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What is this?

Wake is a build orchestration tool and language. If you have a build whose steps cannot be adequately expressed in make/tup/bazel/etc, you probably need wake. If you don't want to waste time rebuilding things that don't need it, or that your colleagues already built, you might appreciate wake.

Wake features:

  • dependent job execution

    Which jobs to run next can depend on the results of previous jobs. For example, when you run configure in a traditional automake system, this typically affects what will be built by make. Similarly cmake. These two-stage build systems are necessary because make job selection cannot depend on the result of a prior build step. In complicated builds, two-stages are sometimes not enough. In wake, all jobs may be dependent.

  • dependency analysis

    In classic build systems, you must specify all the inputs and outputs of a job you want to run. If you under-specify the inputs, the build is not reproducible; it might fail to compile files that need recompilation and the job might fail non-deterministically on systems which run more jobs simultaneously. If you over-specify the inputs, the build performs unnecessary recompilation when those inputs change. In wake, if you under-specify the inputs, the build fails every time. If you over-specify the inputs, wake automatically prunes the unused dependencies so the job will not be re-run unless it must. You almost never need to tell wake what files a job builds; it knows.

  • build introspection

    When you have a built workspace, it is helpful to be able to trace the provenance of build artefacts. Wake keeps a database to record what it did. You can query that database at any time to find out exactly how a file in your workspace got there.

  • intrinsically-parallel language

    While your build orchestration files describe a sequence of compilation steps, the wake language automatically extracts parallelism. Everything runs at once. Only true data dependencies cause wake to sequence jobs. Wake handles parallelism for you, so you don't need to think about it.

  • shared build caching

    You just checked-out the master branch and started a build. However, your system runs the same software as your colleague who authored that commit. If wake can prove it's safe, it will just copy the prebuilt files and save you time. This can also translate into pull requests whose regression tests pass immediately, increasing productivity.

Installing dependencies

On Debian/Ubuntu (wheezy or later):

sudo apt-get install makedev fuse libfuse-dev libsqlite3-dev libgmp-dev libncurses5-dev pkg-config git g++ gcc libre2-dev dash

On Redhat (6.6 or later):

sudo yum install epel-release epel-release centos-release-scl
# On RHEL6: sudo yum install devtoolset-6-gcc devtoolset-6-gcc-c++
sudo yum install makedev fuse fuse-devel sqlite-devel gmp-devel ncurses-devel pkgconfig git gcc gcc-c++ re2-devel dash

On FreeBSD (12 or later):

pkg install gmake pkgconf gmp re2 sqlite3 fusefs-libs dash
echo 'fuse_load="YES"' >> /boot/loader.conf
echo 'vfs.usermount=1' >> /etc/sysctl.conf
pw groupmod operator -m YOUR-NON-ROOT-USER

On Alpine Linux (3.11.5 or later):

apk add g++ make pkgconf git gmp-dev re2-dev sqlite-dev fuse-dev ncurses-dev dash

On Mac OS with Mac Ports installed:

sudo port install osxfuse sqlite3 gmp re2 ncurses pkgconfig dash

On Mac OS with Home Brew installed:

brew install gmp re2 pkgconfig dash

Fuse is slightly more complicated, it requires permissions.

brew tap homebrew/cask
brew cask install osxfuse

You should see something like the following, and MacOS may ask for your password.

You must reboot for the installation of osxfuse to take effect.

System Extension Blocked
"The system extension required for mounting FUSE volumes could not be loaded.
Please open the Security & Privacy System Preferences pane, go to the General preferences and allow loading system software from developer "Benjamin Fleischer".

Then try mounting the volume again."

Give FUSE permission to run as stated in the instructions and you should be good to go.

Building wake

git clone
cd wake
git tag                 # See what versions exist
#git checkout master    # Use development branch (e.g. recent bug fix)
#git checkout v0.24     # Check out a specific version, like v0.24
./bin/wake install $HOME/stuff # or wherever

External dependencies:

Optional dependencies:

Internal dependencies:


Documentation for wake can be found in share/doc/wake.