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The Craftr build system

PyPI Version CII Best Practices

Craftr is a meta build system based on Python 3 scripts which produces Ninja build manifests. It enforces the use of modular build definitions that can be re-used easily and ships with a standard library supporting various programming languages and common libraries.


  • Aims to be cross-platform compatible (regularly tested on Windows, Mac OS and Linux)
  • Build definitions divided into versioned modules
  • Embedd actual Python functions into the build process (keyword Tasks)
  • Dependency-lock files for fully reproducible builds
  • Package manager (hosted on

Basic Usage

$ craftr version                            # Print Craftr version and exit
$ craftr export                             # Generate Ninja manifest
$ craftr build [target [target [...]]]      # Build all or the specified target(s)
$ craftr clean [-r] [target [target [...]]] # Clean all or the specified target(s)
$ craftr startpackage <name> [directory]    # Start a new Craftr project (manifest, Craftrfile)
$ craftr lock                               # Generate a .dependency-lock file (after craftr export)

C++ Example

cxx = load('craftr.lang.cxx')
program = cxx.executable(
  inputs = cxx.compile_cpp(sources = glob('src/**/*.cpp')),
  output = 'main'

Java Example

java = load('')
jar = java.jar(
  inputs = java.compile(src_dir = local('src')),
  output = 'myapp',
  entry_point = 'Main'

C# Example

cs = load('craftr.lang.csharp')
app = cs.compile(
  sources = glob('src/**/*.cs'),
  output = 'Main',
  target = 'exe'

Cython Exmple

cython = load('craftr.lang.cython')
primes = cython.project(
  sources = [local('Primes.pyx')],
  main = local('Main.pyx')
run = runtarget(primes.main)

How to Contribute

Please create an Issue if you have any questions, problems or feature requests.


Make sure you specify the specific version you want to install since there is no untagged version of Craftr 2.x available on PyPI yet and otherwise Pip will install Craftr 1.x (which is quite different). To get the newest stable version of Craftr 2, use

$ pip install craftr-build==2.0.0

To get the cutting edge development version, I suggest installing Craftr from the Git repository into a virtualenv.

$ virtualenv -p python3 env && source env/bin/activate
$ git clone -b development
$ cd craftr
$ pip install -e .


Python Dependencies (automatically installed)


The Craftr build system
Copyright (C) 2016  Niklas Rosenstein

This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify
it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or
(at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
along with this program.  If not, see <>.

For more information, see the LICENSE.txt file.