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CMake Gets Boost in Latest Visual Studio 2017 Preview

The new Visual Studio 2017 15.4 Preview 2 includes a boost to the CMake software build management tool, which now lets developers target Linux directly.

The preview upgrades CMake to version 3.9, featuring a number of enhancements concerning languages, generators, commands and more.

The Visual Studio C++ team highlighted several of the new features in a blog post. Of special importance to C++ for Linux developers is the new ability to target Linux directly from CMake projects.

"This feature allows you to open your Linux projects without modification, edit on Windows with full IntelliSense, and build and debug on a remote Linux target," the C++ team said. "Additionally, Visual Studio handles the connection to the remote target for you, so you don’t need to worry about setting up SSH tunnels. This should make cross-platform development a breeze, because you can switch between targeting Windows and Linux by switching configurations in the dropdown."

Targeting Linux Directly
[Click on image for larger view.] Targeting Linux Directly (source: Microsoft).

More information on that feature is available in an earlier blog post, titled "Visual C++ for Linux Development with CMake."

The C++ team also highlighted better support for folders containing multiple independent CMake lists.

"When you open a folder with independent projects, all targets in your CMake projects should be detected," Microsoft said. "This feature does have some limitations in the preview. For instance, if there is a CMakeLists in the root folder, independent CMakeLists in subfolders may not be properly detected. Please let us know if this will negatively impact your projects. Until then, you can work around this limitation by opening the subfolder directly."

The post also details a number of bug fixes and minor improvements.

Developers can provide feedback about the Visual Studio previews at the Report a Problem site or the UserVoice site, which collects suggestions and feature requests.

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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