Like SCons, Waf is a general-purpose build system that does not rely on Makefiles to build software.
WafPackage base classes come with the following phases:
configure- configure the project
build- build the project
install- install the project
By default, these phases run:
$ python waf configure --prefix=/path/to/installation/prefix $ python waf build $ python waf install
Each of these are standard Waf commands and can be found by running:
$ python waf --help
Each phase provides a
<phase> function that runs:
$ python waf -j<jobs> <phase>
<jobs> is the number of parallel jobs to build with. Each phase
also has a
<phase_args> function that can pass arguments to this call.
All of these functions are empty. The
--prefix=/path/to/installation/prefix, so you
don’t need to add that in the
WafPackage also provides
which are run after the
install phases, respectively.
By default, these phases do nothing, but you can override them to
run package-specific unit tests.
def installtest(self): with working_dir('test'): pytest = which('py.test') pytest()
Each Waf package comes with a custom
waf build script, written in
Python. This script contains instructions to build the project.
The package also comes with a
wscript file. This file is used to
override the default
to customize the Waf project. It also allows developers to override
./waf --help message. Check this file to find useful
information about dependencies and the minimum versions that are
Build system dependencies
WafPackage does not require
waf to build.
waf is only
needed to create the
./waf script. Since
./waf is a Python
script, Python is needed to build the project.
the following dependency automatically:
Waf only supports Python 2.5 and up.
Passing arguments to waf
As previously mentioned, each phase comes with a
function that can be used to pass arguments to that particular
phase. For example, if you need to pass arguments to the build
phase, you can use:
def build_args(self, spec, prefix): args =  if self.run_tests: args.append('--test') return args
A list of valid options can be found by running
For more information on the Waf build system, see: https://waf.io/book/