How to properly configure the boost test with cmake


Boost.Test is a very nice unit-testing library, but allways when I try to configure it in a new project it is a major pain.

How to configure my project, that uses cmake, to use boost with following requirements (this is really a list of things I disliked in most of the recipies I found on the internet):

  • I don't want to use single header variant of UTF (that is I don't want to include boost/test/included/unit_test.hpp). Rationale for this is that it slows down both compilation and IDE.
  • I don't really want to write a main function -- unless it is a one liner (I didn't find any copy-paste ways to define a main function). So unless you can provide such main snippet this means that Boost.Test is linked statically.
  • I don't want to include everyting statically (via -static gcc switch). I also dont really want to compile every boost component statically.
  • I don't want to hardcode any library paths in my cmake config.

So here is test.cpp I want to use:

#define BOOST_TEST_MODULE ExampleTest
#include <boost/test/unit_test.hpp>




And here is simple (not working!) CMakeLists.txt:

cmake_minimum_required(VERSION 2.8.11)
add_executable(simple-test tests.cpp)

Actually I didn't found any concrete solution that fulfills my need, but here are two partial solutions that are mostly OK.

Explicitly link statically to libboost_unit_test_framework.a:

In this case CMakeLists.txt looks like that:

cmake_minimum_required(VERSION 2.8.11)
ADD_LIBRARY(boost_unit_test_framework STATIC IMPORTED)
SET_TARGET_PROPERTIES(boost_unit_test_framework PROPERTIES
    IMPORTED_LOCATION /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libboost_unit_test_framework.a)
add_executable(simple-test tests.cpp)
target_link_libraries(simple-test boost_unit_test_framework)

Drawbacks are that I explicitly link to a /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libboost_unit_test_framework.a which can change (I guess).

Use find_packages

cmake_minimum_required(VERSION 2.8.11)
find_package(Boost COMPONENTS unit_test_framework REQUIRED)
add_executable(simple-test tests.cpp)
target_link_libraries(simple-test ${Boost_UNIT_TEST_FRAMEWORK_LIBRARY})

Drawbaks for this is that (as far as I understand set(Boost_USE_STATIC_LIBS ON) forces all boost components to be linked statically, which might be undesirable.