0.37.0 • Public • Published


Install all the tools required for building and testing C++/C projects.

Build Status (Github Actions)

Setting up a cross-platform environment for building and testing C++/C projects is a bit tricky. Each platform has its own compilers, and each of them requires a different installation procedure. This package aims to fix this issue.

setup-cpp can be used locally from terminal, from CI services like GitHub Actions and GitLab Pipelines, and inside containers like Docker.

setup-cpp is supported on many platforms. It is continuously tested on several configurations including Windows (11, 10, 2022, 2019), Linux (Ubuntu 22.04, Ubuntu 20.04, Fedora, ArchLinux), and macOS (13, 12, 11, 10.15). setup-cpp is backed by unit tests for each tool and integration tests for compiling cpp projects.


setup-cpp is modular and you can choose to install any of these tools:

category tools
compiler and analyzer llvm, gcc, msvc, vcvarsall, cppcheck, clangtidy, clangformat
build system cmake, ninja, meson, make, task, bazel
package manager vcpkg, conan, choco, brew, nala
cache cppcache, sccache
documentation doxygen, graphviz
coverage gcovr, opencppcoverage, kcov
other python, powershell, sevenzip

setup-cpp automatically handles the dependencies of the selected tool (e.g., python is required for conan).


From Terminal

With npm and Nodejs

Run setup-cpp with the available options.

# Windows example (open PowerShell as admin)
npx setup-cpp --compiler llvm --cmake true --ninja true --ccache true --vcpkg true

RefreshEnv.cmd # activate the environment
# Linux/Macos example
sudo npx setup-cpp --compiler llvm --cmake true --ninja true --ccache true --vcpkg true

source ~/.cpprc

NOTE: In the compiler entry, you can specify the version after - like llvm-11.0.0. For the tools, you can pass a specific version instead of true that chooses the default version

NOTE: On Unix systems, when setup-cpp is used locally or in other CI services like GitLab, the environment variables are added to ~/.cpprc. You should run source ~/.cpprc to immediately activate the environment variables. This file is automatically sourced in the next shell restart from ~/.bashrc or ~/.profile if SOURCE_CPPRC is not set to 0. To deactivate .cpprc in the next shell restart, rename/remove ~/.cpprc.

NOTE: On Unix systems, if you are already a root user (e.g., in a GitLab runner or Docker), you will not need to use sudo.

NOTE: setup-cpp requires Nodejs 12 or higher. If Nodejs shipped with your distribution is older than 12, install the latest Node (e.g. for Ubuntu 20.04), or alternatively you can use the executables that are self-contained (see the next section).

With executable

Download the executable for your platform from here, and run it with the available options. You can also automate downloading using wget, curl, or other similar tools.

An example that installs llvm, cmake, ninja, ccache, and vcpkg:

# windows example (open PowerShell as admin)
curl -LJO ""
./setup-cpp-x64-windows --compiler llvm --cmake true --ninja true --ccache true --vcpkg true

RefreshEnv.cmd # activate cpp environment variables
# linux example
wget ""
chmod +x ./setup-cpp-x64-linux
sudo ./setup-cpp-x64-linux --compiler llvm --cmake true --ninja true --ccache true --vcpkg true

source ~/.cpprc # activate cpp environment variables
# macos example
wget ""
chmod +x ./setup-cpp-x64-macos
sudo ./setup-cpp-x64-macos --compiler llvm --cmake true --ninja true --ccache true --vcpkg true

source ~/.cpprc # activate cpp environment variables

Inside GitHub Actions

Here is a complete cross-platform example that tests llvm, gcc, and msvc. It also uses cmake, ninja, vcpkg, and cppcheck.


name: ci
      - main
      - master

    runs-on: ${{ matrix.os }}
      fail-fast: false
          - windows-2022
          - ubuntu-22.04
          - macos-12
          - llvm
          - gcc
          # you can specify the version after `-` like `llvm-13.0.0`.
          - os: "windows-2022"
            compiler: "msvc"
      - uses: actions/checkout@v3
      - name: Cache
        uses: actions/cache@v3
          path: |
            ${{ env.HOME }}/.cache/vcpkg/archives
            ${{ env.XDG_CACHE_HOME }}/vcpkg/archives
            ${{ env.LOCALAPPDATA }}\vcpkg\archives
            ${{ env.APPDATA }}\vcpkg\archives
          key: ${{ runner.os }}-${{ matrix.compiler }}-${{ env.BUILD_TYPE }}-${{ hashFiles('**/CMakeLists.txt') }}-${{ hashFiles('./vcpkg.json')}}
          restore-keys: |
            ${{ runner.os }}-${{ env.BUILD_TYPE }}-

      - name: Setup Cpp
        uses: aminya/setup-cpp@v1
          compiler: ${{ matrix.compiler }}
          vcvarsall: ${{ contains(matrix.os, 'windows') }}
          cmake: true
          ninja: true
          vcpkg: true
          cppcheck: true
          clangtidy: true # instead of `true`, which chooses the default version, you can pass a specific version.
          # ...

Inside Docker

Here is an example for using setup-cpp to make a builder image that has the Cpp tools you need.

#### Base Image
FROM ubuntu:22.04 as setup-cpp-ubuntu

RUN apt-get update -qq && \
    # install nodejs
    apt-get install -y --no-install-recommends nodejs npm && \
    # install setup-cpp
    npm install -g setup-cpp@v0.37.0 && \
    # install the compiler and tools
    setup-cpp \
        --nala true \
        --compiler llvm \
        --cmake true \
        --ninja true \
        --task true \
        --vcpkg true \
        --python true \
        --make true \
        --cppcheck true \
        --gcovr true \
        --doxygen true \
        --ccache true && \
    # cleanup
    nala autoremove -y && \
    nala autopurge -y && \
    apt-get clean && \
    nala clean --lists && \
    rm -rf /var/lib/apt/lists/* && \
    rm -rf /tmp/*

ENTRYPOINT ["/bin/bash"]

#### Building (example)
FROM setup-cpp-ubuntu AS builder

COPY ./dev/cpp_vcpkg_project /home/app
WORKDIR /home/app
RUN bash -c 'source ~/.cpprc \
    && task build'

#### Running environment
# use a fresh image as the runner
FROM ubuntu:22.04 as runner

# copy the built binaries and their runtime dependencies
COPY --from=builder /home/app/build/my_exe/Release/ /home/app/
WORKDIR /home/app/
ENTRYPOINT ["./my_exe"]

See this folder, for some dockerfile examples.

If you want to build the ones included, then run:

git clone --recurse-submodules
cd ./setup-cpp
docker build -f ./dev/docker/setup-cpp-ubuntu.dockerfile -t setup-cpp-ubuntu .

Where you should use the path to the dockerfile after -f.

After build, run the following to start an interactive shell in your container

docker run -it setup-cpp

Inside Docker inside GitHub Actions

You can use the docker file discussed in the previous section inside GitHub Actions like the following:

    runs-on: ${{ matrix.os }}
          - ubuntu-22.04
      - uses: actions/checkout@v3
      - name: Build
        id: docker_build
        run: |
          docker build -f ./dev/docker/ubuntu.dockerfile -t setup-cpp .

Inside GitLab pipelines

The following gives an example for setting up a C++ environment inside GitLab pipelines.


image: ubuntu:22.04

  - test

.setup_linux: &setup_linux |

  # set time-zone
  ln -snf /usr/share/zoneinfo/$TZ /etc/localtime && echo $TZ > /etc/timezone

  # for downloading
  apt-get update -qq
  apt-get install -y --no-install-recommends curl gnupg ca-certificates

.setup-cpp: &setup-cpp |
  # install nodejs
  apt-get install -y --no-install-recommends nodejs npm

  # install setup-cpp
  npm install -g setup-cpp@v0.37.0

  # install the compiler and tools
  ./setup-cpp-x64-linux --compiler $compiler --cmake true --ninja true --ccache true --vcpkg true
  source ~/.cpprc

.test: &test |
  # Build and Test
  # ...

  stage: test
    compiler: llvm
    - *setup_linux
    - *setup-cpp
    - *test

  stage: test
    compiler: gcc
    - *setup_linux
    - *setup-cpp
    - *test


Setup-Cpp on

Usage Examples

See all of the usage examples on GitHub here.

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