Profiles

Profiles allows users to set a complete configuration set for settings, options, environment variables, and build requirements in a file. They have this structure:

[settings]
setting=value

[options]
MyLib:shared=True

[env]
env_var=value

[build_requires]
tool1/0.1@user/channel
tool2/0.1@user/channel, tool3/0.1@user/channel
*: tool4/0.1@user/channel

Profile can be created with new option in conan profile. And then edit it later.

$ conan profile new mynewprofile --detect

Profile files can be used with -pr/--profile option in many commands like conan install or conan create commands.

$ conan create . demo/testing -pr=myprofile

Profiles can be located in different folders. For example, the default <userhome>/.conan/profiles, and be referenced by absolute or relative path:

$ conan install . --profile /abs/path/to/profile   # abs path
$ conan install . --profile ./relpath/to/profile   # resolved to current dir
$ conan install . --profile ../relpath/to/profile  # resolved to relative dir
$ conan install . --profile profile  # resolved to user/.conan/profiles/profile

Listing existing profiles in the profiles folder can be done like this:

$ conan profile list
default
myprofile1
myprofile2
...

You can also show profile’s content:

$ conan profile show myprofile1
Configuration for profile myprofile1:

[settings]
os=Windows
arch=x86_64
compiler=Visual Studio
compiler.version=15
build_type=Release
[options]
[build_requires]
[env]

Use $PROFILE_DIR in your profile and it will be replaced with the absolute path to the directory where the profile file is (this path will contain only forward slashes). It is useful to declare relative folders:

[env]
PATH=$PROFILE_DIR/dev_tools

Tip

You can manage your profiles and share them using conan config install.

Package settings and env vars

Profiles also support package settings and package environment variables definition, so you can override some settings or environment variables for some specific package:

.conan/profiles/zlib_with_clang
 [settings]
 zlib:compiler=clang
 zlib:compiler.version=3.5
 zlib:compiler.libcxx=libstdc++11
 compiler=gcc
 compiler.version=4.9
 compiler.libcxx=libstdc++11

 [env]
 zlib:CC=/usr/bin/clang
 zlib:CXX=/usr/bin/clang++

Your build tool will locate clang compiler only for the zlib package and gcc (default one) for the rest of your dependency tree.

They accept patterns too, like -s *@myuser/*, which means that packages that have the username “myuser” will use clang 3.5 as compiler, and gcc otherwise:

[settings]
*@myuser/*:compiler=clang
*@myuser/*:compiler.version=3.5
*@myuser/*:compiler.libcxx=libstdc++11
compiler=gcc
compiler.version=4.9
compiler.libcxx=libstdc++11

Also, as a experimental feature, & can be specified as the package name. It will apply only to the consumer conanfile (.py or .txt). This is a special case because the consumer conanfile might not declare a name so it would be impossible to reference it.

[settings]
&:compiler=gcc
&:compiler.version=4.9
&:compiler.libcxx=libstdc++11

Note

If you want to override existing system environment variables, you should use the key=value syntax. If you need to pre-pend to the system environment variables you should use the syntax key=[value] or key=[value1, value2, ...]. A typical example is the PATH environment variable, when you want to add paths to the existing system PATH, not override it, you would use:

[env]
PATH=[/some/path/to/my/tool]

Tools configurations

Warning

This is an experimental feature subject to breaking changes in future releases.

Tools configurations can also be used in profile files and global.conf one. Profile values will have priority over globally defined ones in global.conf, and can be defined as:

[settings]
...

[conf]
tools.microsoft.msbuild:verbosity=Diagnostic
tools.microsoft.msbuild:max_cpu_count=20
tools.microsoft.msbuild:vs_version = 16
tools.build:processes=10
tools.ninja:jobs=30
tools.gnu.make:jobs=40

See also

You can see more information about configurations in global.conf section.

Profile composition

You can specify multiple profiles in the command line. The applied configuration will be the composition of all the profiles applied in the order they are specified.

If, for example, you want to apply a build require, like a cmake installer to your dependency tree, it won’t be very practical adding the cmake installer reference, e.g cmake/3.16.3 to all your profiles where you could need to inject cmake as a build require.

You can specify both profiles instead:

.conan/profiles/cmake_316
 [build_requires]
 cmake/3.16.3
$ conan install . --profile clang --profile cmake_316

Profile includes

You can include other profiles using the include() statement. The path can be relative to the current profile, absolute, or a profile name from the default profile location in the local cache.

The include() statement has to be at the top of the profile file:

gcc_49
 [settings]
 compiler=gcc
 compiler.version=4.9
 compiler.libcxx=libstdc++11
myprofile
 include(gcc_49)

 [settings]
 zlib:compiler=clang
 zlib:compiler.version=3.5
 zlib:compiler.libcxx=libstdc++11

 [env]
 zlib:CC=/usr/bin/clang
 zlib:CXX=/usr/bin/clang++

Variable declaration

In a profile you can declare variables that will be replaced automatically by Conan before the profile is applied. The variables have to be declared at the top of the file, after the include() statements.

myprofile
include(gcc_49)
CLANG=/usr/bin/clang

[settings]
zlib:compiler=clang
zlib:compiler.version=3.5
zlib:compiler.libcxx=libstdc++11

[env]
zlib:CC=$CLANG/clang
zlib:CXX=$CLANG/clang++

The variables will be inherited too, so you can declare variables in a profile and then include the profile in a different one, all the variables will be available:

gcc_49
GCC_PATH=/my/custom/toolchain/path/

[settings]
compiler=gcc
compiler.version=4.9
compiler.libcxx=libstdc++11
myprofile
include(gcc_49)

[settings]
zlib:compiler=clang
zlib:compiler.version=3.5
zlib:compiler.libcxx=libstdc++11

[env]
zlib:CC=$GCC_PATH/gcc
zlib:CXX=$GCC_PATH/g++

Build profiles and host profiles

Warning

This is an experimental feature subject to breaking changes in future releases.

All the commands that take a profile as an argument, from Conan v1.24 are starting to accept two profiles with command line arguments -pr:h/--profile:host and -pr:b/--profile:build. If both profiles are provided, Conan will build a graph with some packages associated with the host platform and some build requirements associated to the build platform. There are two scenarios where this feature is extremly useful:

The default build profile in Conan 1.X is not defined by default, and needs to be specified in command line. However, it is also possible to define a default one in global.conf configuration file with:

global.conf
 core:default_build_profile=default
 core:default_profile=linux_armv8

The default host profile can be defaulted as well using this configuration method.

Profile templates

Warning

This is an experimental feature subject to breaking changes in future releases.

From Conan 1.38 it is possible to use jinja2 template engine for profiles. This feature is enabled by naming the profile file with the .jinja extension. When Conan loads a profile with this extension, immediately parses and renders the template, which must result in a standard text profile.

Some of the capabilities of the profile templates are:

  • Using the platform information, like obtaining the current OS is possible because the Python platform module is added to the render context.:

    [settings]
    os = {{ {"Darwin": "Macos"}.get(platform.system(), platform.system()) }}
    
  • Reading environment variables can be done because the Python os module is added to the render context.:

    [settings]
    build_type = {{ os.getenv("MY_BUILD_TYPE") }}
    
  • Defining your own variables and using them in the profile:

    {% set a = "FreeBSD" %}
    [settings]
    os = {{ a }}
    
  • Joining and defining paths, including referencing the current profile directory. For example, defining a toolchain which file is located besides the profile can be done. Besides the os Python module, the variable profile_dir pointing to the current profile folder is added to the context.

    [conf]
    tools.cmake.cmaketoolchain:toolchain_file = {{ os.path.join(profile_dir, "toolchain.cmake") }}
    
  • Including or importing other files from profiles folder:

    profile_vars.jinja
    {% set a = "Debug" %}
    
    profile1.jinja
    {% import "profile_vars.jinja" as vars %}
    [settings]
    build_type = {{ vars.a }}
    
  • Any other feature supported by jinja2 is possible: for loops, if-else, etc. This would be useful to define custom per-package settings or options for multiple packages in a large dependency graph.

Examples

If you are working with Linux and you usually work with gcc compiler, but you have installed clang compiler and want to install some package for clang compiler, you could do:

  • Create a .conan/profiles/clang file:
[settings]
compiler=clang
compiler.version=3.5
compiler.libcxx=libstdc++11

[env]
CC=/usr/bin/clang
CXX=/usr/bin/clang++
  • Execute an install command passing the --profile or -pr parameter:
$ conan install . --profile clang

Without profiles you would have needed to set CC and CXX variables in the environment to point to your clang compiler and use -s parameters to specify the settings:

$ export CC=/usr/bin/clang
$ export CXX=/usr/bin/clang++
$ conan install -s compiler=clang -s compiler.version=3.5 -s compiler.libcxx=libstdc++11

A profile can also be used in conan create and conan info:

$ conan create . demo/testing --profile clang

See also