New features


Mesontest is a new testing tool that allows you to run your tests in many different ways. As an example you can run tests multiple times:

mesontest --repeat=1000 a_test

or with an arbitrary wrapper executable:

mesontest --wrap='valgrind --tool=helgrind' a_test

or under gdb, 1000 times in a row. This is handy for tests that fail spuriously, as when the crash happens you are given the full GDB command line:

mesontest --repeat=1000 --gdb a_test


Mesonrewriter is an experimental tool to manipulate your build definitions programmatically. It is not installed by default yet but those interested can run it from the source repository.

As an example, here is how you would add a source file to a build target:

mesonrewriter add --target=program --filename=new_source.c

Shared modules

The new shared_module function allows the creation of shared modules, that is, extension modules such as plugins that are meant to be used solely with dlopen rather than linking them to targets.

Gnome module

  • Detect required programs and print useful errors if missing


  • Allow passing a list of directories to src_dir keyword argument
  • Add namespace keyword argument
  • Add mode keyword argument
  • Fix gtkdoc-scangobj finding local libraries


  • Add gresource_bundle keyword argument to output .gresource files
  • Add export and install_header keyword arguments
  • Use depfile support available in GLib >= 2.52.0

i18n module

  • Add merge_file() function for creating translated files
  • Add preset keyword argument to included common gettext flags
  • Read languages from LINGUAS file

LLVM IR compilation

Meson has long had support for compiling assembler (GAS) files. In this release we add support for compiling LLVM IR files in a similar way when building with the Clang compiler. Just add it to the list of files when creating a library or executable target like any other source file. No special handling is required:

executable('some-exe', 'main.c', 'asm-file.S', 'ir-file.ll')

As always, you can also mix LLVM IR files with C++, C, and Assembly (GAS) sources.

ViM indent and syntax files

We now include filetype, indent, and syntax files for ViM with the source tree. Please file issues (or pull requests!) for enhancements or if you face any problems using them.

Push URLs in .wrap files

.wrap files for subprojects can now include a separate push URL to allow developers to push changes directly from a subproject git checkout.

pkg-config dependencies

Meson now supports multiple version restrictions while searching for pkg-config dependencies.

# Just want a lower limit
dependency('zlib', version : '>1.2.1')
# Want both a lower and an upper limit
dependency('opencv', version : ['>=2.3.0', '<=3.1.0'])
# Want to exclude one specific broken version
dependency('foolite', version : ['>=3.12.1', '!=3.13.99'])

Overriding more binaries with environment variables

You can now specify the binary to be used for the following tools by setting the corresponding environment variable

Name Environment variable
pkg-config PKG_CONFIG
readelf READELF
nm NM

Support for localstatedir

Similar to other options such as bindir and datadir, you can now specify the localstatedir for a project by passing --localstatedir=dir to meson or -Dlocalstatedir=dir to mesonconf after configuration. You can also access it from inside the file with get_option('localstatedir').

New compiler function symbols_have_underscore_prefix

Checks if the compiler prefixes an underscore to C global symbols with the default calling convention. This is useful when linking to compiled assembly code, or other code that does not have its C symbol mangling handled transparently by the compiler.

cc = meson.get_compiler('c')
conf = configuration_data()
if cc.symbols_have_underscore_prefix()
    conf.set('SYMBOLS_HAVE_UNDERSCORE', true)

C symbol mangling is platform and architecture dependent, and a helper function is needed to detect it. For example, Windows 32-bit prefixes underscore, but 64-bit does not. Linux does not prefix an underscore but OS X does.


GLib Resources compiled with gnome.compile_resources that are added to the sources of a Vala build target will now cause the appropriate --gresources flag to be passed to the Vala compiler so you don't need to add that yourself to vala_args:.

Improvements to install scripts

You can now pass arguments to install scripts added with meson.add_install_script(). All arguments after the script name will be passed to the script.

The MESON_INSTALL_DESTDIR_PREFIX environment variable is now set when install scripts are called. This contains the values of the DESTDIR environment variable and the prefix option passed to Meson joined together. This is useful because both those are usually absolute paths, and joining absolute paths in a cross-platform way is tricky. os.path.join in Python will discard all previous path segments when it encounters an absolute path, and simply concatenating them will not work on Windows where absolute paths begin with the drive letter.

More install directories

Added new options sbindir and infodir that can be used for installation.

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