C++ and Bazel

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This page contains resources that help you use Bazel with C++ projects. It links to a tutorial, build rules, and other information specific to building C++ projects with Bazel.

Working with Bazel

The following resources will help you work with Bazel on C++ projects:

Best practices

In addition to general Bazel best practices, below are best practices specific to C++ projects.

BUILD files

Follow the guidelines below when creating your BUILD files:

  • Each BUILD file should contain one cc_library rule target per compilation unit in the directory.

  • You should granularize your C++ libraries as much as possible to maximize incrementality and parallelize the build.

  • If there is a single source file in srcs, name the library the same as that C++ file's name. This library should contain C++ file(s), any matching header file(s), and the library's direct dependencies. For example:

        name = "mylib",
        srcs = ["mylib.cc"],
        hdrs = ["mylib.h"],
        deps = [":lower-level-lib"]
  • Use one cc_test rule target per cc_library target in the file. Name the target [library-name]_test and the source file [library-name]_test.cc. For example, a test target for the mylib library target shown above would look like this:

        name = "mylib_test",
        srcs = ["mylib_test.cc"],
        deps = [":mylib"]

Include paths

Follow these guidelines for include paths:

  • Make all include paths relative to the workspace directory.

  • Use quoted includes (#include "foo/bar/baz.h") for non-system headers, not angle-brackets (#include <foo/bar/baz.h>).

  • Avoid using UNIX directory shortcuts, such as . (current directory) or .. (parent directory).

  • For legacy or third_party code that requires includes pointing outside the project repository, such as external repository includes requiring a prefix, use the include_prefix and strip_include_prefix arguments on the cc_library rule target.