A CMake way to embed a library in another?

We have a product that creates a few libraries that are in turn combined with more code to make a super library.

For example, we have static libraries lib-A and lib-B that are combined with even more source code to make static lib-C.

When creating lib-C it integrates with lib-A and lib-B using


We also have extra custom logic that causes the objects from lib-A and lib-B to be embedded in lib-C. So in the end lib-C has all of it’s object files as well as all of the object files from lib-A and lib-B.

We then export lib-C using the instructions from the “Importing and Exporting Guide”.

However, we’re hitting an unexpected problem. Our executables that link with lib-C are raising an error that they cannot find lib-A or lib-B.

For example:

LINK : fatal error LNK1181: cannot open input file 'lib-A_64.lib' [C:\...\foo_64.vcxproj]

When I dug into this I found that this is most likely because of the exported library for lib-C. The generated lib-C_64Targets.cmake has logic such as the following:

set_target_properties(lib-C_64 PROPERTIES

I believe it’s the presense of these LINK_ONLY entries in the INTERFACE_LINK_LIBRARIES properties.

I know that, I can manually remove these values from the INTERFACE_LINK_LIBRARIES after embedding the libraries. I can do so first reading the property, adjusting it and then writing it back. However, I would like to learn if there is a more elegant “CMake” way of achieving my goal.

Can you teach me of a different or better way?

Thank you.

No, CMake does not have such an abstraction. See this issue.