This tool can execute pkg_config executable to extract information from existing .pc files. This can be useful for example to create a “system” package recipe over some system installed library, as a way to automatically extract the .pc information from the system. Or if some proprietary package has a build system that only outputs .pc files.


Read a pc file and access the information:

pkg_config = PkgConfig(conanfile, "libastral", pkg_config_path=<somedir>)

print(pkg_config.provides) # something like"libastral = 6.6.6"
print(pkg_config.version) # something like"6.6.6"
print(pkg_config.includedirs) # something like['/usr/local/include/libastral']
print(pkg_config.defines) # something like['_USE_LIBASTRAL']
print(pkg_config.libs) # something like['astral', 'm']
print(pkg_config.libdirs) # something like['/usr/local/lib/libastral']
print(pkg_config.linkflags) # something like['-Wl,--whole-archive']
print(pkg_config.variables['prefix']) # something like'/usr/local'

Use the pc file information to fill a cpp_info object:

def package_info(self):
    pkg_config = PkgConfig(conanfile, "libastral", pkg_config_path=tmp_dir)
    pkg_config.fill_cpp_info(self.cpp_info, is_system=False, system_libs=["m", "rt"])


class PkgConfig(conanfile, library, pkg_config_path=None)
  • conanfile – The current recipe object. Always use self.
  • library – The library which .pc file is to be parsed. It must exist in the pkg_config path.
  • pkg_config_path – If defined it will be prepended to PKG_CONFIG_PATH environment variable, so the execution finds the required files.
fill_cpp_info(cpp_info, is_system=True, system_libs=None)

Method to fill a cpp_info object from the PkgConfig configuration

  • cpp_info – Can be the global one (self.cpp_info) or a component one (self.components[“foo”].cpp_info).
  • is_system – If True, all detected libraries will be assigned to cpp_info.system_libs, and none to cpp_info.libs.
  • system_libs – If True, all detected libraries will be assigned to cpp_info.system_libs, and none to cpp_info.libs.


This helper will listen to tools.gnu:pkg_config global_conf to define the pkg_config executable name or full path. It will by default it is pkg-config.