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Sublime Text 3 as C++ IDE with CMake Build System
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This project sets up Sublime Text 3 as C++ IDE with CMake Build System. It is possible to build right from ST3 with shortcut CMD+B. With cmake the build system generates the makefile, make compiles the binary and cmake copies the binary to the build/ folder.

The repository contains all required files for proper CMake configuration and a basic src/main.cpp file. However I installed a bunch of ST3 plugins to use ST3 as my main C++ IDE. The folder structure is needed, but you can change it within the projectname.sublime-project and CMakeLists.txt files.

I am using macos High Sierra 10.13.4.


I use clang as my compiler

$ clang -v
Apple LLVM version 9.1.0 (clang-902.0.39.1)
Target: x86_64-apple-darwin17.5.0
Thread model: posix
InstalledDir: /Applications/

Of course you need cmake in your PATH variable.

# this is in my ~/.bash_profile
export PATH="$PATH:/Applications/"
$ cmake --version
cmake version 3.11.0

ST3 Plugins

I used the following ST3 plugins to setup ST3 as C++ IDE and make all work.

ST3 Build System

The build system is called "cmake build" and is defined in the file projectname.sublime-project. That means it is only available inside this project. Also there is a variant, which "cleans" up the build directory by removing and re-creating it. This variant can be activated by the hotkey: cmd+shift+b. After the clean you need to switch the build system again by pressing cmd+shift+b and select "cmake build". Now if you press cmd+b the cmake and make command will be executed.

    "name": "cmake build",
    "shell_cmd": "cd ${project_path}/build && cmake .. && make -j4",
    "file_regex": "/([^/:]+):(\\d+):(\\d+): ",
    "variants": [
            "name": "clean",
            "shell_cmd": "rm -rf ${project_path}/build && mkdir ${project_path}/build"

Information about how to extend the build system can be found here Note: the make -j4 command allows make to use 4 parallel jobs.


Open the projectname.sublime-project file by typing

$ subl projectname.sublime-project

Hit CMD+B. The console opens and shows build information: (If nothing happens, you need to activate the default build system by pressing CMD+SHIFT+B and select "cmake build".)

-- Configuring done
-- Generating done
-- Build files have been written to: /Users/arnegockeln/sourcecode/cpp/sublimetext-cmake/build
Scanning dependencies of target projectname
[ 50%] Building CXX object src/CMakeFiles/projectname.dir/main.cpp.o
[100%] Linking CXX executable projectname
[100%] Built target projectname
[Finished in 0.9s]

Run binary projectname in build/.


To clean the build directory hit CMD+SHIFT+B and select "cmake build - clean". Hit CMD+SHIFT+B again and switch back to "cmake build".

With the ESC key you can close the build console window.

You can’t perform that action at this time.