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SCons core provides tools implemented as Python modules. This is fine for tools that are part of the SCons distribution, but for contributed tools supported separately from the SCons code repository, using modules is not the best architecture. Fortunately, SCons allows for tools to be implemented as Python packages (i.e. directories with a file __init__.py). This allows for tools to be managed as packages in distributed version control system (DVCS) branches and repositories -- a Python package is a directory and directories not files are the top-level thing managed by a DVCS (which is why it is easier to deal with packages rather than modules using a DVCS).

To manage tools that are not part of SCons core, or provide enhancements for core tools independently, a DVCS (e.g. Mercurial, Git, Bazaar) repository (branch in Bazaar) should be created and the directory should contain a file __init__.py so that it is a package in the Python sense. The tool can then be installed by cloning (branching in Bazaar) the repository into the site_scons/site_tools directory.

No matter which DVCS and hosting site is used for a given tool, it should be indexed on this page: this page is the central index of all contributed tools. The index works best where there is a wiki page explaining the tool linked to by the entry in the first column of the tool list.

Install and usage

Installing an external Tool requires you to clone (branch in Bazaar) the contents of the package's folder to

  1. /path_to_your_project/site_scons/site_tools/foo, if you need the foo Tool in one project only, or

  2. ~/.scons/site_scons/site_tools/foo, for a personal installation of foo that can be used by you for all your projects (SCons 2.1 and later).

In SCons 2.1 and later, the following paths are tried in order to detect SCons specific settings, like the site_scons/site_tools folder:

OS (Platform) Path
Windows (win32/cygwin) $ALLUSERSPROFILE\Application Data\scons
$USERPROFILE\Local Settings\Application Data\scons
MacOS X (darwin) /Library/Application Support/SCons
~/Library/Application Support/SCons
Solaris (sunos) /opt/sfw/scons
Linux/HPUX/... (other) /usr/share/scons

(see also sect. 18.7 http://scons.org/doc/production/HTML/scons-user/ch18s07.html in the User's Guide).

This makes the tool available but it must be included explicitly in a SCons build by creating an Environment with a tools entry since only named tools from the SCons core are initialized automatically when SCons runs. Example:

# Create environment and init Tool foo
env = Environment(tools=['foo'])

# Use the builder, provided by the Tool foo

Have a pick (the actual index)

The index of Tools maintained outside of SCons repository:

Name DVCS Location Branch/Clone command
Chapel Mercurial https://bitbucket.org/russel/scons_chapel hg clone https://bitbucket.org/russel/scons_chapel chapel
C# Mercurial https://bitbucket.org/russel/scons_csharp hg clone https://bitbucket.org/russel/scons_csharp csharp
CPython Mercurial https://bitbucket.org/dirkbaechle/scons_cpython hg clone https://bitbucket.org/dirkbaechle/scons_cpython cpython
D (*)
Docbook Mercurial https://bitbucket.org/dirkbaechle/scons_docbook hg clone https://bitbucket.org/dirkbaechle/scons_docbook docbook
Doxyfile Git https://github.com/ptomulik/scons-tool-doxyfile git clone https://github.com/ptomulik/scons-tool-doxyfile
Doxygen Mercurial https://bitbucket.org/russel/scons_doxygen hg clone https://bitbucket.org/russel/scons_doxygen doxygen
dvipdfm Git https://github.com/ptomulik/scons-tool-dvipdfm git clone https://github.com/ptomulik/scons-tool-dvipdfm dvipdfm
Eiffel Bazaar https://launchpad.net/scons-eiffel bzr branch lp:scons-eiffel eiffel
Erlang Mercurial https://bitbucket.org/russel/scons_erlang hg clone https://bitbucket.org/russel/scons_erlang erlang
fastcpp Mercurial https://bitbucket.org/dirkbaechle/scons_fastcpp hg clone https://bitbucket.org/dirkbaechle/scons_fastcpp fastcpp
GccCov Git https://github.com/ptomulik/scons-tool-gcccov git clone https://github.com/ptomulik/scons-tool-gcccov gcccov
Gnuplot Git https://github.com/ptomulik/scons-tool-gnuplot git clone https://github.com/ptomulik/scons-tool-gnuplot gnuplot
Go Git http://github.com/alberts/goscons/tree/master/goscons/ git clone git://github.com/alberts/goscons.git
GObject (gob2) Mercurial https://bitbucket.org/dirkbaechle/scons_gob2 hg clone https://bitbucket.org/dirkbaechle/scons_gob2 gob2
Haskell Mercurial https://bitbucket.org/russel/scons_haskell hg clone https://bitbucket.org/russel/scons_haskell haskell
Jinja2 Git https://github.com/hgomersall/scons-jinja git clone https://github.com/hgomersall/scons-jinja jinja
Matlab (Mex) Git https://github.com/marcecj/scons_matlab git clone https://github.com/marcecj/scons_matlab matlab
MFObject Bazaar https://code.launchpad.net/~asomers/sconsaddons/mfobject bzr branch lp:~asomers/sconsaddons/mfobject
OCaml Mercurial https://bitbucket.org/russel/scons_ocaml hg clone https://bitbucket.org/russel/scons_ocaml ocaml
Perl Mercurial https://bitbucket.org/carandraug/scons-perl5 hg clone https://bitbucket.org/carandraug/scons-perl5 scons-perl5
pkg-config Git https://github.com/manuelnaranjo/scons-pkg-config git clone https://github.com/manuelnaranjo/scons-pkg-config pkg-config
Protocol Buffers Mercurial https://bitbucket.org/russel/scons_protobuf hg clone https://bitbucket.org/russel/scons_protobuf protoc
Qt4 Mercurial https://bitbucket.org/dirkbaechle/scons_qt4 hg clone https://bitbucket.org/dirkbaechle/scons_qt4 qt4
Qt5 Mercurial https://bitbucket.org/dirkbaechle/scons_qt5 hg clone https://bitbucket.org/dirkbaechle/scons_qt5 qt5
reST (docutils) Mercurial https://bitbucket.org/dirkbaechle/scons_rest hg clone https://bitbucket.org/dirkbaechle/scons_rest rest
RightNow Bazaar https://code.launchpad.net/~asomers/sconsaddons/rightnow bzr branch lp:~asomers/sconsaddons/rightnow
SIP Mercurial https://bitbucket.org/dirkbaechle/scons_sip hg clone https://bitbucket.org/dirkbaechle/scons_sip sip
Sphinx Mercurial http://bitbucket.org/zondo/sphinx-scons/overview hg clone https://bitbucket.org/zondo/sphinx-scons
sphinx4scons Mercurial https://bitbucket.org/wingbrant/sphinx4scons/ hg clone https://bitbucket.org/wingbrant/sphinx4scons
Vala Mercurial https://bitbucket.org/russel/scons_vala hg clone https://bitbucket.org/russel/scons_vala vala
Watcom Git https://bitbucket.org/cr1901/scons-wat git clone https://bitbucket.org/cr1901/scons-wat watcom
Xcode Mercurial https://bitbucket.org/al45tair/scons-xcode hg clone https://bitbucket.org/al45tair/scons-xcode xcode
X10 Mercurial https://bitbucket.org/russel/scons_x10 hg clone https://bitbucket.org/russel/scons_x10 x10

(*) The D tool is no longer developed outside of the SCons source tree (as it once was) to enable correct integration between D, C++ and C in multi-language systems. D tool development now happens in a clone of the SCons repository specifically for developing the D tool.


If you simply want to use the Tools above, or have a look at the sources, issue the command given in the Branch/Clone column. This will give you a local copy to work with.

Patching or extending and then, finally, contributing your code, needs a little more effort. For each DVCS, the following sections try to outline the required steps.


If you just want to create a read-only copy of the tool then just use "hg clone . . . ". If you are wanting to get involved in development of the tool then you will need a writeable clone.

  • You will need to create a BitBucket account if you haven't already got one. Navigate to BitBucket and create an account and then login. If you already have an account then just login.
  • In order to be able to push to your repository, you need to upload SSH keys to BitBucket. Your Account Settings page has a section for SSH keys.
  • If you are cloning an existing tool then use the BitBucket "fork" button on the existing tool repository. At the time of writing (2011-08-13T10:50+01:00) the icon is a blue arrow pointing up and right.
  • If you are creating a new tool then create the repository on BitBucket.
  • Now you clone your BitBucket repository to your local machines in an appropriate place.
  • When you make changes locally remember to push them up to BitBucket when they are ready for publishing.
  • If you have cloned a pre-existing repository remember to issue pull requests when you think you have a change that should be merged into the mainline.


We assume that you have initially branched an existing tool, modified it and want to publish your changes.

  • If you don't already have a login at Launchpad, register there first. A homepage is created for you, and on it you find the OpenID URL. It has your Launchpad-login as last part, after the ~.
  • For identification purposes you need to provide a public SSH key to Launchpad. If necessary, create a new one under your OS of choice. Import your key under the entry SSH keys on your Launchpad homepage.
  • Now you can issue the command bzr launchpad-login yournick on your local machine. Here, yournick is your personal Launchpad-login as described above. This tells Bazaar to use this nickname for all your following commits/pushes, directed at Launchpad.
  • You should also check your local name (the one that is displayed for commits) with bzr whoami and change it by bzr whoami "John Doe <jdoe@lostmymind.com>", respectively.
  • Commit your local changes with bzr commit.
  • Then, push your local branch up to Launchpad with bzr push lp:~yournick/toolname/branchname. Correctly replacing yournick (your Launchpad-login), toolname (name of the tool) and branchname (name of your branch), this creates a new branch under your account associated with the tool project. Since Launchpad stores all the different branches in a sort of "matrix", your contribution should show up on your page and on the tool project page along with the original branch.
  • As described on the Code/Uploading a Branch page, you can continue to commit your subsequent changes locally bzr commit or publish them again by a push bzr push lp:~yournick/toolname/branchname.
  • Eventually, use the "Propose for merging" link (on the Launchpad page of your branch) to get your changes into the mainline (also known as trunk). Please also regard the special page ToolsBazaarWorkflows, it contains more info about

  • proper merging,

  • how to setup a new project for a Tool and
  • adding a downloadable Tarball to your release In many ways all branches for a given tool are equal; all branches are effectively forks of the tool. The mainline is the one agreed to be the mainline and is the one to be indexed above.

For more detailed infos about Bazaar and DVCS in general, you should also visit the UsingBzr page.