Abseil CMake Build Instructions

Abseil comes with a CMake build script (CMakeLists.txt) that can be used on a wide range of platforms (“C” stands for cross-platform.). If you don't have CMake installed already, you can download it for free from https://www.cmake.org/.

CMake works by generating native makefiles or build projects that can be used in the compiler environment of your choice.

For API/ABI compatibility reasons, we strongly recommend building Abseil in a subdirectory of your project or as an embedded dependency.

Incorporating Abseil Into a CMake Project

The recommendations below are similar to those for using CMake within the googletest framework (https://github.com/google/googletest/blob/master/googletest/README.md#incorporating-into-an-existing-cmake-project)

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. If you want to build the Abseil tests, integrate the Abseil dependency Google Test into your CMake project. To disable Abseil tests, you have to pass -DBUILD_TESTING=OFF when configuring your project with CMake.

  2. Download Abseil and copy it into a subdirectory in your CMake project or add Abseil as a git submodule in your CMake project.

  3. You can then use the CMake command add_subdirectory() to include Abseil directly in your CMake project.

  4. Add the absl:: target you wish to use to the target_link_libraries() section of your executable or of your library.
    Here is a short CMakeLists.txt example of a project file using Abseil.

cmake_minimum_required(VERSION 3.5)

# Pick the C++ standard to compile with.
# Abseil currently supports C++11, C++14, and C++17.


add_executable(my_exe source.cpp)
target_link_libraries(my_exe absl::base absl::synchronization absl::strings)

Running Abseil Tests with CMake

Use the -DABSL_RUN_TESTS=ON flag to run Abseil tests. Note that if the -DBUILD_TESTING=OFF flag is passed then Abseil tests will not be run.

You will need to provide Abseil with a Googletest dependency. There are two options for how to do this:

For example, to run just the Abseil tests, you could use this script:

cd path/to/abseil-cpp
mkdir build
cd build
make -j

Currently, we only run our tests with CMake in a Linux environment, but we are working on the rest of our supported platforms. See https://github.com/abseil/abseil-cpp/projects/1 and https://github.com/abseil/abseil-cpp/issues/109 for more information.

Available Abseil CMake Public Targets

Here's a non-exhaustive list of Abseil CMake public targets: