The C++ Application Plugin provides the tasks, configurations and conventions for a building C++ application.

Usage

Example 1. Applying the C++ Application Plugin
build.gradle
plugins {
    id 'cpp-application'
}
build.gradle.kts
plugins {
    `cpp-application`
}

Build variants

The C++ Application Plugin understands the following dimensions. Read the introduction to build variants for more information.

Build types - always either debug or release

The build type controls the debuggability as well as the optimization of the generated binaries.

  • debug - Generate debug symbols and don’t optimized the binary

  • release - Generate debug symbols and optimize, but extract the debug symbols from the binary

Target machines - defaults to the build host

The target machine expresses which machines the application expects to run. A target machine is identified by its operating system and architecture. Gradle uses the target machine to decide which tool chain to choose based on availability on the host machine.

The target machine can be configured as follows:

Example 2. Configure application target machines
build.gradle
application {
    targetMachines = [
        machines.linux.x86_64,
        machines.windows.x86, machines.windows.x86_64,
        machines.macOS.x86_64
    ]
}
build.gradle.kts
application {
    targetMachines.set(listOf(machines.linux.x86_64,
        machines.windows.x86, machines.windows.x86_64,
        machines.macOS.x86_64))
}

Tasks

The following diagram shows the relationships between tasks added by this plugin.

cpp application task graph
Figure 1. C++ Application Plugin default task graph

Variant-dependent Tasks

The C++ Application Plugin creates tasks based on the variants of the application component. Read the introduction to build variants for more information. The following diagram shows the relationship between variant-dependent tasks.

cpp application variant task graph
Figure 2. C++ Application Plugin variant-dependent task graph
compileVariantCpp (e.g. compileDebugCpp and compileReleaseCpp) - CppCompile

Depends on: All tasks that contribute source files to the compilation

Compiles C++ source files using the selected compiler.

linkVariant (e.g. linkDebug and linkRelease) - LinkExecutable

Depends on: All tasks which contribute to the link executable, including linkVariant and createVariant tasks from projects that are resolved via project dependencies

Links executable from compiled object files using the selected linker.

installVariant (e.g. installDebug and installRelease) - InstallExecutable

Depends on: linkVariant and all tasks which contribute to the runtime of the executable, including linkVariant tasks from projects that are resolved via project dependencies

Installs the executable and all of it’s runtime dependencies for easy execution.

assembleVariant (e.g. assembleDebug and assembleRelease) - Task (lifecycle)

Depends on: linkVariant

Aggregates tasks that assemble the specific variant of this application.

Lifecycle Tasks

The C++ Application Plugin attaches some of its tasks to the standard lifecycle tasks documented in the Base Plugin chapter - which the C++ Application Plugin applies automatically:

assemble - Task (lifecycle)

Depends on: linkDebug

Aggregate task that assembles the debug variant of the application for the current host (if present) in the project. This task is added by the Base Plugin.

check - Task (lifecycle)

Aggregate task that performs verification tasks, such as running the tests. Some plugins add their own verification task to check. For example, the C++ Unit Test Plugin attaches a task to this lifecycle task to run tests. This task is added by the Base Plugin.

build - Task (lifecycle)

Depends on: check, assemble

Aggregate tasks that perform a full build of the project. This task is added by the Base Plugin.

clean - Delete

Deletes the build directory and everything in it, i.e. the path specified by the Project.getBuildDir() project property. This task is added by the Base Plugin.

Dependency management

Just like the tasks created by the C++ Application Plugin, multiple configurations are created based on the variants of the application component. Read the introduction to build variants for more information. The following graph describes the configurations added by the C++ Application Plugin:

cpp application configurations
Figure 3. C++ Application Plugin configurations
  • The configurations in white are the ones a user should use to declare dependencies

  • The configurations in pink, also known as consumable denoted by (C), are the ones used when a component runs against the library

  • The configurations in blue, also known as resolvable denoted by (R), are internal to the component, for its own use

The following configurations are used to declare dependencies:

implementation

Used for declaring implementation dependencies for all variants of the main component. This is where you should declare dependencies of any variants.

mainVariantImplementation (e.g. mainDebugImplementation and mainReleaseImplementation) extends implementation

Used for declaring implementation dependencies for a specific variant of the main component. This is where you should declare dependencies of the specific variant.

The following configurations are used by downstream consumers that depend on the application component:

variantRuntimeElements (e.g. debugRuntimeElements and releaseRuntimeElements) extends `mainVariantImplementation

Used for executing the application. This configuration is meant to be used by consumers, to retrieve all the elements necessary to run the application.

The following configurations are used by the application itself:

cppCompileVariant (e.g. cppCompileDebug and cppCompileRelease) extends mainVariantImplementation

Used for compiling the application. This configuration contains the compile include roots of the application and is therefore used when invoking the C++ compiler to compile it.

nativeLinkVariant (e.g. nativeLinkDebug and nativeLinkRelease) extends mainVariantImplementation

Used for linking the application. This configuration contains the libraries of the application and is therefore used when invoking the C++ linker to link it.

nativeRuntimeVariant (e.g. nativeRuntimeDebug and nativeRuntimeRelease) extends mainVariantImplementation

Used for executing the application. This configuration contains the runtime libraries of the application.

Conventions

The C++ Application Plugin adds conventions for sources and tasks, shown below.

Project layout

The C++ Application Plugin assumes the project layout shown below. None of these directories need to exist or have anything in them. The C++ Application Plugin will compile whatever it finds and ignore anything missing.

src/main/cpp

C++ source with extension of .cpp, .c++ or .cc

src/main/headers

Headers - headers needed to compile the application

You configure the project layout by configuring the source and privateHeaders respectively on the application script block.

compileVariantCpp Task

The C++ Application Plugin adds a CppCompile instance for each variant of the application component to build (e.g. compileDebugCpp and compileReleaseCpp). Read the introduction to build variants for more information. Some of the most common configuration options are shown below.

compilerArgs

[]

debuggable

true

includes

configurations.cppCompileVariant + application.privateHeaders

macros

[:]

objectFileDir

$buildDir/obj/main/variant

optimized

false for debug build type or true otherwise

positionIndependentCode

false

source

application.cppSource

systemIncludes

derived from the tool chain

targetPlatform

derived from the TargetMachine of the binary

toolChain

automatically selected based on target machine

The C++ Application Plugin adds a LinkExecutable instance for each variant of the application - e.g. linkDebug and linkRelease. Read the introduction to build variants for more information. Some of the most common configuration options are shown below.

debuggable

true

libs

configurations.nativeLinkVariant

linkedFile

$buildDir/exe/main/variant/baseName (*nix) or $buildDir\exe\main\variant\baseName.exe (Windows)

linkerArgs

[]

source

compileVariantCpp.objects

targetPlatform

derived from the TargetMachine of the binary

toolChain

automatically selected based on target machine

installVariant Task

The C++ Application Plugin adds a InstallExecutable instance for each variant of the test component - e.g. installDebug and installRelease. Read the introduction to build variants for more information. There is no need to configure any properties on the task.