Reference tables

Compiler ids

These are return values of the get_id (Compiler family) and get_argument_syntax (Argument syntax) method in a compiler object.

Value Compiler family Argument syntax
arm ARM compiler
armclang ARMCLANG compiler
ccomp The CompCert formally-verified C compiler
ccrx Renesas RX Family C/C++ compiler
clang The Clang compiler gcc
clang-cl The Clang compiler (MSVC compatible driver) msvc
dmd D lang reference compiler
emscripten Emscripten WASM compiler
flang Flang Fortran compiler
g95 The G95 Fortran compiler
gcc The GNU Compiler Collection gcc
intel Intel compiler (Linux and Mac) gcc
intel-cl Intel compiler (Windows) msvc
intel-llvm Intel oneAPI LLVM-based compiler
intel-llvm-cl Intel oneAPI LLVM-based compiler (Windows) msvc
lcc Elbrus C/C++/Fortran Compiler
llvm LLVM-based compiler (Swift, D)
mono Xamarin C# compiler
mwccarm Metrowerks C/C++ compiler for Embedded ARM
mwcceppc Metrowerks C/C++ compiler for Embedded PowerPC
msvc Microsoft Visual Studio msvc
nagfor The NAG Fortran compiler
nvidia_hpc NVidia HPC SDK compilers
nvcc NVidia CUDA compiler
open64 The Open64 Fortran Compiler
pathscale The Pathscale Fortran compiler
pgi Portland PGI C/C++/Fortran compilers
rustc Rust compiler
sun Sun Fortran compiler
c2000 Texas Instruments C/C++ Compiler (C2000)
c6000 Texas Instruments C/C++ Compiler (C6000)
ti Texas Instruments C/C++ Compiler
valac Vala compiler
xc16 Microchip XC16 C compiler
cython The Cython compiler
nasm The NASM compiler (Since 0.64.0)
yasm The YASM compiler (Since 0.64.0)
ml Microsoft Macro Assembler for x86 and x86_64 (Since 0.64.0) msvc
armasm Microsoft Macro Assembler for ARM and AARCH64 (Since 0.64.0)
mwasmarm Metrowerks Assembler for Embedded ARM
mwasmeppc Metrowerks Assembler for Embedded PowerPC

Linker ids

These are return values of the get_linker_id method in a compiler object.

Value Linker family
ld.bfd The GNU linker The GNU gold linker
ld.lld The LLVM linker, with the GNU interface
ld.mold The fast MOLD linker
ld.solaris Solaris and illumos
ld.wasm emscripten's wasm-ld linker
ld64 Apple ld64
ld64.lld The LLVM linker, with the ld64 interface
link MSVC linker
lld-link The LLVM linker, with the MSVC interface
xilink Used with Intel-cl only, MSVC like
optlink optlink (used with DMD)
rlink The Renesas linker, used with CCrx only
xc16-ar The Microchip linker, used with XC16 only
ar2000 The Texas Instruments linker, used with C2000 only
ti-ar The Texas Instruments linker
ar6000 The Texas Instruments linker, used with C6000 only
armlink The ARM linker (arm and armclang compilers)
pgi Portland/Nvidia PGI
nvlink Nvidia Linker used with cuda
ccomp CompCert used as the linker driver
mwldarm The Metrowerks Linker with the ARM interface, used with mwccarm only
mwldeppc The Metrowerks Linker with the PowerPC interface, used with mwcceppc only

For languages that don't have separate dynamic linkers such as C# and Java, the get_linker_id will return the compiler name.

Script environment variables

Value Comment
MESONINTROSPECT Command to run to run the introspection command, may be of the form python /path/to/meson introspect, user is responsible for splitting the path if necessary.
MESONREWRITE Command to run to run the rewriting command, only set when running dist scripts
MESON_BUILD_ROOT Absolute path to the build dir
MESON_DIST_ROOT Points to the root of the staging directory, only set when running dist scripts
MESON_SOURCE_ROOT Absolute path to the source dir
MESON_SUBDIR Current subdirectory, only set for run_command

CPU families

These are returned by the cpu_family method of build_machine, host_machine and target_machine. For cross compilation they are set in the cross file.

Value Comment
aarch64 64 bit ARM processor
alpha DEC Alpha processor
arc 32 bit ARC processor
arm 32 bit ARM processor
avr Atmel AVR processor
c2000 32 bit C2000 processor
c6000 32 bit C6000 processor
csky 32 bit CSky processor
dspic 16 bit Microchip dsPIC
e2k MCST Elbrus processor
ft32 32 bit Bridgetek MCU
ia64 Itanium processor
loongarch64 64 bit Loongson processor
m68k Motorola 68000 processor
microblaze MicroBlaze processor
mips 32 bit MIPS processor
mips64 64 bit MIPS processor
msp430 16 bit MSP430 processor
parisc HP PA-RISC processor
pic24 16 bit Microchip PIC24
ppc 32 bit PPC processors
ppc64 64 bit PPC processors
riscv32 32 bit RISC-V Open ISA
riscv64 64 bit RISC-V Open ISA
rl78 Renesas RL78
rx Renesas RX 32 bit MCU
s390 IBM zSystem s390
s390x IBM zSystem s390x
sh4 SuperH SH-4
sparc 32 bit SPARC
sparc64 SPARC v9 processor
sw_64 64 bit sunway processor
wasm32 32 bit Webassembly
wasm64 64 bit Webassembly
x86 32 bit x86 processor
x86_64 64 bit x86 processor

Any cpu family not listed in the above list is not guaranteed to remain stable in future releases.

Those porting from autotools should note that Meson does not add endianness to the name of the cpu_family. For example, autotools will call little endian PPC64 "ppc64le", Meson will not, you must also check the .endian() value of the machine for this information.

Operating system names

These are provided by the .system() method call.

Value Comment
android By convention only, subject to change
cygwin The Cygwin environment for Windows
darwin Either OSX or iOS
dragonfly DragonFly BSD
emscripten Emscripten's JavaScript environment
freebsd FreeBSD and its derivatives
gnu GNU Hurd
windows Any version of Windows
sunos illumos and Solaris

Any string not listed above is not guaranteed to remain stable in future releases.

Kernel names (since 1.2.0)

Native names as returned by the .kernel() method.

Value Comment
xnu Kernel of various Apple OSes
illumos Kernel derived from OpenSolaris by community efforts
solaris Kernel derived from OpenSolaris by Oracle
none For e.g. bare metal embedded

Subsystem names (since 1.2.0)

A more specific description of the system in question. Most values are meant to be used in cross files only, as those platforms can not run Meson natively.

Value Comment
macos Apple macOS (formerly OSX)
ios Apple iOS
tvos Apple tvOS
watchos Apple watchOS

Language arguments parameter names

These are the parameter names for passing language specific arguments to your build target.

Language compiler name linker name
C c_args c_link_args
C++ cpp_args cpp_link_args
C# cs_args cs_link_args
CUDA cuda_args cuda_link_args
D d_args d_link_args
Fortran fortran_args fortran_link_args
Java java_args java_link_args
Objective C objc_args objc_link_args
Objective C++ objcpp_args objcpp_link_args
Rust rust_args rust_link_args
Vala vala_args vala_link_args
Cython cython_args cython_link_args
NASM nasm_args N/A
MASM masm_args N/A

All these <lang>_* options are specified per machine. See in specifying options per machine for on how to do this in cross builds.

Compiler and linker flag environment variables

These environment variables will be used to modify the compiler and linker flags.

It is recommended that you do not use these. They are provided purely to for backwards compatibility with other build systems. There are many caveats to their use, especially when rebuilding the project. It is highly recommended that you use the command line arguments instead.

Name Comment
CFLAGS Flags for the C compiler
CXXFLAGS Flags for the C++ compiler
CUFLAGS Flags for the CUDA compiler
OBJCFLAGS Flags for the Objective C compiler
FFLAGS Flags for the Fortran compiler
DFLAGS Flags for the D compiler
VALAFLAGS Flags for the Vala compiler
RUSTFLAGS Flags for the Rust compiler
CYTHONFLAGS Flags for the Cython compiler
LDFLAGS The linker flags, used for all languages

N.B. these settings are specified per machine, and so the environment variables actually come in pairs. See the environment variables per machine section for details.

Function Attributes

These are the parameters names that are supported using compiler.has_function_attribute() or compiler.get_supported_function_attributes()

GCC __attribute__

These values are supported using the GCC style __attribute__ annotations, which are supported by GCC, Clang, and other compilers.


* Changed in 0.52.0 the "visibility" target no longer includes "protected", which is not present in Apple's clang.

New in 0.52.0 These split visibility attributes are preferred to the plain "visibility" as they provide narrower checks.

³ New in 0.55.0

New in 0.62.0

New in 0.63.0

New in 1.1.0

New in 1.5.0

MSVC __declspec

These values are supported using the MSVC style __declspec annotation, which are supported by MSVC, GCC, Clang, and other compilers.


Dependency lookup methods

These are the values that can be passed to dependency function's method keyword argument.

Name Comment
auto Automatic method selection
pkg-config Use Pkg-Config
cmake Look up as a CMake module
config-tool Use a custom dep tool such as cups-config
system System provided (e.g. OpenGL)
extraframework A macOS/iOS framework

Compiler and Linker selection variables

N.B. these settings are specified per machine, and so the environment variables actually come in pairs. See the environment variables per machine section for details.

Language Compiler Linker Note
D DC DC_LD Before 0.54 D_LD*
Fortran FC FC_LD Before 0.54 F_LD*
Objective-C OBJC OBJC_LD
Objective-C++ OBJCXX OBJCXX_LD Before 0.54 OBJCPP_LD*
Rust RUSTC RUSTC_LD Before 0.54 RUST_LD*
Vala VALAC Use CC_LD. Vala transpiles to C
C# CSC CSC The linker is the compiler
nasm NASM Uses the C linker

*The old environment variables are still supported, but are deprecated and will be removed in a future version of Meson.

changed in 1.3.0 Paths with spaces were split unconditionally to extract components such as the path to Ccache, intrinsic compiler flags like -m32 or --target, etc. This broke passing a hardcoded compiler path to CMake subprojects. To work around this, paths must be wrapped with double quotes:

export CC='"C:/Program Files/Microsoft Visual Studio/2022/Community/VC/Tools/MSVC/14.34.31933/bin/Hostx64/x64/cl.exe"'

You can also set the values through machine files.

New in 1.3.0 Paths that point to an existing executable no longer need wrapping:

export CC='C:/Program Files/Microsoft Visual Studio/2022/Community/VC/Tools/MSVC/14.34.31933/bin/Hostx64/x64/cl.exe'

Environment variables per machine

Since 0.54.0, Following Autotool and other legacy build systems, environment variables that affect machine-specific settings come in pairs: for every bare environment variable FOO, there is a suffixed FOO_FOR_BUILD, where FOO just affects the host machine configuration, while FOO_FOR_BUILD just affects the build machine configuration. For example:

  • PKG_CONFIG_PATH_FOR_BUILD controls the paths pkg-config will search for just native: true dependencies (build machine).

  • PKG_CONFIG_PATH controls the paths pkg-config will search for just native: false dependencies (host machine).

This mirrors the build. prefix used for (built-in) Meson options, which has the same meaning.

This is useful for cross builds. In the native builds, build = host, and the unsuffixed environment variables alone will suffice.

Prior to 0.54.0, there was no _FOR_BUILD-suffixed variables, and most environment variables only effected native machine configurations, though this wasn't consistent (e.g. PKG_CONFIG_PATH still affected cross builds).

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