Streamline Your Build Process with CMake: Here`s How to Run CMake Clean in Minutes

Table of content

  1. Introduction
  2. Understanding CMake
  3. Benefits of Streamlining Your Build Process with CMake
  4. Running CMake Clean
  5. Tips and Tricks for Successful CMake Clean
  6. Conclusion


CMake is a cross-platform build system that helps developers create simple and efficient build processes for their projects. When creating an Android application, the build process can be complex and time-consuming, but CMake can help streamline the process and make it more efficient. One important aspect of the CMake process is cleaning up after each build, which can save time and prevent issues from arising in subsequent builds. In this article, we'll explore how to use CMake to clean up your Android build process and reduce the time it takes to complete. We'll also cover some of the benefits of using CMake for Android development and provide some helpful tips for getting started with this powerful tool. So, whether you're a seasoned Android developer or just getting started with app development, read on to learn how to streamline your build process with CMake!

Understanding CMake

CMake is a powerful build automation tool that can simplify the process of building complex Android applications. It works by generating makefiles or project files that can be used across different platforms like Windows, macOS, and Linux. CMake is primarily used to configure the build process of an application, and it allows developers to specify how their code should be compiled, linked, and packaged.

Here are a few key concepts to help you understand CMake:

  • CMakeLists.txt: This is the main configuration file for CMake. It contains information on the source files, dependencies, libraries, and other parameters that are required to build the application using CMake.
  • Target: A target is an output of the build process. It can be an executable, a shared library, or a static library. Targets are created using the add_executable() and add_library() commands in the CMakeLists.txt file.
  • Generator: A generator is a tool or framework that is used to generate project files or makefiles from the CMakeLists.txt file. Popular generators include Unix Makefiles, Visual Studio, and Xcode.

When you run CMake, it generates a build directory that contains all the necessary files to build the target. Some of the files include object files, header files, and binaries. It's a good practice to keep the build directory separate from the source directory to avoid cluttering the project with build-related files.

In the next section, we’ll explore how to use CMake to clean the build directory and streamline the build process.

Benefits of Streamlining Your Build Process with CMake

If you're an Android app developer, you know that compiling and building your project can take a lot of time and effort. Fortunately, using a build automation tool like CMake can help streamline your build process and make it more efficient. Here are a few benefits of using CMake to streamline your build process:

  1. Simplifies project configuration: CMake uses a simple and easy-to-read scripting language to configure your project's build process. This can make it easier to manage and maintain your project, especially if you have a large codebase with multiple dependencies.

  2. Ease of cross-platform development: CMake is designed to work across multiple platforms, so you can use it to build your Android app on a variety of target platforms. This can save you time and effort in setting up your development environment and allows you to focus on your core application logic.

  3. Enables modular build system: With CMake, you can break your project into smaller, more manageable modules, each with its own build configuration. This can help you to build and test your app more easily and to debug issues more effectively.

  4. Automates the build process: CMake can automate the build process, which means you can run it in the background while you focus on other tasks. This can save you time and improve your productivity.

Overall, if you're looking to streamline your build process and make your Android app development more efficient, using CMake is a great place to start. With its ease of use, cross-platform compatibility, modular build system, and automation capabilities, it can help you to save time and effort while also improving the quality and reliability of your app.

Running CMake Clean

When working on a project with CMake, it's common to make changes to the codebase that require a clean build to ensure everything is up-to-date. Here's how to run CMake clean in a few simple steps:

  1. Open your terminal or command prompt.
  2. Navigate to your project directory using the cd command.
  3. Once you're in the project directory, run the following command: cmake --build . --target clean.

This command will clean the build directory for your project by removing all compiled files, such as object files and shared libraries.

Keep in mind that will remove all compiled files, so it's important to make sure you've saved any changes you want to keep before executing this command. Additionally, if you have any custom scripts or configurations set up for your build process, you may need to rerun these after cleaning the build directory.

By regularly , you can ensure your build process stays streamlined and your codebase stays up-to-date.

Tips and Tricks for Successful CMake Clean

Running the CMake clean process doesn't have to be a complicated or time-consuming task. Here are a few tips and tricks to help streamline the process and ensure a successful outcome:

  1. Understand what CMake clean does. Before you begin, it's important to understand exactly what the CMake clean process does. Essentially, it removes all of the files generated by CMake during the build process, including any cached files, object files, and library files. This helps ensure a clean slate for your next build.

  2. Be aware of file dependencies. One common issue that can arise during the CMake clean process is the accidental removal of important files that your project depends on. To avoid this, make sure you're familiar with your project's file dependencies and take steps to ensure that these files aren't accidentally deleted during the clean process.

  3. Use the right command. There are several different commands you can use to perform a clean build with CMake, including make clean, ninja-clean, and clean_all. Make sure you're using the right command for your specific use case – for example, make clean is typically used for CMake projects that use Makefiles, while ninja-clean is used for projects that use the Ninja build system.

  4. Consider using a script. If you find yourself running the CMake clean process frequently, it might be worth creating a script that automates the process for you. This can help save time and reduce errors caused by manual input.

By following these tips and tricks, you can help ensure that your CMake clean process is as smooth and successful as possible, allowing you to focus on building great Android applications with confidence.


CMake is an essential tool for Android developers as it allows them to streamline their build process and ensure that their applications are built correctly. In this article, we've covered some of the key features of CMake, including how to use it to clean your project files in just a few minutes. By using CMake to manage your project files, you can quickly and easily identify and fix any build issues, which can save you time and money in the long run.

We've also covered how to use CMake to set up your build environment, configure your target architecture and build type, and manage your project dependencies. These are all crucial aspects of Android application development, and understanding how to use CMake effectively can help you to produce high-quality applications that meet the needs of your users.

Finally, we've provided some tips and best practices for using CMake in your Android development workflow. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your projects are well-organized, easy to manage, and built to the highest standards. Whether you're a seasoned developer or just getting started with Android development, CMake is an essential tool that can help you to produce great applications with ease.

Cloud Computing and DevOps Engineering have always been my driving passions, energizing me with enthusiasm and a desire to stay at the forefront of technological innovation. I take great pleasure in innovating and devising workarounds for complex problems. Drawing on over 8 years of professional experience in the IT industry, with a focus on Cloud Computing and DevOps Engineering, I have a track record of success in designing and implementing complex infrastructure projects from diverse perspectives, and devising strategies that have significantly increased revenue. I am currently seeking a challenging position where I can leverage my competencies in a professional manner that maximizes productivity and exceeds expectations.
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