Extra Configuration Options

In addition to the normal options provided by Meson, GTK defines various arguments that modify what should be built. All of these options are passed to meson as -Doption=value. Most of the time, the value can be true or false. To see a summary of all supported options and their allowed values, run

meson configure builddir


By default GTK will try to link against the Xinerama libraries if they are found. This option can be used to explicitly control whether Xinerama should be used.

gtk_doc and man-pages

The gtk-doc package is used to generate the reference documentation included with GTK. By default support for gtk-doc is disabled because it requires various extra dependencies to be installed. If you have gtk-doc and pandoc installed and are modifying GTK, you may want to enable gtk-doc support by passing in -Dgtk_doc=true.

Additionally, some tools provided by GTK have their own manual pages generated using a similar set of dependencies; if you have xsltproc then you can generate manual pages by passing -Dman-pages=true when configuring the build.


By default, GTK will try to build various print backends if their dependencies are found. This option can be used to explicitly control which print backends should be built.

x11-backend, win32-backend, broadway-backend, wayland-backend and quartz-backend

Enable specific backends for GDK. If none of these options are given, the Wayland backend will be enabled by default, if the platform is Linux; the X11 backend will also be enabled by default, unless the platform is Windows, in which case the default is win32, or the platform is macOS, in which case the default is quartz. If any backend is explicitly enabled or disabled, no other platform will be enabled automatically.


Allows to disable building introspection support. This is option is mainly useful for shortening turnaround times on developer systems. Installed builds of GTK should always have introspection support.

build-tests, install-tests, demos

By default, GTK will build quite a few tests and demos. While these are useful on a developer system, they are not needed when GTK is built e.g. for a flatpak runtime. These options allow to disable building tests and demos.