PROPOSAL: Use Cmake as the build system for Samba

simo idra at
Thu Feb 18 15:38:25 MST 2010

On Fri, 2010-02-19 at 08:54 +1100, tridge at wrote:
> Hi Jelmer,
>  > Last I checked scons (a couple of years ago now), it was quite a nice
>  > system (I much prefer it over CMake) but horribly slow for something
>  > like Samba. I worked on a fork of Samba that used scons back then and
>  > gave up on it halfway through because of this.
> That was one of the reasons I suggested waf. It is a fork of SCons
> that is (among other things) much faster. See:
> Cheers, Tridge

I'd just like to make sure we remember where this discussion started.

The problem with the current system is that we waste too much time on it
and nobody knows it well. The reason is that it is custom built and of
course we play with it only when something doesn't work.

This does not work, we don't do build systems, and we shouldn't waste
our time building a build system, we have better work to do.

This is the main reason why CMake was proposed. It is something we just
use. If it turns out there are some bugs we can certainly occasionally
dive in, but once we find a workaround/a fix, we should be done and not
think about it anymore. It's not our problem, it's the CMake people
problem. And we can rely on it being their problem because CMake is used
in very many projects so it is unlikely upstream will go away during the

I am not so sure about this waf, which nobody here knows for real.
I have no idea how good it is or if it can do what it claims, I notice
that it is derived from sCons and that people have migrated away from
sCons to CMake, so this doesn't sound too good to me. Although maybe waf
has solved all the problems sCons had. I don't know, and I don't have
immediate access to a waf expert to find out.

But what I don't like, is exactly the idea that we copy it in and
forget. To me it looks like simply exchanging one problem for another.
I fear we would start forking it and turning very soon back into the
nightmare of having to maintain a build system ourselves. Again.

Also. It doesn't have a big community so it is a risk to go that route.

Finally we do not have anyone with experience on waf, so I am not sure
who could do the job of porting the current build system over there.


Simo Sorce
Samba Team GPL Compliance Officer <simo at>
Principal Software Engineer at Red Hat, Inc. <simo at>

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