Skip to content


Mats Wichmann edited this page Feb 12, 2022 · 22 revisions
Clone this wiki locally


SCons core provides tools implemented as Python modules. This is fine for tools that are part of the SCons distribution, but for contributed tools supported separately from the SCons code repository, using modules is not the best architecture. Fortunately, SCons allows for tools to be implemented as Python packages (i.e. directories with a file This allows for tools to be managed as packages in distributed version control system (DVCS) branches and repositories -- a Python package is a directory and directories not files are the top-level thing managed by a DVCS (which is why it is easier to deal with packages rather than modules using a DVCS).

To manage tools that are not part of SCons core, or provide enhancements for core tools independently, a DVCS (e.g. Mercurial, Git, Bazaar) repository (branch in Bazaar) should be created and the directory should contain a file so that it is a package in the Python sense. The tool can then be installed by cloning (branching in Bazaar) the repository into the site_scons/site_tools directory.

No matter which DVCS and hosting site is used for a given tool, it should be indexed on this page: this page is the central index of all contributed tools. The index works best where there is a wiki page explaining the tool linked to by the entry in the first column of the tool list.

Important Update: Bitbucket discontinued their Mercurial repositories, so many of the tools linked here have gone stale. Some of them have been moved to a repository managed by the SCons project: If you can find a tool in scons-contrib, that version should be considered preferred - those have been converted to Python 3 where needed (current SCons requires Python 3), and being a GitHub repository, there is a place to file issues and propose Pull Requests to make fixes - or add new tools./h

Install and usage

Installing an external Tool requires you to clone (branch in Bazaar) the contents of the package's folder to

  1. /path_to_your_project/site_scons/site_tools/foo, if you need the foo Tool in one project only, or

  2. ~/.scons/site_scons/site_tools/foo, for a personal installation of foo that can be used by you for all your projects (SCons 2.1 and later).

In SCons 2.1 and later, the following paths are tried in order to detect SCons specific settings, like the site_scons/site_tools folder:

OS (Platform) Paths
$USERPROFILE\Local Settings\Applicatio Data\scons
MacOS X (darwin) /Library/Application Support/SCons
~/Library/Application Support/SCons
Solaris (sunos) /opt/sfw/scons
Linux/HPUX/... (other) /usr/share/scons

(see also sect. 18.7 in the User's Guide).

This makes the tool available but it must be included explicitly in an SCons build by creating an Environment with a tools entry since only named tools from the SCons core are initialized automatically when SCons runs. Example:

# Create environment and init Tool foo
env = Environment(tools=['foo'])

# Use the builder provided by the Tool foo

Have a pick (the actual index)

The index of Tools maintained outside of SCons repository. If the Name column is a link, follow it for more details.

Name DVCS Location Branch/Clone command
Chapel Mercurial hg clone chapel
C# Git git clone
CPython Mercurial hg clone cpython
D [1]
Docbook Mercurial hg clone docbook
Doxyfile Git git clone
Doxygen Mercurial hg clone doxygen
dvipdfm Git git clone dvipdfm
Eiffel Bazaar bzr branch lp:scons-eiffel eiffel
Erlang Mercurial hg clone erlang
fastcpp Mercurial hg clone fastcpp
GccCov Git git clone gcccov
Gnuplot Git git clone gnuplot
Go Git git clone git://
GObject (gob2) Mercurial hg clone gob2
Haskell Mercurial hg clone haskell
Jinja2 Git git clone jinja
Matlab (Mex) Git git clone matlab
MFObject Bazaar bzr branch lp:~asomers/sconsaddons/mfobject
OCaml Mercurial hg clone ocaml
Perl Mercurial hg clone scons-perl5
pkg-config Git git clone pkg-config
Protocol Buffers Mercurial hg clone protoc
Qt4 Git git clone qt4
Qt5 Git git clone qt5
Qt6 Git git clone qt6
reST (docutils) Mercurial hg clone rest
RightNow Bazaar bzr branch lp:~asomers/sconsaddons/rightnow
SIP Mercurial hg clone sip
Sphinx Mercurial hg clone
sphinx4scons Mercurial hg clone
Vala Mercurial hg clone vala
Watcom Git git clone watcom
Xcode Mercurial git clone xcode
X10 Mercurial hg clone x10
Wayland git git clone wayland-scanner

[1]: The D tool is no longer developed outside of the SCons source tree (as it once was) to enable correct integration between D, C++ and C in multi-language systems. D tool development now happens in a clone of the SCons repository specifically for developing the D tool.


If you simply want to use the Tools above, or have a look at the sources, issue the command given in the Branch/Clone column. This will give you a local copy to work with.

Patching or extending and then, finally, contributing your code, needs a little more effort. For each DVCS, the following sections try to outline the required steps.


If you just want to create a read-only copy of the tool then just use "hg clone . . . ". If you are wanting to get involved in development of the tool then you will need a writeable clone.

  • You will need to create a BitBucket account if you haven't already got one. Navigate to BitBucket and create an account and then login. If you already have an account then just login.
  • In order to be able to push to your repository, you need to upload SSH keys to BitBucket. Your Account Settings page has a section for SSH keys.
  • If you are cloning an existing tool then use the BitBucket "fork" button on the existing tool repository. At the time of writing (2011-08-13T10:50+01:00) the icon is a blue arrow pointing up and right.
  • If you are creating a new tool then create the repository on BitBucket.
  • Now you clone your BitBucket repository to your local machines in an appropriate place.
  • When you make changes locally remember to push them up to BitBucket when they are ready for publishing.
  • If you have cloned a pre-existing repository remember to issue pull requests when you think you have a change that should be merged into the mainline.


We assume that you have initially branched an existing tool, modified it and want to publish your changes.

  • If you don't already have a login at Launchpad, register there first. A homepage is created for you, and on it you find the OpenID URL. It has your Launchpad-login as last part, after the ~.
  • For identification purposes you need to provide a public SSH key to Launchpad. If necessary, create a new one under your OS of choice. Import your key under the entry SSH keys on your Launchpad homepage.
  • Now you can issue the command bzr launchpad-login yournick on your local machine. Here, yournick is your personal Launchpad-login as described above. This tells Bazaar to use this nickname for all your following commits/pushes, directed at Launchpad.
  • You should also check your local name (the one that is displayed for commits) with bzr whoami and change it by bzr whoami "John Doe <>", respectively.
  • Commit your local changes with bzr commit.
  • Then, push your local branch up to Launchpad with bzr push lp:~yournick/toolname/branchname. Correctly replacing yournick (your Launchpad-login), toolname (name of the tool) and branchname (name of your branch), this creates a new branch under your account associated with the tool project. Since Launchpad stores all the different branches in a sort of "matrix", your contribution should show up on your page and on the tool project page along with the original branch.
  • As described on the Code/Uploading a Branch page, you can continue to commit your subsequent changes locally bzr commit or publish them again by a push bzr push lp:~yournick/toolname/branchname.
  • Eventually, use the "Propose for merging" link (on the Launchpad page of your branch) to get your changes into the mainline (also known as trunk).

Please also regard the special page ToolsBazaarWorkflows, it contains more info about

  • proper merging,
  • how to setup a new project for a Tool and
  • adding a downloadable Tarball to your release

In many ways all branches for a given tool are equal; all branches are effectively forks of the tool. The mainline is the one agreed to be the mainline and is the one to be indexed above.

For more detailed infos about Bazaar and DVCS in general, you should also visit the UsingBzr page.