Hunter: organize freedom

Warning

Documentation is in process of migrating from GitHub wiki. Some information may be missing: blank pages, broken links, etc. See issue #667 for details.

Welcome to the Hunter package manager documentation!

Hunter is a CMake-driven cross-platform package manager for C++ [1] projects. With the help of Hunter you can organize builds for Linux, OS X, Windows, iOS, Android, and Raspberry Pi. Third-party external projects are highly customizable, effectively allowing you to have myriad variants of directories with them based on combinations of version to build, static/shared, CMake -D options, Release/Debug, etc.

Separate root directories will be created for each variant, so they all can be used simultaneously on one machine without conflicts (just like virtualenv but automatically). Going further: each such root directory can be shared between several local projects if configuration of externals matches. So when you are starting another project from scratch and use the same external packages, there will be no additional copy or build triggered; the only overhead is checking the existence of a DONE stamp file for each package. In case your local environment is similar enough to the continuous integration environment of Travis/AppVeyor service, then build will not be triggered at all - cached binaries will be downloaded from GitHub server instead.

Mainly Hunter is designed to manage packages with CMake build system under the hood and existing CMake packages can be quite easily integrated into system, but non-CMake packages are also supported too using custom templates (build schemes) with ExternalProject_Add command(s).

The Hunter client is a collection of CMake-only modules (i.e. it’s not a binary like apt-get or script like brew) so it supports out-of-the-box all platforms/generators/IDEs which CMake can handle, like Visual Studio, Xcode, QtCreator, NMake, Ninja, Cygwin or MinGW. It works fine with CMake-GUI too.

The prime directive used for adding package to the current root is hunter_add_package which companioning CMake’s find_package. For example:

hunter_add_package(Boost COMPONENTS system filesystem iostreams)
find_package(Boost CONFIG REQUIRED system filesystem iostreams)

Sounds interesting? Keep reading!

[1]C++ is the main goal, works for other types as well. See Manage anything.