xmake is a cross-platform build utility based on lua.

The project focuses on making development and building easier and provides many features (e.g package, install, plugin, macro, action, option, task ...), so that any developer can quickly pick it up and enjoy a productivity boost when developing and building projects.

If you want to know more, please refer to:

Programming language: Lua
License: Apache License 2.0
Tags: GUI     Cross-platform     Lua     Build Tools     C++    
Latest version: v2.7.3

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A cross-platform build utility based on Lua Modern C/C++ build tool: Simple, Fast, Powerful dependency package integration

Support this project

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Technical Support

You can also consider sponsoring us to get extra technical support services via the Github sponsor program, This gives you access to the xmake-io/technical-support repository, where you can get more information on consulting.

  • [x] Handling Issues with higher priority
  • [x] One-to-one technical consulting service
  • [x] Review your xmake.lua and provide suggestions for improvement

Introduction (中文)

Xmake is a lightweight, cross-platform build utility based on Lua.

It is very lightweight and has no dependencies due to the integration of the Lua runtime.

It uses xmake.lua to maintain project builds with a very simple and readable syntax.

We can use it to build projects directly like Make/Ninja or generate project files like CMake/Meson. It also has a built-in package management system to help users integrate C/C++ dependencies.

Xmake = Build backend + Project Generator + Package Manager + [Remote|Distributed] Build + Cache

Although not very precise, we can still understand Xmake in the following way:

Xmake ~= Make/Ninja + CMake/Meson + Vcpkg/Conan + distcc + ccache/sccache

If you want to know more, please refer to: Documents, Github and Gitee. You are also welcome to join our community.


via curl

bash <(curl -fsSL https://xmake.io/shget.text)

via wget

bash <(wget https://xmake.io/shget.text -O -)

via powershell

Invoke-Expression (Invoke-Webrequest 'https://xmake.io/psget.text' -UseBasicParsing).Content

Other installation methods

If you don't want to use the script to install xmake, see Installation Guide for other installation methods.

Simple description

Package dependences

An official xmake package repository exists at: xmake-repo

Create project

$ xmake create hello
$ cd hello

Build project

$ xmake

Run target

$ xmake run console

Debug target

$ xmake run -d console

Configure platform

$ xmake f -p [windows|linux|macosx|android|iphoneos ..] -a [x86|arm64 ..] -m [debug|release]
$ xmake

Menu configuration

$ xmake f --menu

Build as fast as ninja

The test project: xmake-core

Multi-task parallel compilation

buildsystem Termux (8core/-j12) buildsystem MacOS (8core/-j12)
xmake 24.890s xmake 12.264s
ninja 25.682s ninja 11.327s
cmake(gen+make) 5.416s+28.473s cmake(gen+make) 1.203s+14.030s
cmake(gen+ninja) 4.458s+24.842s cmake(gen+ninja) 0.988s+11.644s

Single task compilation

buildsystem Termux (-j1) buildsystem MacOS (-j1)
xmake 1m57.707s xmake 39.937s
ninja 1m52.845s ninja 38.995s
cmake(gen+make) 5.416s+2m10.539s cmake(gen+make) 1.203s+41.737s
cmake(gen+ninja) 4.458s+1m54.868s cmake(gen+ninja) 0.988s+38.022s

Package management

Processing architecture

Supported package repositories

  • Official package repository xmake-repo (tbox >1.6.1)
  • Official package manager Xrepo
  • User-built repositories
  • Conan (conan::openssl/1.1.1g)
  • Conda (conda::libpng 1.3.67)
  • Vcpkg (vcpkg::ffmpeg)
  • Homebrew/Linuxbrew (brew::pcre2/libpcre2-8)
  • Pacman on archlinux/msys2 (pacman::libcurl)
  • Apt on ubuntu/debian (apt::zlib1g-dev)
  • Clib (clib::clibs/[email protected])
  • Dub (dub::log 0.4.3)
  • Portage on Gentoo/Linux (portage::libhandy)
  • Nimble for nimlang (nimble::zip >1.3)
  • Cargo for rust (cargo::base64 0.13.0)

Package management features

  • The official repository provides nearly 700+ packages with one-click compilation on all platforms
  • Full platform package support, support for cross-compiled dependent packages
  • Support package virtual environment using xrepo env shell
  • Precompiled package acceleration for Windows
  • Support self-built package repositories and private repository deployment
  • Third-party package repository support for repositories such as: vcpkg, conan, conda, etc.
  • Supports automatic pulling of remote toolchains
  • Supports dependency version locking

Supported platforms

  • Windows (x86, x64)
  • macOS (i386, x86_64, arm64)
  • Linux (i386, x86_64, cross-toolchains ..)
  • *BSD (i386, x86_64)
  • Android (x86, x86_64, armeabi, armeabi-v7a, arm64-v8a)
  • iOS (armv7, armv7s, arm64, i386, x86_64)
  • WatchOS (armv7k, i386)
  • AppleTVOS (armv7, arm64, i386, x86_64)
  • MSYS (i386, x86_64)
  • MinGW (i386, x86_64, arm, arm64)
  • Cygwin (i386, x86_64)
  • Wasm (wasm32)
  • Cross (cross-toolchains ..)

Supported toolchains

$ xmake show -l toolchains
xcode         Xcode IDE
msvc          Microsoft Visual C/C++ Compiler
clang-cl      LLVM Clang C/C++ Compiler compatible with msvc
yasm          The Yasm Modular Assembler
clang         A C language family frontend for LLVM
go            Go Programming Language Compiler
dlang         D Programming Language Compiler
gfortran      GNU Fortran Programming Language Compiler
zig           Zig Programming Language Compiler
sdcc          Small Device C Compiler
cuda          CUDA Toolkit (nvcc, nvc, nvc++, nvfortran)
ndk           Android NDK
rust          Rust Programming Language Compiler
swift         Swift Programming Language Compiler
llvm          A collection of modular and reusable compiler and toolchain technologies
cross         Common cross compilation toolchain
nasm          NASM Assembler
gcc           GNU Compiler Collection
mingw         Minimalist GNU for Windows
gnu-rm        GNU Arm Embedded Toolchain
envs          Environment variables toolchain
fasm          Flat Assembler
tinycc        Tiny C Compiler
emcc          A toolchain for compiling to asm.js and WebAssembly
icc           Intel C/C++ Compiler
ifort         Intel Fortran Compiler
muslcc        The musl-based cross-compilation toolchain
fpc           Free Pascal Programming Language Compiler
wasi          WASI-enabled WebAssembly C/C++ toolchain
nim           Nim Programming Language Compiler
circle        A new C++20 compiler
armcc         ARM Compiler Version 5 of Keil MDK
armclang      ARM Compiler Version 6 of Keil MDK
c51           Keil development tools for the 8051 Microcontroller Architecture
icx           Intel LLVM C/C++ Compiler
dpcpp         Intel LLVM C++ Compiler for data parallel programming model based on Khronos SYCL

Supported Languages

  • C
  • C++
  • Objective-C and Objective-C++
  • Swift
  • Assembly
  • Golang
  • Rust
  • Dlang
  • Fortran
  • Cuda
  • Zig
  • Vala
  • Pascal
  • Nim

Supported Features

  • The configuration grammar is simple and easy to use
  • Quick, dependency-free installation
  • One-click compilation for all platforms
  • Supports cross compilation with intelligent analysis of cross toolchain information
  • Extremely fast parallel compilation support
  • C++20 module support
  • Supports cross-platform C/C++ dependencies with built-in package manager
  • Multi-language compilation support including mixed-language projects.
  • Rich plug-in support with various project generators (ex. vs/makefile/cmakelists/compile_commands)
  • REPL interactive execution support
  • Incremental compilation support with automatic analysis of header files
  • Quick toolchain management
  • A large number of expansion modules
  • Remote compilation support
  • Distributed compilation support
  • Local and remote build cache support

Supported Projects

  • Static Library
  • Shared Library
  • Console
  • Cuda Program
  • Qt Application
  • WDK Driver (umdf/kmdf/wdm)
  • WinSDK Application
  • MFC Application
  • iOS/MacOS Application (Support .metal)
  • Framework and Bundle Program (iOS/MacOS)
  • SWIG Modules (Lua, python, ...)
  • Luarocks Modules
  • Protobuf Program
  • Lex/yacc program
  • C++20 Modules
  • Linux Kernel Driver Modules

Distributed Compilation

  • [x] Cross-platform support
  • [x] Support for msvc, clang, gcc and cross-compilation toolchain
  • [x] Support for building android, ios, linux, win, macOS programs
  • [x] No dependencies other than the compilation toolchain
  • [x] Support for build server load balancing scheduling
  • [x] Support for real time compressed transfer of large files (lz4)
  • [x] Almost zero configuration cost, no shared filesystem required, more convenience and security

About distributed compilation and build cache, you can see:

Remote Compilation

For more details see: Remote Compilation

More Examples

Debug and release profiles

add_rules("mode.debug", "mode.release")

    if is_mode("debug") then

Custom scripts

    after_build(function (target)
        print("hello: %s", target:name())
        os.exec("echo %s", target:targetfile())

Automatic integration of dependent packages

Download and use packages in xmake-repo or third-party repositories:

add_requires("tbox >1.6.1", "libuv master", "vcpkg::ffmpeg", "brew::pcre2/libpcre2-8")
add_requires("conan::openssl/1.1.1g", {alias = "openssl", optional = true, debug = true})
    add_packages("tbox", "libuv", "vcpkg::ffmpeg", "brew::pcre2/libpcre2-8", "openssl")

In addition, we can also use the xrepo command to quickly install dependencies.

Qt QuickApp Program


Cuda Program


WDK/UMDF Driver Program

    add_rules("wdk.driver", "wdk.env.umdf")

    add_rules("wdk.binary", "wdk.env.umdf")

More wdk driver program examples exist (umdf/kmdf/wdm), please see WDK Program Examples

iOS/MacOS Application

    add_files("src/*.m", "src/**.storyboard", "src/*.xcassets")

Framework and Bundle Program (iOS/MacOS)

    add_rules("xcode.framework") -- or xcode.bundle

OpenMP Program

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

Zig Program


Automatically fetch remote toolchain

fetch a special version of llvm

We use Clang in llvm-10 to compile the project.

add_requires("llvm 10.x", {alias = "llvm-10"})

Fetch cross-compilation toolchain

We can also pull a specified cross-compilation toolchain to compile the project.


Fetch toolchain and packages

We can also use the specified muslcc cross-compilation toolchain to compile and integrate all dependent packages

add_requires("zlib", "libogg", {system = false})


    add_packages("zlib", "libogg")


Generate IDE project file plugin(makefile, vs2002 - vs2022 .. )

$ xmake project -k vsxmake -m "debug,release" # New vsproj generator (Recommended)
$ xmake project -k vs -m "debug,release"
$ xmake project -k cmake
$ xmake project -k ninja
$ xmake project -k compile_commands

Run a custom lua script plugin

$ xmake l ./test.lua
$ xmake l -c "print('hello xmake!')"
$ xmake l lib.detect.find_tool gcc
$ xmake l
> print("hello xmake!")
> {1, 2, 3}
< {

More builtin plugins exist, please see: Builtin plugins

Please download and install other plugins from the plugins repository xmake-plugins.

IDE/Editor Integration

XMake Gradle Plugin (JNI)

We can use the xmake-gradle plugin to compile JNI libraries via gradle.

plugins {
  id 'org.tboox.gradle-xmake-plugin' version '1.1.5'

android {
    externalNativeBuild {
        xmake {
            path "jni/xmake.lua"

The xmakeBuild task will be injected into the assemble task automatically if the gradle-xmake-plugin has been applied.

$ ./gradlew app:assembleDebug
> Task :nativelib:xmakeConfigureForArm64
> Task :nativelib:xmakeBuildForArm64
>> xmake build
[ 50%]: ccache compiling.debug nativelib.cc
[ 75%]: linking.debug libnativelib.so
[100%]: build ok!
>> install artifacts to /Users/ruki/projects/personal/xmake-gradle/nativelib/libs/arm64-v8a
> Task :nativelib:xmakeConfigureForArmv7
> Task :nativelib:xmakeBuildForArmv7
>> xmake build
[ 50%]: ccache compiling.debug nativelib.cc
[ 75%]: linking.debug libnativelib.so
[100%]: build ok!
>> install artifacts to /Users/ruki/projects/personal/xmake-gradle/nativelib/libs/armeabi-v7a
> Task :nativelib:preBuild
> Task :nativelib:assemble
> Task :app:assembleDebug

CI Integration

GitHub Action

We can use github-action-setup-xmake to setup Xmake in Github Actions.

uses: xmake-io/github-action-setup-xmake@v1
  xmake-version: latest

Who is using Xmake?

The user list is available here

If you are using xmake, you are welcome to submit your information to the above list through a PR, so that others can know how many users are using it.

This also let users use xmake more confidently and give us motivation to continue to maintain it. This will help the xmake project and it's community to grow stronger.



This project exists thanks to all the people who have [contributed](CONTRIBUTING.md):

  • TitanSnow: provide the xmake logo and install scripts
  • uael: provide the semantic versioning library sv
  • OpportunityLiu: improve cuda, tests and ci
  • xq144: Improve xrepo env shell, and contribute a lot of packages to the xmake-repo repository.
  • enderger: Helped smooth out the edges on the English translation of the README

*Note that all licence references and agreements mentioned in the xmake README section above are relevant to that project's source code only.