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OCamlbuild is a generic build tool, that has built-in rules for building OCaml library and programs.

In recent years, the OCaml community has converged towards a more recent and faster build tool: Dune. If you are choosing a build system, you should probably use Dune instead. (Between January and June 2019, 77 new OCaml packages using ocamlbuild were publicly released, versus 544 packages using dune.)

Your should refer to the OCambuild manual for more informations on how to use ocamlbuild.

Automatic Installation

With opam:

opam install ocamlbuild

If you are testing a not yet released version of OCaml, you may need to use the development version of OCamlbuild. With opam:

opam pin add ocamlbuild --kind=git ""

Compilation from source

We assume GNU make, which may be named gmake on your system.

  1. Configure.
make configure

The installation location is determined by the installation location of the ocaml compiler. You can set the following configuration variables (make configure VAR=foo):

  • OCAMLBUILD_{PREFIX,BINDIR,LIBDIR} will use opam or ocaml/ocamlfind's settings by default; see configure.make for the precise initialization logic.

  • OCAML_NATIVE: should be true if native compilation is available on your machine, false otherwise

  1. Compile the sources.
  1. Install.
make install

You can also clean the compilation results with make clean, and uninstall a manually-installed OCamlbuild with make uninstall.