Output Directory Layout
Requirements for an output directory layout:
- Don’t collide if multiple users are building on the same box.
- Support building in multiple workspaces at the same time.
- Support building for multiple target configurations in the same workspace.
- Don’t collide with any other tools.
- Be easy to access.
- Be easy to clean, even selectively.
- Is unambiguous, even if the user relies on symbolic links when changing into their client directory.
- All the build state per user should be underneath one directory (“I’d like to clean all the .o files from all my clients.”)
Documentation of the current Bazel output directory layout
The solution that’s currently implemented:
- Bazel must be invoked from a directory containing a WORKSPACE file. It reports an error if it is not. We call this the workspace directory.
- The outputRoot directory is ~/.cache/bazel. (Unless
$TEST_TMPDIRis set, as in a test of bazel itself, in which case this directory is used instead.)
- We stick the Bazel user’s build state beneath
outputRoot/_bazel_$USER. This is called the outputUserRoot directory.
- Beneath the
outputUserRootdirectory, we create an
installBasedirectory whose name is “install” plus the MD5 hash of the Bazel installation manifest.
- Beneath the
outputUserRootdirectory, we also create an
outputBasedirectory whose name is the MD5 hash of the path name of the workspace directory. So, for example, if Bazel is running in the workspace directory
/home/user/src/my-project(or in a directory symlinked to that one), then we create an output base directory called:
- Users can use Bazel’s
--output_basestartup option to override the default output base directory. For example,
bazel --output_base=/tmp/bazel/output build x/y:z.
- Users can also use Bazel’s
--output_user_rootstartup option to override the default install base and output base directories. For example:
bazel --output_user_root=/tmp/bazel build x/y:z.
We put symlinks “bazel-<workspace-name>”, “bazel-out”, “bazel-testlogs”, and “bazel-bin” in the workspace directory; these symlinks points to some directories inside a target-specific directory inside the output directory. These symlinks are only for the user’s convenience, as Bazel itself does not use them. Also, we only do this if the workspace directory is writable.
Bazel internals: Directory layout
The directories are laid out as follows:
<workspace-name>/ <== The workspace directory bazel-my-project => <...my-project> <== Symlink to execRoot bazel-out => <...bin> <== Convenience symlink to outputPath bazel-bin => <...bin> <== Convenience symlink to most recent written bin dir $(BINDIR) bazel-testlogs => <...testlogs> <== Convenience symlink to the test logs directory /home/user/.cache/bazel/ <== Root for all Bazel output on a machine: outputRoot _bazel_$USER/ <== Top level directory for a given user depends on the user name: outputUserRoot install/ fba9a2c87ee9589d72889caf082f1029/ <== Hash of the Bazel install manifest: installBase _embedded_binaries/ <== Contains binaries and scripts unpacked from the data section of the bazel executable on first run (e.g. helper scripts and the main Java file BazelServer_deploy.jar) 7ffd56a6e4cb724ea575aba15733d113/ <== Hash of the client's workspace directory (e.g. /home/some-user/src/my-project): outputBase action_cache/ <== Action cache directory hierarchy This contains the persistent record of the file metadata (timestamps, and perhaps eventually also MD5 sums) used by the FilesystemValueChecker. action_outs/ <== Action output directory. This contains a file with the stdout/stderr for every action from the most recent bazel run that produced output. command.log <== A copy of the stdout/stderr output from the most recent bazel command. external/ <== The directory that remote repositories are downloaded/symlinked into. server/ <== The Bazel server puts all server-related files (such as socket file, logs, etc) here. jvm.out <== The debugging output for the server. execroot/ <== The working directory for all actions. For special cases such as sandboxing and remote execution, the actions run in a directory that mimics execroot. Implementation details, such as where the directories are created, are intentionally hidden from the action. All actions can access its inputs and outputs relative to the execroot directory. <workspace-name>/ <== Working tree for the Bazel build & root of symlink forest: execRoot _bin/ <== Helper tools are linked from or copied to here. bazel-out/ <== All actual output of the build is under here: outputPath local_linux-fastbuild/ <== one subdirectory per unique target BuildConfiguration instance; this is currently encoded bin/ <== Bazel outputs binaries for target configuration here: $(BINDIR) foo/bar/_objs/baz/ <== Object files for a cc_* rule named //foo/bar:baz foo/bar/baz1.o <== Object files from source //foo/bar:baz1.cc other_package/other.o <== Object files from source //other_package:other.cc foo/bar/baz <== foo/bar/baz might be the artifact generated by a cc_binary named //foo/bar:baz foo/bar/baz.runfiles/ <== The runfiles symlink farm for the //foo/bar:baz executable. MANIFEST <workspace-name>/ ... genfiles/ <== Bazel puts generated source for the target configuration here: $(GENDIR) foo/bar.h e.g. foo/bar.h might be a headerfile generated by //foo:bargen testlogs/ <== Bazel internal test runner puts test log files here foo/bartest.log e.g. foo/bar.log might be an output of the //foo:bartest test with foo/bartest.status foo/bartest.status containing exit status of the test (e.g. PASSED or FAILED (Exit 1), etc) include/ <== a tree with include symlinks, generated as needed. The bazel-include symlinks point to here. This is used for linkstamp stuff, etc. host/ <== BuildConfiguration for build host (user's workstation), for building prerequisite tools, that will be used in later stages of the build (ex: Protocol Compiler) <packages>/ <== Packages referenced in the build appear as if under a regular workspace
The layout of the *.runfiles directories is documented in more detail in the places pointed to by RunfilesSupport.
bazel clean does an
rm -rf on the
outputPath and the
directory. It also removes the workspace symlinks. The
will clean the entire outputBase.