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configure-cmake is an autotools-style configure script for CMake-based projects.

People building software on Linux or BSD generally expect to be able to ./configure && make && make install, but projects using CMake don't provide a configure script. To make matters worse, the syntax for invoking CMake is awkward and has issues with discoverability.

configure-cmake provides an easy way for people accustomed to autotools-based projects to build your CMake-based project. Just drop the configure script into your project; it will accept most of the standard autotools arguments (such as --prefix and --libdir), as well as custom arguments you can specify, and map them to the correct CMake definitions.

It it as permissively licensed as I can make it (CC0 is basically an attempt to put something in the public domain), so please feel free to copy it into your project—users accustomed to autotools will thank you! You only need the configure script—you shouldn't have to worry about the LICENSE or README files.


You can add --enable-, --disable-, and --with-* parameters without modifying the configure script itself. Instead, you only need to create a file next to your configure script. configure will then source and use the variables it finds to integrate the parameters.

The main variables you can set in are:


Each of these a space separated list of values. Each value is a '|' separated list of up to 3 values, though the first two are optional. The syntax is:


The name will be be the name of the argument passed to configure—for enable it will be --enable-name, for disable it will be --disable-name, and for with it will be --with-name.

The optional value is the value passed to CMake, which defaults to "yes".

The optional transformed-name is the key passed to CMake, which defaults to name uppercased and all non-alpha-numeric characters replaced with underscores. For example:


Will create a --enable-foo parameter for people to pass to configure. If passed, configure will then pass -DBAZ=bar to CMake.

Additionally, if you would like to supply a custom documentation string for parameters (which is displayed in the output of ./configure --help), you can create an additional variable called ENABLE/DISABLE/WITH_transformed-name_DOC. Continuing or previous example:

ENABLE_BAZ_DOC="enable integration with foo"

Will result in the output of ./configure --help displaying

  --enable-foo            enable integration with foo

If you would like to see an example of how this works, you can use the from Squash.

Note that you can also use --pass-thru -DBAZ=bar to achieve the same result.


Autotools-style configure script wrapper around CMake




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