Where to Put the Binary In Cmake?

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In CMake, the location of the generated binary executable can be specified using the CMAKE_RUNTIME_OUTPUT_DIRECTORY variable. By setting this variable to a specific directory path, you can control where the compiled binary will be placed after the build process is complete. This allows you to organize your project structure and keep all of your executable files in one designated location. Additionally, you can also use the RUNTIME_OUTPUT_DIRECTORY target property to specify the output directory for individual targets within your project. By properly configuring these settings, you can ensure that your compiled binaries are located in the desired location for easier access and deployment.


How to avoid conflicts when specifying binary directories in cmake?

  1. Use relative paths: Instead of specifying absolute paths for binary directories in CMake, use relative paths. This will make the project more portable and prevent conflicts when moving or sharing the project.
  2. Use environment variables: You can use environment variables to set the binary directory in CMake. This allows you to easily change the binary directory without having to update the CMake files.
  3. Use different directories for different configurations: If you have multiple build configurations (e.g. Debug, Release), consider using different binary directories for each configuration. This will prevent conflicts between different builds.
  4. Avoid hardcoding paths: Avoid hardcoding paths in CMake files whenever possible. Instead, use CMake variables or generator expressions to dynamically set the binary directory based on the project structure or build configuration.
  5. Document the binary directory structure: Make sure to document the binary directory structure in your project's README or documentation. This will help other developers understand where to find the built binaries and avoid conflicts.


How to ensure that binaries are generated in the correct location in cmake?

To ensure that binaries are generated in the correct location in CMake, you can use the CMAKE_RUNTIME_OUTPUT_DIRECTORY variable in your CMakeLists.txt file. This variable specifies the directory where generated executable files will be placed.


Here’s an example of how you can set the output directory for binaries in CMake:

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# Set the output directory for executable files
set(CMAKE_RUNTIME_OUTPUT_DIRECTORY ${CMAKE_BINARY_DIR}/bin)

# Add your executable target
add_executable(my_executable my_source_file.cpp)


In this example, the CMAKE_RUNTIME_OUTPUT_DIRECTORY variable is set to ${CMAKE_BINARY_DIR}/bin, meaning that all generated executable files will be placed in the bin directory inside the build directory.


By setting this variable appropriately in your CMakeLists.txt file, you can ensure that binaries are generated in the correct location.


What is the role of the binary directory in cmake's build system?

The binary directory in CMake's build system is where the build artifacts and generated files such as executable binaries, static and shared libraries, and object files are stored. This directory is separate from the source directory where the original project source code resides. CMake uses this binary directory as the working directory during the build process to generate and compile the code into executable or library files. It also stores intermediate build files and CMake cache files used to configure the build process. The binary directory is essential for keeping the project's build artifacts separate from the source code and allowing for easier management and organization of the build process.

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