Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Import CMAKE Project to Eclipse CDT

In this post, I will discuss how to import a CMAKE project to Eclipse CDT. Upon Google search, I ran into this solution, but this did not work for me, so here is what I did instead. I am going to make use of cmake-example git repo project to demonstrate how, but you can easily do this for your own.

Open up Eclipse CDT and select File --> New --> C/C++ Project --> C++ Managed Build --> Next. Enter the project name, say cmake-example, and make sure the project type is Empty Project. Also, select the appropriate Toolchains; this will be Linux GCC or MacOSX GCC. Select Finish.

Go to the project root folder, and we will clone the git repository.
$ cd ~/Eclipse/workspace/cmake-example
$ git init
$ git remote add origin https://github.com/bast/cmake-example.git
$ git fetch
$ git checkout -t origin/master

Let's verify that the project compiles.
$ cmake -H. -BDebug
$ cd Debug
$ make -j4

Make sure that the project builds successfully. Also, note down your $PATH environment variable (highlighted in blue below) to be used later. Your variable may differ from mine.
$ echo $PATH

Now, on Eclipse right-click this project in the Project Explorer pane on the left and select Properties. In the C/C++ Build tab, uncheck both Use default build command and Generate Makefile automatically. Make sure the Build Directory as ${workspace_loc:/cmake-example}/Debug. This is the folder we created with CMAKE in the previous step and built the project. This folder contains CMAKE-generated Makefile, and we are simply asking Eclipse to execute make command in this particular folder.

This is the first step, where the Eclipse simply runs the make command of the Makefile generated from CMAKE. This setup is good if we are not going to edit CMAKE configs anymore. In reality, we probably will need to edit CMAKE configs.

Every time you modify CMakeLists.txt, you will need to re-create Makefile by running the CMAKE command again and again
$ cmake ..

Let's simply automate this build command with Eclipse. This is the second step of this post. Create build.sh in the project folder,
$ vim ~/Eclipse/workspace/cmake-example/build.sh

Simply write down the build commands that you would run from the Debug directory as follows:
cmake ..
make -j4

Now, in the Eclipse open up Project Properties window again. Expand C/C++ Build entry on the left and select Environment. Select Add button, and enter PATH for the Name field and your $PATH environment variable (noted in the previous step) for the Variable field. This is to make sure the Eclipse shell will be able to perform exactly what you can do with your own shell.

In the C/C++ Build tab, enter the following build command in place of make
sh ../build.sh

Select Apply and Close to close the properties window. The project should now successfully build, even if you have modified CMakeLists.txt files.

Lastly, you can modify the run command by selecting Run --> Run Configurations... and browse the executable for C/C++ Application:

Happy hacking!

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