Customizing CMake modules

The script assembles modules listed in autocmake.yml into CMakeLists.txt. Those that are fetched from the web are placed inside downloaded/. You have several options to customize downloaded CMake modules:

Directly inside the generated directory

The CMake modules can be customized directly inside downloaded/ but this is the least elegant solution since the customizations may be overwritten by the script (use version control).

Adapt local copies of CMake modules

A slightly better solution is to download the CMake modules that you wish you customize to a separate directory (e.g. custom/) and source the customized CMake modules in autocmake.yml. Alternatively you can serve your custom modules from your own http server.

Fork and branch the CMake modules

You can fork and branch the mainline Autocmake development and include the branched customized versions. This will make it easier for you to stay up-to-date with upstream development.

Overriding settings

If you source a module which contains directives such as define, docopt, export, or fetch, and you wish to modify those, then you can override these settings in autocmake.yml. Settings in autocmake.yml take precedence over settings imported by a sourced module.

As an example consider the Boost module which defines and uses interpolation variables major, minor, patch, and components, see

The recommended way to customize these is in autocmake.yml, e.g.:

Create own CMake modules

Of course you can also create own modules and source them in autocmake.yml.

Contribute customizations to the “standard library”

If you think that your customization will be useful for other users as well, you may consider contributing the changes directly to We very much encourage such contributions. But we also strive for generality and portability.