SCons Getting started with SCons


SCons is a build system. It takes a bunch of input files and run tools on them to produce output. SCons is written in pure Python, works the same way on Linux, Windows and OS X, and may be run without installation.

SCons' SConstruct files are Python scripts with built-in commands that create a build tree. SCons executes build process in phases. First is reading files and constructing a build tree. Second is traversing the tree to build target files.


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Getting Started

Once you have SCons running, create a file named SConstruct :

print('..Building World')

Now run scons :

$ scons
scons: Reading SConscript files ...
..Building World
scons: done reading SConscript files.
scons: Building targets ...
scons: `.' is up to date.
scons: done building targets.

SConstruct is a Python script with additional SCons functions.

Zip('archive', ['SConstruct'])

The script above packs itself into using Zip() function provided by SCons. Zip is a Builder - it builds target specified by first argument from multiple sources, which come as second argument to Builders by convention.

SCons Builders start with uppercase letter and operate on Environment object, which stores build configuration. SCons provides default Environment, but it can be created explicitly to separate build variables, choose different tools, etc.

env = Environment()
env.Zip('archive', ['SConstruct'])

Note that when you run the script for the second time, it doesn't build anything. SCons rebuilds targets only when source files change. Modify SConstruct and run scons again to see the difference.

SCons is designed to be extensible. You add your own Builder methods by attaching them to the Environment, which can be covered in later topics.