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A small wrapper around CC (gcc or clang) to capture, log and generate compile_commands.json file

When to use this tool?

You want to use clangd for code completion, but the code base you are working on, is using an ancient build system that does not automatically generate compile_commands.json file needed by clangd

How does it work?

This utility does the following:

  • Wraps your compiler ( gcc, clang etc)
  • Captures the compile line generated by your make, write it into a file and executes it
  • Once make run is completed, run cc-wrapper again, this time with the --finalise flag to generate the compile_commands.json file

How to use it?

The tools comes installed with CodeLite, but you can choose to build it from sources:

Build the tool from sources

git clone
cd cc-wrapper
git submodule update --init
mkdir build-release
cd $_
cmake .. -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Release
make -j$(nproc)
sudo make install 

Usage example


In the below example, we rely on the fact that most Makefile files honour the standard CC and CXX environment variables

In your terminal, where you would usually run make, type:

# the output is captured into this file
export CC_COMPILATION_LOG=/tmp/out.txt

# feel free to use clang instead
export CC="/usr/local/bin/cc-wrapper gcc"

# feel free to use clang++ instead
export CXX="/usr/local/bin/cc-wrapper g++"

# compile your code
make -j$(nproc)

# Now convert the output file into compile_commands.json
# `--finalise` will work on the file pointed by `CC_COMPILATION_LOG`
/usr/local/bin/cc-wrapper --finalise

You should now have compile_commands.json

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