How to reuse cmake install for package() method

It is possible that your project’s CMakeLists.txt has already defined some functionality that extracts the artifacts (headers, libraries, binaries) from the build and source folder to a predetermined place and does the post-processing (e.g., strips rpaths). For example, one common practice is to use CMake install directive to that end.

When using Conan, the install phase of CMake is wrapped in the package() method. That way the flags like conan create --keep-build or the commands for the Package development flow are consistent with every step of the packaging process.

The following excerpt shows how to build and package with CMake within Conan. Mind that you need to configure CMake both in build() and in package(), since these methods are called independently.

def _configure_cmake(self):
    cmake = CMake(self)
    cmake.definitions["SOME_DEFINITION"] = "VALUE"
    return cmake

def build(self):
    cmake = self._configure_cmake()

def package(self):
    cmake = self._configure_cmake()

def package_info(self):
    self.cpp_info.libs = ["libname"]

The package_info() method specifies the list of the necessary libraries, defines and flags for different build configurations for the consumers of the package. This is necessary as there is no possible way to extract this information from the CMake install automatically.