camke ..

This will generate build script using default generator.

To run the build script, use the following:

sample/build/$ make</strong
sample/build/$ sudo make install

* make command will compile all and make install will copy it’s executable file into /usr/local/bin

That’s all. Now you can easily run your code by just typing myapp on the terminal.

Screenshot from 2014-08-20 18:24:52



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