Export targets or packages for outside projects to use them directly from the current project's build tree, without installation.

See the install(EXPORT) command to export targets from an install tree.


export(TARGETS <target>... [...])
export(EXPORT <export-name> [...])
export(PACKAGE <PackageName>)

Exporting Targets

export(TARGETS <target>... [NAMESPACE <namespace>]

Creates a file <filename> that may be included by outside projects to import targets named by <target>... from the current project's build tree. This is useful during cross-compiling to build utility executables that can run on the host platform in one project and then import them into another project being compiled for the target platform.

The file created by this command is specific to the build tree and should never be installed. See the install(EXPORT) command to export targets from an install tree.

The options are:

NAMESPACE <namespace>

Prepend the <namespace> string to all target names written to the file.


Append to the file instead of overwriting it. This can be used to incrementally export multiple targets to the same file.


Include the contents of the properties named with the pattern (IMPORTED_)?LINK_INTERFACE_LIBRARIES(_<CONFIG>)? in the export, even when policy CMP0022 is NEW. This is useful to support consumers using CMake versions older than 2.8.12.

This signature requires all targets to be listed explicitly. If a library target is included in the export, but a target to which it links is not included, the behavior is unspecified. See the export(EXPORT) signature to automatically export the same targets from the build tree as install(EXPORT) would from an install tree.


Object Libraries under Xcode have special handling if multiple architectures are listed in CMAKE_OSX_ARCHITECTURES. In this case they will be exported as Interface Libraries with no object files available to clients. This is sufficient to satisfy transitive usage requirements of other targets that link to the object libraries in their implementation.

Exporting Targets to Android.mk

export(TARGETS <target>... ANDROID_MK <filename>)

New in version 3.7.

This signature exports cmake built targets to the android ndk build system by creating an Android.mk file that references the prebuilt targets. The Android NDK supports the use of prebuilt libraries, both static and shared. This allows cmake to build the libraries of a project and make them available to an ndk build system complete with transitive dependencies, include flags and defines required to use the libraries. The signature takes a list of targets and puts them in the Android.mk file specified by the <filename> given. This signature can only be used if policy CMP0022 is NEW for all targets given. A error will be issued if that policy is set to OLD for one of the targets.

Exporting Targets matching install(EXPORT)

export(EXPORT <export-name> [NAMESPACE <namespace>] [FILE <filename>])

Creates a file <filename> that may be included by outside projects to import targets from the current project's build tree. This is the same as the export(TARGETS) signature, except that the targets are not explicitly listed. Instead, it exports the targets associated with the installation export <export-name>. Target installations may be associated with the export <export-name> using the EXPORT option of the install(TARGETS) command.

Exporting Packages

export(PACKAGE <PackageName>)

Store the current build directory in the CMake user package registry for package <PackageName>. The find_package() command may consider the directory while searching for package <PackageName>. This helps dependent projects find and use a package from the current project's build tree without help from the user. Note that the entry in the package registry that this command creates works only in conjunction with a package configuration file (<PackageName>Config.cmake) that works with the build tree. In some cases, for example for packaging and for system wide installations, it is not desirable to write the user package registry.

Changed in version 3.1: If the CMAKE_EXPORT_NO_PACKAGE_REGISTRY variable is enabled, the export(PACKAGE) command will do nothing.

Changed in version 3.15: By default the export(PACKAGE) command does nothing (see policy CMP0090) because populating the user package registry has effects outside the source and build trees. Set the CMAKE_EXPORT_PACKAGE_REGISTRY variable to add build directories to the CMake user package registry.