From KDE Community Wiki
Revision as of 08:52, 17 August 2023 by Sune (talk | contribs)

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, FreeBSD and Android.

Setting up Craft

Start crafting on Windows

Start crafting on Linux

Start crafting on macOS

Start crafting on FreeBSD

Start crafting on Android

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

To create a .dmg bundle, .exe setup, ... for a specific package run

craft --package packagename

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

If you have modified the source code, then run

craft --compile --install --qmerge packagename

before creating the installer.

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--no-cache also disables the cache for all missing/outdated dependencies.

This will also be necessary if the library is in the sourcetree of the program you try to develop on.

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
Updating all installed packages
craft --upgrade

Adding new blueprints

If you want to build an application by Craft you need a blueprint for it (and all its dependencies) first.

Learn about how to write blueprints here: Craft/Blueprints

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

The version can also be set for an entire category. For example you can build the KDE Frameworks from a specific version:

 craft --set version=some_version kde/frameworks

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

Specifically for Qt6 setup, the following is available

 craft --set qtMajorVersion=6 libs/qt

and on top of that, for KF6 master,

 craft --set version=master kde/frameworks

. As of medio August 2023, qt-libs/phonon is also needs master.


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 an IDE

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
  • Edit the Environment:
    • PATH=$(PATH);C:\CraftRoot\bin;C:\CraftRoot\dev-utils\bin\; C:\CraftRoot\mingw64\bin
  • 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)


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)
  • Edit the Environment:
    • PATH=$(PATH):~/CraftRoot/bin:~/CraftRoot/dev-utils/bin/
    • QT_PLUGIN_PATH=~/CraftRoot/bin/plugins
  • Apply, and now use this Kit for your cmake project

Using Craft with VS Code (or Code-OSS)

CAUTION: This guide expects that you can successfully build the source code and test any changes to it.
Developing KDE Connect with VSCode is quite simple but can be tricky for new contributors. To use the debugging capabilities of VSCode, we will create a .code-workspace file and update it according to our own use case.

Create a file kde.code-workspace and copy the contents below to it:

	"folders": [
			"name": "kdeconnect-kde",
			"path": "FIX_ME-1"
	"launch": {
		"configurations": [
				"name": "KDE C Daemon",
				"type": "cppvsdbg",
				"request": "launch",
				"program": "FIX_ME-2",
				"args": [],
				"cwd": "${fileWorkspaceFolder}",
				"stopAtEntry": false,
				"preLaunchTask": "Build",
				"console": "internalConsole",
				"internalConsoleOptions": "openOnSessionStart",
				"sourceFileMap": {
					"FIX_ME-3": "FIX_ME-4"
		"compounds": []
	"tasks": {
		"tasks": [
				"label": "Build",
				"type": "shell",
				"command": "FIX_ME-5",
				"args": [],
				"runOptions": {
					"reevaluateOnRerun": true
				"dependsOn": "Cleanup"
				"label": "Cleanup",
				"type": "shell",
				"command": "FIX_ME-6",
				"args": [],
				"runOptions": {
					"reevaluateOnRerun": true
	"settings": {
		"[cpp]": {
			"editor.wordBasedSuggestions": false,
			"editor.suggest.insertMode": "replace",
			"editor.semanticHighlighting.enabled": true,
			"editor.quickSuggestions": true
		"C_Cpp.default.includePath": [
		"C_Cpp.default.defines": [
		"files.associations": {
			"qdebug": "cpp",
			"qstandardpaths": "cpp",
			"qicon": "cpp",
			"qfile": "cpp"

Now, update the following strings according to your dev env:

  1. "FIX_ME-1" - "path/to/kdeconnect-kde/repository"
  2. "FIX_ME-2" - "path/to/built/bin/kdeconnectd"
  3. "FIX_ME-3" - "source/path/picked_up/incorrectly/by/the/debugger"
  4. "FIX_ME-4" - "alternate/path/to/pick_up"
  5. "FIX_ME-5" - "command_to_build_your_project"
  6. "FIX_ME-6" - "cleanup_any_files_or_running_processes_before_Build"
  7. "FIX_ME-7" - "additional/paths/to/files/to_include/by/IDE"

Example workspace files :

  1. Windows dev (uses Craft)
  2. Linux dev (uses Craft)

More info at:

Debugging a standalone app with symbols

Craft by default uses RelWithDebInfo build type. As such, each library and executable is compiled with the release symbols stripped from the main file and saved separately in a corresponding .pdb file on Windows and .dSYM package on Mac.

Those symbols will not be included in a final redistributable package generated by craft (--package option). However, if PackageDebugSymbols is enabled in CraftSettings.ini, a separate archive will be created will all the debug symbols combined.

If an issue you're trying to debug is specific to a packaged app only, you can use Qt Creator's Debug -> Start and Debug External Application option to run the packaged app and automatically attach to it:

  • In "Local Executable" provide a path to executable file inside the .app container, e.g. /Volumes/External/CraftRoot/build/extragear/kmymoney/archive/Applications/KDE/
  • In "Debug information" provide a path to a folder containing the debug symbols package ( generated by craft, e.g. /Volumes/External/CraftRoot/build/extragear/kmymoney/image-RelWithDebInfo-master/Applications/KDE
  • check "Break at main" if it's your initial setup to make sure everything works as expected
  • Optionally add the Source Paths Mapping (Preferences -> Debugger) if your local source code location doesn't match the one used to generate the package debugged, resulting in the main() break showing a disassembled code.


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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