Meson is a project to create the best possible next-generation build system.

Code Quality Rank: L2
Programming language: Python
License: Apache License 2.0
Latest version: v0.56.0

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Meson® is a project to create the best possible next-generation build system.


PyPI Build Status Codecov Code Quality: Python Total Alerts

  • Python (version 3.7 or newer)
  • Ninja (version 1.8.2 or newer)
Installing from source

Meson is available on PyPi, so it can be installed with pip3 install meson. The exact command to type to install with pip can vary between systems, be sure to use the Python 3 version of pip.

If you wish you can install it locally with the standard Python command:

python3 -m pip install meson

For builds using Ninja, Ninja can be downloaded directly from Ninja GitHub release page or via PyPi

python3 -m pip install ninja

More on Installing Meson build can be found at the getting meson page.

Creating a standalone script

Meson can be run as a Python zip app. To generate the executable run the following command:

./packaging/create_zipapp.py --outfile meson.pyz --interpreter '/usr/bin/env python3' <source checkout>

Meson requires that you have a source directory and a build directory and that these two are different. In your source root must exist a file called meson.build. To generate the build system run this command:

meson setup <source directory> <build directory>

Depending on how you obtained Meson the command might also be called meson.py instead of plain meson. In the rest of this document we are going to use the latter form.

You can omit either of the two directories, and Meson will substitute the current directory and autodetect what you mean. This allows you to do things like this:

cd <source root>
meson setup builddir

To compile, cd into your build directory and type ninja. To run unit tests, type ninja test.

More on running Meson build system commands can be found at the running meson page or by typing meson --help.


We love code contributions. See the contribution page on the website for details.


The channel to use is #mesonbuild either via Matrix (web interface) or OFTC IRC.

Further info

More information about the Meson build system can be found at the project's home page.

Meson is a registered trademark of Jussi Pakkanen.