BuildingOSXApplications

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Creating a Stand Alone OS X application Bundle using CMake 2.6

The first requirement is to have CMake 2.6 CVS as it includes a new Module called "BundleUtilities" the makes this process much easier than it used to be.

The example uses Qt4 as its demonstration but any project that uses any non-system libraries should actually work.

The basic cmake process that I have setup in the example project goes something like this:

1-Setup a CMake based project as usual.
2-Add some extra files to your project to support the building of the bundle
3-Create a CMake function to configure those files
4-Call the function from your CMake code.

The first file to add is a shell script that gets configured by CMake during cmake time. The name of our shell script input file is QtTest/Resources/OSX_Tools/CreateBundle.sh.in. This script basically copies the skeleton .app bundle that the build system produced into the top level of the Installation directory (CMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX) and then creates the proper subdirectories (Libraries, Frameworks, Support) in that copied app bundle.

The Second file to add is a CMake script file that also gets configured. The name of this file is QtTest/Resources/OSX_Tools/CompleteBundle.cmake.in. This file contains a couple of items of note. The first is a cmake function over ride from the Bundle Utilities that sets up where to copy our libraries and frameworks. The default is to just copy them next to the application executable which isn't in adherence to Apple's general guidelines. Next in the file is an "Execute_process" command where the shell script that was configured from above is now executed. Lastly we finally call the "fixup_bundle" function that is in the "BundleUtilities" module. This function will find all the non-system libraries that are required by your application, copy them into the correct location within the application bundle and then run the "install_name_tool" on all the libraries and the executable.

After a successful build, run make install from the terminal (if you used makefiles) or run the "Install" target from Xcode and your application bundle will be copied and updated.

The CMake files in the example project have comments throughout to help you with this process. Some of the shell script code could probably be factored out and replaced with cmake code but for now this process works.

This was tested on OS X 10.5.5 using Qt 4.4.2 built as Dynamic Libraries and CMake CVS.