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Quickstart

This document gives simple usage examples of dune. You can also look at examples for complete examples of projects using dune.

Building a hello world program

In a directory of your choice, write this dune file:

;; This declares the hello_world executable implemented by hello_world.ml
(executable
 (name hello_world))

This hello_world.ml file:

print_endline "Hello, world!"

And build it with:

dune build hello_world.exe

The executable will be built as _build/default/hello_world.exe. Note that native code executables will have the .exe extension on all platforms (including non-Windows systems). The executable can be built and run in a single step with dune exec ./hello_world.exe.

Building a hello world program using Lwt

In a directory of your choice, write this dune file:

(executable
 (name hello_world)
 (libraries lwt.unix))

This hello_world.ml file:

Lwt_main.run (Lwt_io.printf "Hello, world!\n")

And build it with:

dune build hello_world.exe

The executable will be built as _build/default/hello_world.exe

Building a hello world program using Core and Jane Street PPXs

Write this dune file:

(executable
 (name hello_world)
 (libraries core)
 (preprocess (pps ppx_jane)))

This hello_world.ml file:

open Core

let () =
  Sexp.to_string_hum [%sexp ([3;4;5] : int list)]
  |> print_endline

And build it with:

dune build hello_world.exe

The executable will be built as _build/default/hello_world.exe

Defining a library using Lwt and ocaml-re

Write this dune file:

(library
 (name        mylib)
 (public_name mylib)
 (libraries re lwt))

The library will be composed of all the modules in the same directory. Outside of the library, module Foo will be accessible as Mylib.Foo, unless you write an explicit mylib.ml file.

You can then use this library in any other directory by adding mylib to the (libraries ...) field.

Setting the OCaml compilation flags globally

Write this dune file at the root of your project:

(env
 (dev
  (flags (:standard -w +42)))
 (release
  (flags (:standard -O3))))

dev and release correspond to build profiles. The build profile can be selected from the command line with --profile foo or from a dune-workspace file by writing:

(profile foo)

Using cppo

Add this field to your library or executable stanzas:

(preprocess (action (run %{bin:cppo} -V OCAML:%{ocaml_version} %{input-file})))

Additionally, if you are include a config.h file, you need to declare the dependency to this file via:

(preprocessor_deps config.h)

Using the .cppo.ml style like the ocamlbuild plugin

Write this in your dune file:

(rule
 (targets foo.ml)
 (deps    (:first-dep foo.cppo.ml) <other files that foo.ml includes>)
 (action  (run %{bin:cppo} %{first-dep} -o %{targets})))

Defining a library with C stubs

Assuming you have a file called mystubs.c, that you need to pass -I/blah/include to compile it and -lblah at link time, write this dune file:

(library
 (name            mylib)
 (public_name     mylib)
 (libraries       re lwt)
 (c_names         mystubs)
 (c_flags         (-I/blah/include))
 (c_library_flags (-lblah)))

Defining a library with C stubs using pkg-config

Same context as before, but using pkg-config to query the compilation and link flags. Write this dune file:

(library
 (name            mylib)
 (public_name     mylib)
 (libraries       re lwt)
 (c_names         mystubs)
 (c_flags         (:include c_flags.sexp))
 (c_library_flags (:include c_library_flags.sexp)))

(rule
 (targets c_flags.sexp c_library_flags.sexp)
 (deps    (:discover config/discover.exe))
 (action  (run %{discover} -ocamlc %{OCAMLC})))

Then create a config subdirectory and write this dune file:

(executable
 (name discover)
 (libraries base stdio configurator))

as well as this discover.ml file:

module C = Configurator.V1

let () =
C.main ~name:"foo" (fun c ->
let default : C.Pkg_config.package_conf =
  { libs   = ["-lgst-editing-services-1.0"]
  ; cflags = []
  }
in
let conf =
  match C.Pkg_config.get c with
  | None -> default
  | Some pc ->
     match (C.Pkg_config.query pc ~package:"gst-editing-services-1.0") with
     | None -> default
     | Some deps -> deps
in


C.Flags.write_sexp "c_flags.sexp"         conf.cflags;
C.Flags.write_sexp "c_library_flags.sexp" conf.libs)

Using a custom code generator

To generate a file foo.ml using a program from another directory:

(rule
 (targets foo.ml)
 (deps    (:gen ../generator/gen.exe))
 (action  (run %{gen} -o %{targets})))

Defining tests

Write this in your dune file:

(test (name my_test_program))

And run the tests with:

dune runtest

It will run the test program (the main module is my_test_program.ml) and error if it exits with a nonzero code.

In addition, if a my_test_program.expected file exists, it will be compared to the standard output of the test program and the differences will be displayed. It is possible to replace the .expected file with the last output using:

dune promote

Building a custom toplevel

A toplevel is simply an executable calling Topmain.main () and linked with the compiler libraries and -linkall. Moreover, currently toplevels can only be built in bytecode.

As a result, write this in your dune file:

(executable
 (name       mytoplevel)
 (libraries  compiler-libs.toplevel mylib)
 (link_flags (-linkall))
 (modes      byte))

And write this in mytoplevel.ml

let () = Topmain.main ()