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CMake is a cross-platform, open-source build system generator. For full documentation visit the CMake Home Page and the CMake Documentation Page. The CMake Community Wiki also references useful guides and recipes.

CMake is maintained and supported by Kitware and developed in collaboration with a productive community of contributors.


CMake is distributed under the OSI-approved BSD 3-clause License. See Copyright.txt for details.

Building CMake

Supported Platforms

  • Microsoft Windows
  • Apple macOS
  • Linux
  • FreeBSD
  • OpenBSD
  • Solaris
  • AIX

Other UNIX-like operating systems may work too out of the box, if not it should not be a major problem to port CMake to this platform. Please post to the CMake Discourse Forum to ask if others have had experience with the platform.

Building CMake from Scratch


You need to have a C++ compiler (supporting C++11) and a make installed. Run the bootstrap script you find in the source directory of CMake. You can use the --help option to see the supported options. You may use the --prefix=<install_prefix> option to specify a custom installation directory for CMake. Once this has finished successfully, run make and make install.

For example, if you simply want to build and install CMake from source, you can build directly in the source tree:

$ ./bootstrap && make && sudo make install

Or, if you plan to develop CMake or otherwise run the test suite, create a separate build tree:

$ mkdir cmake-build && cd cmake-build
$ ../cmake-source/bootstrap && make


There are two ways for building CMake under Windows:

  1. Compile with MSVC from VS 2015 or later. You need to download and install a binary release of CMake. You can get these releases from the CMake Download Page. Then proceed with the instructions below for Building CMake with CMake.

  2. Bootstrap with MinGW under MSYS2. Download and install MSYS2. Then install the required build tools:

    $ pacman -S --needed git base-devel mingw-w64-x86_64-gcc

    and bootstrap as above.

Building CMake with CMake

You can build CMake as any other project with a CMake-based build system: run the installed CMake on the sources of this CMake with your preferred options and generators. Then build it and install it. For instructions how to do this, see documentation on Running CMake.

To build the documentation, install Sphinx and configure CMake with -DSPHINX_HTML=ON and/or -DSPHINX_MAN=ON to enable the "html" or "man" builder. Add -DSPHINX_EXECUTABLE=/path/to/sphinx-build if the tool is not found automatically.

Reporting Bugs

If you have found a bug:

  1. If you have a patch, please read the CONTRIBUTING.rst document.
  2. Otherwise, please post to the CMake Discourse Forum and ask about the expected and observed behaviors to determine if it is really a bug.
  3. Finally, if the issue is not resolved by the above steps, open an entry in the CMake Issue Tracker.


See CONTRIBUTING.rst for instructions to contribute.

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