CMake is a tool to manage building of source code. Originally, CMake was designed as a generator for various dialects of
Makefile, today CMake generates modern buildsystems such as
Ninja as well as project files for IDEs such as Visual Studio and Xcode.
CMake is widely used for the C and C++ languages, but it may be used to build source code of other languages too.
People encountering CMake for the first time may have different initial goals. To learn how to build a source code package downloaded from the internet, start with the
User Interaction Guide. This will detail the steps needed to run the
cmake-gui(1) executable and how to choose a generator, and how to complete the build.
Using Dependencies Guide is aimed at developers wishing to get started using a third-party library.
For developers starting a project using CMake, the
CMake Tutorial is a suitable starting point. The
cmake-buildsystem(7) manual is aimed at developers expanding their knowledge of maintaining a buildsystem and becoming familiar with the build targets that can be represented in CMake. The
cmake-packages(7) manual explains how to create packages which can easily be consumed by third-party CMake-based buildsystems.
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