[C++-sig] How to install extensions using bjam(?)

Anthony Foglia AFoglia at princeton.com
Mon Oct 26 15:08:16 CET 2009

Amos Anderson wrote:
> I'm working on a project which is mixed C++/Python, and we use Boost
> functionality in our C++, and we've set up bjam to compile our project
> (on OSX). Everything seems to be working quite well.
> To use our libraries from python scripts right now, we have to run this first:
> #!/bin/bash
> trunk=$HOME/project/trunk/
> export PYTHONPATH=$trunk:$trunk/lib
> python $@
> which is quite inconvenient. Now obviously I can skip this step by
> pasting those two export statements into my .profile, however, at some
> point we're going to start distributing this software and it would be
> nice if we didn't require the end user to do something like that.
> I can't believe that either of these 2 steps are how it's supposed to
> work... so how should I be doing it?  Ideally, I want to set something
> up so that the end user only has to run 1 (one) command to build &
> install. Here are some things I've thought about:


> 3) bjam includes a way to install libraries into a folder I can name,
> but does it have a way to set environment variables? or automatically
> figure out the right places to put all the python files? If so, I
> can't find it...

	Almost certainly not.  bjam would be running in a child process and 
won't be able to change the environment of the parent (shell) process. 
Even if it did, any changes wouldn't persist into newly launched shells.

	I don't think there you can get the "right place" to put the python 
files, especially since different users will have different "right 
places".  I think your best bet is to follow the usual convention of 
using a default location of "/usr/lib/python<version>/site-packages", 
but allow users to override it from the command line.  I'm not 100% sure 
of the syntax, but something like

bjam -s prefix=/usr/local/lib/python2.5

should set the variable prefix to /usr/local/lib/python2.5 inside the 

Now you just need a way to get the default python version to set the 
default value.  bjam's python module has a .version-countdown variable 
that might help.

The boost-build mailing list can probably give you better help.

Anthony Foglia
Princeton Consultants
(609) 987-8787 x233

More information about the Cplusplus-sig mailing list