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

Searching for a package
craft --search packagename
Installing a package (and dependencies)
craft packagename
Uninstalling a package
craft --unmerge packagename
Updating a package
craft -i packagename
Switching to the source directory of a package
cs packagename
Switching to the build directory of a package
cb packagename
Compiling a package

if you just modified the source code and want to test-compile:

craft --compile packagename
Creating an installer

.dmg bundle, .exe setup, ... for a specific package:

craft --package packagename

The option Packager/PackageType in CraftSettings.ini controls which type of installer is created

Developing with Craft

Installing a library

When developing on a specific application, you may want to develop on its library as well.

 craft -i --no-cache <somelib>

--no-cache also disables the cache for all missing/outdated dependencies.

Testing new changes

For the applications to run with changes to the source of the package:

 craft --compile --install --qmerge <somelib>
Updating Craft itself
craft -i 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:

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

Packages are by-default installed from the cache. To build a non default version (or to build from master)

 craft --set version=some_version packagename

Here, replace some_version with the branch name of the source git repository of the package (like master) or version number (for eg: 0.57.0, 0.58.0). Alternatively ,edit $CraftRoot/etc/BlueprintSettings.ini and add:

 version = branch

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

version = master

To change the version of all packages of a category, 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: C:\CraftRoot\dev-utils\cmake\bin\cmake.exe
  • Add a debugger: C:\CraftRoot\mingw64\bin\gdb.exe
  • Add a C++ compiler and a C compiler. Both: C:\CraftRoot\mingw64\bin\gcc.exe
    • Ensure that the ABI is correctly set
  • Add a Qt: C:\CraftRoot\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 and C:\CraftRoot\mingw64\bin


To be able to use Craft libs in your cmake project from QtCreator follow these 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.



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