CMake plugin

The CMake plugin configures projects using CMake and builds them either using GNU Make or Ninja.

After a successful build, this plugin will install the generated binaries in $CRAFT_PART_INSTALL.


In addition to the common plugin and sources keywords, this plugin provides the following plugin-specific keywords:


Type: list of strings Default: []

Parameters to configure the project using common CMake semantics.


Type: string Default: “Unix Makefiles”

Determine the tool to use to build. Can be either set to Ninja or Unix Makefiles.

Environment variables

The plugin sets the CMAKE_PREFIX_PATH to the stage directory.


The CMake plugin needs the cmake executable to configure, and make or ninja executable to build. make and ninja are dependant on the selected cmake-generator. These dependencies are provided by the plugin as a build-packages entry.

The plugin also sets up gcc. Other compiler or library dependencies the source requires to build are to be provided.

How it works

During the build step the plugin performs the following actions:

  • Run cmake in the build directory referring to the pulled source directory (this plugin runs an out of tree build). The preferred generator is set at this stage, and the project is configured with any cmake-parameters that might have been set.

  • cmake --build is run to build the source, cmake itself takes care of calling make or ninja;

  • cmake calls the install target with DESTDIR set to $CRAFT_PART_INSTALL.


The following snippet declares a part using the cmake plugin. It sets the CMAKE_BUILD_TYPE to RelWithDebInfo to generate debug symbols from the build:

    source: .
    plugin: cmake
      - -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=RelWithDebInfo