ifΒΆ

Conditionally execute a group of commands.

if(expression)
  # then section.
  COMMAND1(ARGS ...)
  COMMAND2(ARGS ...)
  ...
elseif(expression2)
  # elseif section.
  COMMAND1(ARGS ...)
  COMMAND2(ARGS ...)
  ...
else(expression)
  # else section.
  COMMAND1(ARGS ...)
  COMMAND2(ARGS ...)
  ...
endif(expression)

Evaluates the given expression. If the result is true, the commands in the THEN section are invoked. Otherwise, the commands in the else section are invoked. The elseif and else sections are optional. You may have multiple elseif clauses. Note that the expression in the else and endif clause is optional. Long expressions can be used and there is a traditional order of precedence. Parenthetical expressions are evaluated first followed by unary tests such as EXISTS, COMMAND, and DEFINED. Then any binary tests such as EQUAL, LESS, LESS_EQUAL, ``GREATER, GREATER_EQUAL, STREQUAL, STRLESS, STRLESS_EQUAL, STRGREATER, STRGREATER_EQUAL, VERSION_EQUAL, VERSION_LESS, VERSION_LESS_EQUAL, VERSION_GREATER, VERSION_GREATER_EQUAL, and MATCHES will be evaluated. Then boolean NOT operators and finally boolean AND and then OR operators will be evaluated.

Possible expressions are:

if(<constant>)
True if the constant is 1, ON, YES, TRUE, Y, or a non-zero number. False if the constant is 0, OFF, NO, FALSE, N, IGNORE, NOTFOUND, the empty string, or ends in the suffix -NOTFOUND. Named boolean constants are case-insensitive. If the argument is not one of these specific constants, it is treated as a variable or string and the following signature is used.
if(<variable|string>)
True if given a variable that is defined to a value that is not a false constant. False otherwise. (Note macro arguments are not variables.)
if(NOT <expression>)
True if the expression is not true.
if(<expr1> AND <expr2>)
True if both expressions would be considered true individually.
if(<expr1> OR <expr2>)
True if either expression would be considered true individually.
if(COMMAND command-name)
True if the given name is a command, macro or function that can be invoked.
if(POLICY policy-id)
True if the given name is an existing policy (of the form CMP<NNNN>).
if(TARGET target-name)
True if the given name is an existing logical target name created by a call to the add_executable(), add_library(), or add_custom_target() command that has already been invoked (in any directory).
if(TEST test-name)
True if the given name is an existing test name created by the add_test() command.
if(EXISTS path-to-file-or-directory)
True if the named file or directory exists. Behavior is well-defined only for full paths.
if(file1 IS_NEWER_THAN file2)
True if file1 is newer than file2 or if one of the two files doesn’t exist. Behavior is well-defined only for full paths. If the file time stamps are exactly the same, an IS_NEWER_THAN comparison returns true, so that any dependent build operations will occur in the event of a tie. This includes the case of passing the same file name for both file1 and file2.
if(IS_DIRECTORY path-to-directory)
True if the given name is a directory. Behavior is well-defined only for full paths.
if(IS_SYMLINK file-name)
True if the given name is a symbolic link. Behavior is well-defined only for full paths.
if(IS_ABSOLUTE path)
True if the given path is an absolute path.
if(<variable|string> MATCHES regex)
True if the given string or variable’s value matches the given regular expression.
if(<variable|string> LESS <variable|string>)
True if the given string or variable’s value is a valid number and less than that on the right.
if(<variable|string> GREATER <variable|string>)
True if the given string or variable’s value is a valid number and greater than that on the right.
if(<variable|string> EQUAL <variable|string>)
True if the given string or variable’s value is a valid number and equal to that on the right.
if(<variable|string> LESS_EQUAL <variable|string>)
True if the given string or variable’s value is a valid number and less than or equal to that on the right.
if(<variable|string> GREATER_EQUAL <variable|string>)
True if the given string or variable’s value is a valid number and greater than or equal to that on the right.
if(<variable|string> STRLESS <variable|string>)
True if the given string or variable’s value is lexicographically less than the string or variable on the right.
if(<variable|string> STRGREATER <variable|string>)
True if the given string or variable’s value is lexicographically greater than the string or variable on the right.
if(<variable|string> STREQUAL <variable|string>)
True if the given string or variable’s value is lexicographically equal to the string or variable on the right.
if(<variable|string> STRLESS_EQUAL <variable|string>)
True if the given string or variable’s value is lexicographically less than or equal to the string or variable on the right.
if(<variable|string> STRGREATER_EQUAL <variable|string>)
True if the given string or variable’s value is lexicographically greater than or equal to the string or variable on the right.
if(<variable|string> VERSION_LESS <variable|string>)
Component-wise integer version number comparison (version format is major[.minor[.patch[.tweak]]]).
if(<variable|string> VERSION_GREATER <variable|string>)
Component-wise integer version number comparison (version format is major[.minor[.patch[.tweak]]]).
if(<variable|string> VERSION_EQUAL <variable|string>)
Component-wise integer version number comparison (version format is major[.minor[.patch[.tweak]]]).
if(<variable|string> VERSION_LESS_EQUAL <variable|string>)
Component-wise integer version number comparison (version format is major[.minor[.patch[.tweak]]]).
if(<variable|string> VERSION_GREATER_EQUAL <variable|string>)
Component-wise integer version number comparison (version format is major[.minor[.patch[.tweak]]]).
if(<variable|string> IN_LIST <variable>)
True if the given element is contained in the named list variable.
if(DEFINED <variable>)
True if the given variable is defined. It does not matter if the variable is true or false just if it has been set. (Note macro arguments are not variables.)
if((expression) AND (expression OR (expression)))
The expressions inside the parenthesis are evaluated first and then the remaining expression is evaluated as in the previous examples. Where there are nested parenthesis the innermost are evaluated as part of evaluating the expression that contains them.

The if command was written very early in CMake’s history, predating the ${} variable evaluation syntax, and for convenience evaluates variables named by its arguments as shown in the above signatures. Note that normal variable evaluation with ${} applies before the if command even receives the arguments. Therefore code like:

set(var1 OFF)
set(var2 "var1")
if(${var2})

appears to the if command as:

if(var1)

and is evaluated according to the if(<variable>) case documented above. The result is OFF which is false. However, if we remove the ${} from the example then the command sees:

if(var2)

which is true because var2 is defined to “var1” which is not a false constant.

Automatic evaluation applies in the other cases whenever the above-documented signature accepts <variable|string>:

  • The left hand argument to MATCHES is first checked to see if it is a defined variable, if so the variable’s value is used, otherwise the original value is used.
  • If the left hand argument to MATCHES is missing it returns false without error
  • Both left and right hand arguments to LESS, GREATER, EQUAL, LESS_EQUAL, and GREATER_EQUAL, are independently tested to see if they are defined variables, if so their defined values are used otherwise the original value is used.
  • Both left and right hand arguments to STRLESS, STRGREATER, STREQUAL, STRLESS_EQUAL, and STRGREATER_EQUAL are independently tested to see if they are defined variables, if so their defined values are used otherwise the original value is used.
  • Both left and right hand arguments to VERSION_LESS, VERSION_GREATER, VERSION_EQUAL, VERSION_LESS_EQUAL, and VERSION_GREATER_EQUAL are independently tested to see if they are defined variables, if so their defined values are used otherwise the original value is used.
  • The right hand argument to NOT is tested to see if it is a boolean constant, if so the value is used, otherwise it is assumed to be a variable and it is dereferenced.
  • The left and right hand arguments to AND and OR are independently tested to see if they are boolean constants, if so they are used as such, otherwise they are assumed to be variables and are dereferenced.

To prevent ambiguity, potential variable or keyword names can be specified in a Quoted Argument or a Bracket Argument. A quoted or bracketed variable or keyword will be interpreted as a string and not dereferenced or interpreted. See policy CMP0054.