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The global interface affects the whole project description scope and all sub-project files.

Interfaces Description Version
includes Add sub-project files and directories >= 2.1.5
set_project Set project name >= 2.0.1
set_version Set project version >= 2.0.1
set_xmakever Set minimal xmake version >= 2.1.1
add_moduledirs Add module directories >= 2.1.5
add_plugindirs Add plugin directories >= 2.0.1
add_packagedirs Add package directories >= 2.0.1
get_config Get the configuration value >= 2.2.2
set_config Set the default configuration value >= 2.2.2
add_requires Add required package dependencies >= 2.2.2
add_requireconfs Set the configuration of the specified dependent package >= 2.5.1
add_repositories Add 3rd package repositories >= 2.2.2


Add sub-project files and directories

We can use this interfaces to add sub-project files (xmake.lua) or directories with xmake.lua.

  - subdirs
    - xmake.lua
  - src

Add sub-project directories.



Or add sub-project files.



We can also recursively add multiple project sub-directory files through pattern matching.



In addition, in 2.2.5 and later, this interface provides some built-in helper functions, which can be used directly after the include, specifically which built-in functions can be seen at:

For a more complete description of this, see:


Check links, ctype, includes and features and write macro definitions to the config.h file.



    configvar_check_ctypes("HAS_WCHAR", "wchar_t")
    configvar_check_cincludes("HAS_STRING_H", "string.h")
    configvar_check_cincludes("HAS_STRING_AND_STDIO_H", {"string.h", "stdio.h"})
    configvar_check_ctypes("HAS_WCHAR_AND_FLOAT", {"wchar_t", "float"})
    configvar_check_links("HAS_PTHREAD", {"pthread", "m", "dl"})
    configvar_check_csnippets("HAS_STATIC_ASSERT", "_Static_assert(1, \"\");")
    configvar_check_cfuncs("HAS_SETJMP", "setjmp", {includes = {"signal.h", "setjmp.h"}})
    configvar_check_features("HAS_CONSTEXPR", "cxx_constexpr")
    configvar_check_features("HAS_CONSEXPR_AND_STATIC_ASSERT", {"cxx_constexpr", "c_static_assert"}, {languages = "c++11"})

${define HAS_STRING_H}
${define HAS_WCHAR}
${define HAS_PTHREAD}
${define HAS_SETJMP}


/* #undef HAS_STRING_H */
/* #undef HAS_WCHAR */
/* #undef HAS_WCHAR_AND_FLOAT */
#define HAS_PTHREAD 1
#define HAS_SETJMP 1
/* #undef HAS_CONSTEXPR */


Set project name

Set the whole project name, we can set it at the beginning of xmake.lua.

-- set project name

-- set project version


Set project version

Set the whole project version, we can set it at the beginning of xmake.lua.


We can set build version in v2.1.7 version:

set_version("1.5.1", {build = "%Y%m%d%H%M"})

We can also add version to the config header files, @see add_configfiles


Set minimal xmake version

If the current xmake version less than the required version, it will prompt an error.

-- the current xmake version must be larger than 2.1.0


Add module directories

The builtin modules are placed in the 'xmake/modules' directory, but for user-defined modules for a specific project, you can configure additional module directories in the 'xmake.lua` file.


xmake will load the given module in the given directory when calling import.


Add plugin directories

The builtin plugins are placed in the 'xmake/plugins' directory, but for user-defined plugins for a specific project, you can configure additional plugin directories in the 'xmake.lua` file.


xmake will load all plugins in the given directory.


Add package directories

By setting up a dependency package directory, you can easily integrate some third-party dependent libraries.
Taking the tbox project as an example, its package directory is as follows:

- base.pkg
- zlib.pkg
- polarssl.pkg
- openssl.pkg
- mysql.pkg
- pcre.pkg
- ...

If you want the current project to load these packages, first specify the package directory path, for example:


Then, please add these packages to the given target by add_packages:

    add_packages("zlib", "polarssl", "pcre", "mysql")

xmake will check these packages automatically and link with them if they exist, and we can disable them manually.

$ xmake f --openssl=n


Get the configuration value

This interface is introduced from version 2.2.2 to get the configuration value from the given name.

if get_config("myconfig") == "xxx" then


Set the default configuration value

This interface is introduced from version 2.2.2 to set the default configuration value in xmake.lua.

Many previous configurations, including the build toolchain, build directory, etc.
We can only be configured by $xmake f --name=value. If we want to write a default value in xmake.lua, we can use the following method:

set_config("name", "value")
set_config("buildir", "other/buildir")
set_config("cc", "gcc")
set_config("ld", "g++")

However, we can still modify the default configuration in xmake.lua by $xmake f --name=value.


Add package dependencies

Xmake's dependency package management fully supports semantic version selection, for example: "~1.6.1". For a detailed description of semantic versioning, see:

Some examples:

add_requires("tbox 1.6.*", "pcre 8.x", "libpng ^1.18")
add_requires("libpng ~1.16", "zlib 1.1.2 || >=1.2.11 <1.3.0")

The semantic version parser currently used by xmake is the sv library contributed by uael, which also has a description of the version. For detailed instructions, please refer to the following: Version Description

Of course, if we have no special requirements for the version of the dependency package, we can omit the version:

add_requires("tbox", "libpng", "zlib")

This will use the latest known version of the package, or the source code compiled from the master branch. If the current package has a git repository address we can also specify a specific branch version:

add_requires("tbox master")
add_requires("tbox dev")

If the specified dependency package is not supported by the current platform, or if the compilation and installation fails, then xmake will exit with an error, which is reasonable for some projects that must rely on certain packages to work.
However, if some packages are optional dependencies, they can be set to optional packages even if they are not compiled properly.

add_requires("tbox", {optional = true})

With the default settings, xmake will first check to see if the system library exists (if no version is required). If the user does not want to use the system library and the library is provided by a third-party package manager, then you can set:

add_requires("tbox", {system = false})

If we want to debug the dependencies at the same time, we can set them to use the debug version of the package (provided that this package supports debug compilation):

add_requires("tbox", {debug = true})

If the current package does not support debug compilation, you can submit the modified compilation rules in the repository to support the debug, for example:

    on_install("linux", "macosx", function (package)
        os.vrun("./config %s --prefix=\"%s\"", package:debug() and "--debug" or "", package:installdir())
        os.vrun("make -j4")
        os.vrun("make install")

Some packages have various compile options at compile time, and we can pass them in. Of course, the package itself supports:

add_requires("tbox", {config = {small=true}})

Pass --small=true to the tbox package so that compiling the installed tbox package is enabled.
After v2.2.3, you can control whether you need to add a dependency package in your own definition configuration option parameter by option and has_config:

    set_description("Enable the luajit runtime engine.")

if has_config("luajit") then

We can switch dependencies by $xmake f --luajit=y.

And we also added the group parameter to group the dependencies, all the dependencies under the same group, only one can be enabled, the order of the dependencies is the same as the order in which they were added by add_requires:

add_requires("openssl", {group = "ssl", optional = true})
add_requires("mbedtls", {group = "ssl", optional = true})

    add_packages("openssl", "mbedtls")

After version 2.2.5, xmake supports third-party package managers, such as: conan, brew, vcpkg, etc.

Add a homebrew dependency package:

add_requires("brew::zlib", {alias = "zlib"}})
add_requires("brew::pcre2/libpcre2-8", {alias = "pcre2"}})

    add_packages("pcre2", "zlib")

Add a dependency package for vcpkg:

add_requires("vcpkg::zlib", "vcpkg::pcre2")

    add_packages("vcpkg::zlib", "vcpkg::pcre2")

Add a conan dependency package:

add_requires("conan::zlib/1.2.11", {alias = "zlib", debug = true})
add_requires("conan::openssl/1.1.1g", {alias = "openssl",
    configs = {options = "OpenSSL:shared=True"}})

    add_packages("openssl", "zlib")

After executing xmake to compile:

ruki:test_package ruki$ xmake
checking for the architecture ... x86_64
checking for the Xcode directory ... /Applications/
checking for the SDK version of Xcode ... 10.14
note: try installing these packages (pass -y to skip confirm)?
  -> conan::zlib/1.2.11  (debug)
  -> conan::openssl/1.1.1g
please input: y (y/n)

  => installing conan::zlib/1.2.11 .. ok
  => installing conan::openssl/1.1.1g .. ok

[  0%]: ccache compiling.release src/main.c
[100%]: linking.release test

We can see to know more details.

Add a clib dependency package:

Clib is a source-based dependency package manager. The dependent package is downloaded directly to the corresponding library source code, integrated into the project to compile, rather than binary library dependencies.

It is also very convenient to integrate in xmake. The only thing to note is that you need to add the source code of the corresponding library to xmake.lua, for example:

add_requires("clib::clibs/bytes@0.0.4", {alias = "bytes"})



Set the configuration of the specified dependent package

This is a newly added interface after v2.5.1. We can use it to expand and rewrite the configuration of the package defined by add_requires() and its dependent packages. It has the following uses.

Expand the configuration of the specified package

This is the basic usage. For example, we have declared a package through add_requires("zlib"), and want to expand the configuration of this zlib later and change it to dynamic library compilation. You can configure it in the following way.

add_requireconfs("zlib", {configs = {shared = true}})

It is equivalent to

add_requires("zlib", {configs = {shared = true}})
Set general default configuration

The above usage, we still don't see any practical use, we can look at the following example first:

add_requireconfs("*", {configs = {shared = true}})
add_requires("libcurl", {configs = {shared = false}})

For the above configuration, we use pattern matching through add_requireconfs("*", {configs = {shared = true}}) to set all dependent packages to compile and install dynamic libraries by default.

However, we used add_requires("libcurl", {configs = {shared = false}}) to configure libcurl to compile and install static libraries.

The final configuration result is: zlib/pcre/libpng/libwebp is a shared library, and libcurl is a static library.

Through pattern matching, we can put some common configurations of each package into the unified add_requireconfs to pre-configure, which greatly simplifies the definition of each add_requires.

!> By default, for the same configuration, xmake will give priority to the configuration in add_requires instead of add_requireconfs.

If the version is set in add_requires("zlib 1.2.11"), the configuration of add_requires will be used first, and the version configuration in add_requireconfs will be completely ignored. Of course, we can also completely override the version specified in add_requires through override .

add_requires("zlib 1.2.11")
add_requireconfs("zlib", {override = true, version = "1.2.10"})
Rewrite package dependency configuration

In fact, the biggest use of add_requireconfs is to allow users to rewrite the configuration of specific dependent packages of the installation package.

What does it mean? For example, our project integrates the package libpng and uses a dynamic library version, but the zlib library that libpng depends on is actually a static library version.

add_requires("libpng", {configs = {shared = true}})

So if we want to change the zlib package that libpng depends on to be compiled as a dynamic library, how should we configure it? This requires add_requireconfs.

add_requires("libpng", {configs = {shared = true}})
add_requireconfs("libpng.zlib", {configs = {shared = true}})

Through the writing method of libpng.zlib dependency path, specify an internal dependency and rewrite the internal dependency configuration.

If the dependency path is deep, such as the dependency chain of foo -> bar -> xyz, we can write:

We can also rewrite the internal zlib library version that libpng depends on:

add_requireconfs("libpng.zlib", {version = "1.2.10"})
Pattern matching for cascading dependencies

If a package has a lot of dependencies, and the dependency level is also very deep, what to do, for example, the package libwebp, its dependencies are:

  - libpng
    - zlib
    - cmake
  - libjpeg
  - libtiff
    - zlib
  - giflib
  - cmake

If I want to rewrite all the dependent libraries in libwebp to add specific configuration, then the configuration one by one will be very cumbersome. At this time, the recursive dependency pattern matching of add_requireconfs() is needed to support.

add_requireconfs("libwebp.**|cmake", {configs = {cxflags = "-DTEST"}})

In the above configuration, we added -DTEST to compile all the library dependencies in libwebp, but the cmake dependency is a build tool dependency, and we can exclude it by way of |xxx.

The pattern matching here is very similar to add_files().

We are giving a few examples. For example, this time we only rewrite the single-level dependency configuration under libwebp to enable the debugging library:

add_requireconfs("libwebp.*|cmake", {debug = true})


Add 3rd package repositories

If the required package is not in the official repository xmake-repo, we can submit the contribution code to the repository for support.
But if some packages are only for personal or private projects, we can create a private repository repo. The repository organization structure can be found at: xmake-repo

For example, now we have a private repository repo:``

We can add through this interface:


If we just want to add one or two private packages, this time to build a git repository is too big, we can directly put the package repository into the project, for example:

  - myrepo
    - packages
      - t/tbox/xmake.lua
      - z/zlib/xmake.lua
  - src
    - main.c
  - xmake.lua

The above myrepo directory is your own private package repository, built into your own project, and then add this repository location in xmake.lua:

add_repositories("my-repo myrepo")

This can be referred to benchbox project, which has a built-in private repository.