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CMake 2.6.2 includes a new module called 'BundleUtilities'. This module is intended to make the task of creating a fully standalone OS X application bundle much easier than before. It still requires some setup on your part though. In CMake 2.8, the module was ported to Linux and Windows. In this example we will walk through the necessary files and CMake code that are needed to use the 'BundleUtilities.cmake' effectively. Get the project Media:QtTest-Package-Example.zip‎.

Basic Flow

The CMake code in the example does a few things.

  • It has install commands for targets built by the CMake code.
  • It has an install command for Qt plugins
  • It has an install command for creating a qt.conf file
  • It has an install command for executing CMake code at install time. This code uses BundleUtilities which gathers and includes prerequisites into the application bundle. On Mac OS X, BundleUtilities also modifies the install names.

Additions to your CMakeLists.txt File

A simpler version of this example would have something like:

set(APPS ...)  # paths to executables
set(DIRS ...)   # directories to search for prerequisites
   fixup_bundle(\"${APPS}\"   \"\"   \"${DIRS}\")
   " COMPONENT Runtime)

But since we include Qt plugins, we use the second argument to fixup_bundle().

After all this is added to your project, rerun cmake on your project, build your project and finally try 'make install' or run the 'Installation' target from Xcode. You will see lots of text output during the installation phase indicating what is currently being performed. After all the libraries are copied to the install tree, a verification phase will be performed to make sure the application bundle is properly created. Assuming the verification has passed you should now have a QtTest.app that you can place on another computer and successfully run.

To create a package, one can execute cpack -G <generator name> on the CMake generated CPackConfig.cmake file.