Log a message.


General messages
  message([<mode>] "message text" ...)

Reporting checks
  message(<checkState> "message text" ...)

Configure Log
  message(CONFIGURE_LOG <text>...)

General messages

message([<mode>] "message text" ...)

Record the specified message text in the log. If more than one message string is given, they are concatenated into a single message with no separator between the strings.

The optional <mode> keyword determines the type of message, which influences the way the message is handled:


CMake Error, stop processing and generation.

The cmake(1) executable will return a non-zero exit code.


CMake Error, continue processing, but skip generation.


CMake Warning, continue processing.


CMake Warning (dev), continue processing.


CMake Deprecation Error or Warning if variable CMAKE_ERROR_DEPRECATED or CMAKE_WARN_DEPRECATED is enabled, respectively, else no message.

(none) or NOTICE

Important message printed to stderr to attract user's attention.


The main interesting messages that project users might be interested in. Ideally these should be concise, no more than a single line, but still informative.


Detailed informational messages intended for project users. These messages should provide additional details that won't be of interest in most cases, but which may be useful to those building the project when they want deeper insight into what's happening.


Detailed informational messages intended for developers working on the project itself as opposed to users who just want to build it. These messages will not typically be of interest to other users building the project and will often be closely related to internal implementation details.


Fine-grained messages with very low-level implementation details. Messages using this log level would normally only be temporary and would expect to be removed before releasing the project, packaging up the files, etc.

New in version 3.15: Added the NOTICE, VERBOSE, DEBUG, and TRACE levels.

The CMake command-line tool displays STATUS to TRACE messages on stdout with the message preceded by two hyphens and a space. All other message types are sent to stderr and are not prefixed with hyphens. The CMake GUI displays all messages in its log area. The curses interface shows STATUS to TRACE messages one at a time on a status line and other messages in an interactive pop-up box. The --log-level command-line option to each of these tools can be used to control which messages will be shown.

New in version 3.17: To make a log level persist between CMake runs, the CMAKE_MESSAGE_LOG_LEVEL variable can be set instead. Note that the command line option takes precedence over the cache variable.

New in version 3.16: Messages of log levels NOTICE and below will have each line preceded by the content of the CMAKE_MESSAGE_INDENT variable (converted to a single string by concatenating its list items). For STATUS to TRACE messages, this indenting content will be inserted after the hyphens.

New in version 3.17: Messages of log levels NOTICE and below can also have each line preceded with context of the form [some.context.example]. The content between the square brackets is obtained by converting the CMAKE_MESSAGE_CONTEXT list variable to a dot-separated string. The message context will always appear before any indenting content but after any automatically added leading hyphens. By default, message context is not shown, it has to be explicitly enabled by giving the cmake --log-context command-line option or by setting the CMAKE_MESSAGE_CONTEXT_SHOW variable to true. See the CMAKE_MESSAGE_CONTEXT documentation for usage examples.

CMake Warning and Error message text displays using a simple markup language. Non-indented text is formatted in line-wrapped paragraphs delimited by newlines. Indented text is considered pre-formatted.

Reporting checks

New in version 3.17.

A common pattern in CMake output is a message indicating the start of some sort of check, followed by another message reporting the result of that check. For example:

message(STATUS "Looking for someheader.h")
#... do the checks, set checkSuccess with the result
  message(STATUS "Looking for someheader.h - found")
  message(STATUS "Looking for someheader.h - not found")

This can be more robustly and conveniently expressed using the CHECK_... keyword form of the message() command:

message(<checkState> "message" ...)

where <checkState> must be one of the following:


Record a concise message about the check about to be performed.


Record a successful result for a check.


Record an unsuccessful result for a check.

When recording a check result, the command repeats the message from the most recently started check for which no result has yet been reported, then some separator characters and then the message text provided after the CHECK_PASS or CHECK_FAIL keyword. Check messages are always reported at STATUS log level.

Checks may be nested and every CHECK_START should have exactly one matching CHECK_PASS or CHECK_FAIL. The CMAKE_MESSAGE_INDENT variable can also be used to add indenting to nested checks if desired. For example:

message(CHECK_START "Finding my things")

message(CHECK_START "Finding partA")
# ... do check, assume we find A
message(CHECK_PASS "found")

message(CHECK_START "Finding partB")
# ... do check, assume we don't find B
list(APPEND missingComponents B)
message(CHECK_FAIL "not found")

  message(CHECK_FAIL "missing components: ${missingComponents}")
  message(CHECK_PASS "all components found")

Output from the above would appear something like the following:

-- Finding my things
--   Finding partA
--   Finding partA - found
--   Finding partB
--   Finding partB - not found
-- Finding my things - missing components: B

Configure Log

New in version 3.26.

message(CONFIGURE_LOG <text>...)

Record a configure-log message event with the specified <text>. By convention, if the text contains more than one line, the first line should be a summary of the event.

This mode is intended to record the details of a system inspection check or other one-time operation guarded by a cache entry, but that is not performed using try_compile() or try_run(), which automatically log their details. Projects should avoid calling it every time CMake runs. For example:

  # Print check summary in configure output.
  message(CHECK_START "My Check")

  # ... perform system inspection, e.g., with execute_process ...

  # Cache the result so we do not run the check again.

  # Record the check details in the cmake-configure-log.
    "My Check Result: ${MY_CHECK_RESULT}\n"

  # Print check result in configure output.
    message(CHECK_PASS "passed")
    message(CHECK_FAIL "failed")

If no project is currently being configured, such as in cmake -P script mode, this command does nothing.

See Also