cmake: How to set visual studio intermediate directory?

I googled this question, these’s no easy way. Cmake does not provide any variable or property to modify visual studio intermediate dierectory. So I modified cmake source code to implement the feature.I’m using VS2005, and I test the modification under VS2005. It just work.

NOTE: New property VS_INTERMEDIATE_DIRECTORY_(CONFIG) can be used to change VS intermediate directory. VS_INTERMEDIATE_DIRECTORY global variable is not supported.

Download source code

Download the source code cmake-3.2.1, unzip to a folder.

Modify source code

  • file:: cmLocalVisualStudio7Generator.cxx
  • function:: void cmLocalVisualStudio7Generator::WriteConfiguration
  • modification::
  // The intermediate directory name consists of a directory for the
  // target and a subdirectory for the configuration name.
  std::string intermediateDir = this->GetTargetDirectory(target);

#if 1 //modify for change intermediate directory
  std::string vsIntDirProp = std::string("VS_INTERMEDIATE_DIRECTORY_") + cmSystemTools::UpperCase(configName);
  const char* vsIntermediateDir = target.GetProperty(vsIntDirProp.c_str());
  if (vsIntermediateDir)
      intermediateDir = vsIntermediateDir;
      std::string tgtDir = target.GetName();
          intermediateDir += "/";
          intermediateDir += tgtDir;
      intermediateDir += "/";
      intermediateDir += configName;
  intermediateDir += "/";
  intermediateDir += configName;

Build source code

Follow the cmake build guidline. Use your favorate compiler to build cmake binary. Of course, there must be a installed cmake version on your PC.

cd E:\code\cmake-3.2.1
mkdir vs8
cd vs8
cmake -G "Visual Studio 8 2005" ..

Open Cmake.sln with vs2005 and build cmake project. Download my build work: cmake.exe (vc8-win32) Replace the installed version.


    string (TOUPPER ${config} config)
    set_target_properties(${_project} PROPERTIES
        RUNTIME_OUTPUT_DIRECTORY_${config} ${bin_path}
        ARCHIVE_OUTPUT_DIRECTORY_${config} ${lib_path}
        LIBRARY_OUTPUT_DIRECTORY_${config} ${lib_path}
        PDB_OUTPUT_DIRECTORY_${config} ${sym_path}
        VS_INTERMEDIATE_DIRECTORY_${config} ${tmp_path}
endforeach ()