Craft is an open source meta build system and package manager. It manages dependencies and builds libraries and applications from source, on Windows, Mac, Linux and FreeBSD.

Setting up Craft

Start crafting on Windows

Start crafting on Linux

Start crafting on Mac

Start crafting on FreeBSD

Common Craft commands

Installing a package and its dependencies

craft packagename

Updating an installed package: Once you have packagename built, type:

craft -i packagename

Uninstalling an installed package:

craft --unmerge packagename

Searching for a package

craft --search packagename

Switching to the source directory of a package:

cs packagename

Switching to the build directory of a package:

cb packagename

Just compiling the package (i.e. if you just modified the source code and want to test-compile):

craft --compile packagename

Create an installer (or .dmg bundle, ...) for a specific package. The option Packager/PackageType in CraftSettings.ini controls which type of package is created:

craft --package kdevelop

Updating Craft itself:

craft craft

Updating the blueprints:

craft -i craft-blueprints-kde

Adding new blueprints

Blueprints are stored in separate repositories. At the moment there are these repositories:

To navigate to this repository on your local file system, type in:

cs craft-blueprints-kde

Open a file browser in that folder and start adding new recipes by copying from existing ones. Note that the name of the package folder needs to match the blueprint name -- an example would be "kdegraphics-mobipocket\"

Advanced tips

Hardcode versions of packages

To build a non default version,edit $craftRoot/etc/BlueprintSettings.ini and add:

version = branch

To find the category of the package you want to install, run this:

craft --search packagename

The second line of the output will be of form: category/packagename

For example, to install master branch of khtml, the line to be appended should look like:

version = master

To change the version of a complete branch, like libs/qt5 add

 version = 5.9.3

Using Craft with Qt Creator


To compile from within Qt Creator, I need to set up a kit. This is an example for mingw64.

  • Add a cmake if none is set: R:\dev-utils\cmake\bin\cmake.exe
  • Add a debugger: R:\mingw64\bin\gdb.exe
  • Add a C++ compiler and a C compiler. Both: R:\mingw64\bin\gcc.exe
    • Ensure that the ABI is correctly set
  • Add a Qt: R:\bin\qmake.exe
  • Add a kit with all of the above
  • Use the kit on a project
  • Setup cmake configuration (all case):
    • Extend CMAKE_PREFIX_PATH, add the Craft prefix path (ie: CMAKE_PREFIX_PATH:STRING=%{Qt:QT_INSTALL_PREFIX};C:\CraftRoot)
    • Edit Build Environment settings under Projects pane and modify PATH variable to include C:\CraftRoot\bin


To be able to use Craft libs in you cmake project from QtCreator follow those steps:

  • If the QtVersion used by Craft is not already registered in QtC, then create a new QtVersion by pointing it to the qmake used by Craft
  • Create a new kit by duplicating an existing one or creating a new one from scratch
  • Setup properties of the kit (for from scratch kit):
    • Set cmake binary to the one used by Craft
    • Set debugger binary to the one used by Craft
    • Set C++ and C compiler to the one used by Craft
    • Select the correct QtVersion
    • Ensure abi is correct
  • Setup cmake configuration (all case):
    • Extend CMAKE_PREFIX_PATH, add the Craft prefix path (ie: CMAKE_PREFIX_PATH:STRING=%{Qt:QT_INSTALL_PREFIX};/Volumes/Projects/Developers/Craft)
  • Apply, and now use this Kit for your cmake project


If a package fails to build, you'll be greeted with something like:

 craft warning: while running make cmd: jom
 craft warning: Action: compile for libs/qt5/qtbase FAILED
 *** Craft all failed: all of libs/qtbase failed after 0:07:25 ***
 craft error: fatal error: package libs/qtbase all failed

In order to figure out what failed, grep the command line output above for errors.

Or have a look at the log file located in $HOME/.craft (%USERPROFILE%\.craft on Windows) which will contain much more details.

Search for "error", or "error:" in the file.



Getting in Touch

This page was last edited on 20 March 2021, at 15:39. Content is available under Creative Commons License SA 4.0 unless otherwise noted.