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compile_commands.json generation for SCons build system

Project description

Build Status PyPI version

SCons Compilation DB support

scons-compiledb adds a support for generating JSON formatted compilation database defined by Clang.


  • Multiple construction environments support.
  • Merge of compile_commands.json across SCons invocations
  • Customisation for DB entry generation.
  • Build with command line option, --compiledb
  • Installation with PyPI

At the moment, SCons mainline does not have compilation DB generation functionality and it is likely to have it in the near feature. However, this module can still provide some advantages such as supporting old version of SCons and other unique features.

The module was tested with Python 2.x/3.x along with SCons 2.x/3.x.


Install and update using pip

pip install scons-compiledb


Enable and use CompileDb builder

import scons_compiledb

env = DefaultEnvironment()  # Or with any other way

enable(env) adds a new builder, CompileDb to the specified environment, env. In order to build the compile_commands.json file, CompileDb() should be called. It can also specify the file name as an optional argument.

Enable and generation with command line option --compiledb

Similar to above but, enable_with_cmdline() is used instead, which internally calls env.CompileDb() when the command line option is specified.

import scons_compiledb

env = DefaultEnvironment()  # Or with any other way
# ... Use env normnally ...

It will generate compile_commands.json file only when SCons is invoked with --compiledb command line option:

$ scons --compiledb

Check compilation DB : compile_commands.json.internal
Update compilation DB: compile_commands.json
scons: done building targets.


While enabling, a Config object can be passed. For example:

config = scons_compiledb.Config(db='foo.json')
scons_compiledb.enable(env, config)

Parameter Value Default
db filename of compilation DB. 'compile_commands.json'
entry_func function to determine the entry dict for each source file. entry_func_default
cxx_suffixes Suffixes for C++ files. ('.cpp', '.cc')
ccc_suffixes Suffixes for C files. ('.c,)

entry_func is the main logic to convert source file node in SCons to a dict containing directory, source and command as keys. There are predefined entry functions as follows:

  • entry_func_default

This is default and it should work for the most of cases.

  • entry_func_simple

Use CPPPATH and CPPDEFINES only and clang/clang++ as compiler tool name. This will be useful to use clangd with compilers, which use command line arguments clangd cannot understand.

entry_func can be easily customised. Please refer to the source code of the predefined functions


scons_compiledb maintains an internal dot file .compile_commands.json as default, to merge compile commands across the multiple SCons invocations. The final file, compile_commands.json is touched only when the internal dot file is changed.

enabled(env) can be called to check whether it is enabled before or not.


Please check SConscript files in test folder


The main functionality of scons-compiledb is heavily based on MongoDB source code.

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Files for scons-compiledb, version 0.5.3
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