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make utility automatically determines which pieces of a
large program need to be recompiled, and issues the commands to
This edition of the GNU Make Manual,
last updated 08 July 2002,
make Version 3.80.
This manual describes
make and contains the following chapters:
1. Overview of
2. An Introduction to Makefiles An introduction to
3. Writing Makefiles Makefiles tell
makewhat to do.
4. Writing Rules Rules describe when a file must be remade. 5. Writing the Commands in Rules Commands say how to remake a file. 6. How to Use Variables You can use variables to avoid repetition. 7. Conditional Parts of Makefiles Use or ignore parts of the makefile based on the values of variables. 8. Functions for Transforming Text Many powerful ways to manipulate text. 9. How to Run
How to invoke
makeon the command line.
10. Using Implicit Rules Use implicit rules to treat many files alike, based on their file names. 11. Using
maketo Update Archive Files
makecan update library archives.
12. Features of GNU
makehas over other
13. Incompatibilities and Missing Features What GNU
makelacks from other
14. Makefile Conventions Conventions for writing makefiles for GNU programs. A. Quick Reference A quick reference for experienced users. B. Errors Generated by Make A list of common errors generated by
C. Complex Makefile Example A real example of a straightforward, but nontrivial, makefile.
D. GNU Free Documentation License License for copying this manual Index of Concepts Index of Functions, Variables, & Directives
-- The Detailed Node Listing ---
Preparing and Running Make 1.1 How to Read This Manual On Reading this Text 1.2 Problems and Bugs
An Introduction to Makefiles
2.1 What a Rule Looks Like What a rule looks like. 2.2 A Simple Makefile 2.3 How
makeProcesses a Makefile
makeProcesses This Makefile
2.4 Variables Make Makefiles Simpler 2.5 Letting
makeDeduce the Commands
2.6 Another Style of Makefile 2.7 Rules for Cleaning the Directory
3.1 What Makefiles Contain What makefiles contain. 3.2 What Name to Give Your Makefile How to name your makefile. 3.3 Including Other Makefiles How one makefile can use another makefile. 3.4 The Variable
The environment can specify extra makefiles. 3.5 The Variable
Discover which makefiles have been read. 3.6 Other Special Variables Other special variables. 3.7 How Makefiles Are Remade How makefiles get remade. 3.8 Overriding Part of Another Makefile How to override part of one makefile with another makefile. 3.9 How
makeReads a Makefile
How makefiles are parsed.
4.1 Rule Example An example explained. 4.2 Rule Syntax General syntax explained. 4.3 Types of Prerequisites There are two types of prerequisites. 4.4 Using Wildcard Characters in File Names Using wildcard characters such as `*'. 4.5 Searching Directories for Prerequisites Searching other directories for source files. 4.6 Phony Targets Using a target that is not a real file's name. 4.7 Rules without Commands or Prerequisites You can use a target without commands or prerequisites to mark other targets as phony. 4.8 Empty Target Files to Record Events When only the date matters and the files are empty. 4.9 Special Built-in Target Names Targets with special built-in meanings. 4.10 Multiple Targets in a Rule When to make use of several targets in a rule. 4.11 Multiple Rules for One Target How to use several rules with the same target. 4.12 Static Pattern Rules Static pattern rules apply to multiple targets and can vary the prerequisites according to the target name. 4.13 Double-Colon Rules How to use a special kind of rule to allow several independent rules for one target. 4.14 Generating Prerequisites Automatically How to automatically generate rules giving prerequisites from source files themselves.
Using Wildcard Characters in File Names
4.4.1 Wildcard Examples Several examples 4.4.2 Pitfalls of Using Wildcards Problems to avoid. 4.4.3 The Function
How to cause wildcard expansion where it does not normally take place.
Searching Directories for Prerequisites
VPATH: Search Path for All Prerequisites
Specifying a search path that applies to every prerequisite. 4.5.2 The
Specifying a search path for a specified class of names. 4.5.3 How Directory Searches are Performed When and how search paths are applied. 4.5.4 Writing Shell Commands with Directory Search How to write shell commands that work together with search paths. 4.5.5 Directory Search and Implicit Rules How search paths affect implicit rules. 4.5.6 Directory Search for Link Libraries Directory search for link libraries.
Static Pattern Rules
4.12.1 Syntax of Static Pattern Rules The syntax of static pattern rules. 4.12.2 Static Pattern Rules versus Implicit Rules When are they better than implicit rules?
Writing the Commands in Rules
5.1 Command Echoing How to control when commands are echoed. 5.2 Command Execution How commands are executed. 5.3 Parallel Execution How commands can be executed in parallel. 5.4 Errors in Commands What happens after a command execution error. 5.5 Interrupting or Killing
What happens when a command is interrupted. 5.6 Recursive Use of
5.7 Defining Canned Command Sequences Defining canned sequences of commands. 5.8 Using Empty Commands Defining useful, do-nothing commands.
Recursive Use of
5.6.1 How the
The special effects of using `$(MAKE)'. 5.6.2 Communicating Variables to a Sub-
How to communicate variables to a sub-
5.6.3 Communicating Options to a Sub-
How to communicate options to a sub-
5.6.4 The `--print-directory' Option How the `-w' or `--print-directory' option helps debug use of recursive
How to Use Variables
6.1 Basics of Variable References How to use the value of a variable. 6.2 The Two Flavors of Variables Variables come in two flavors. 6.3 Advanced Features for Reference to Variables Advanced features for referencing a variable. 6.4 How Variables Get Their Values All the ways variables get their values. 6.5 Setting Variables How to set a variable in the makefile. 6.6 Appending More Text to Variables How to append more text to the old value of a variable. 6.7 The
How to set a variable in the makefile even if the user has set it with a command argument. 6.8 Defining Variables Verbatim An alternate way to set a variable to a verbatim string. 6.9 Variables from the Environment Variable values can come from the environment. 6.10 Target-specific Variable Values Variable values can be defined on a per-target basis. 6.11 Pattern-specific Variable Values Target-specific variable values can be applied to a group of targets that match a pattern.
Advanced Features for Reference to Variables
6.3.1 Substitution References Referencing a variable with substitutions on the value. 6.3.2 Computed Variable Names Computing the name of the variable to refer to.
Conditional Parts of Makefiles
7.1 Example of a Conditional Example of a conditional 7.2 Syntax of Conditionals The syntax of conditionals. 7.3 Conditionals that Test Flags Conditionals that test flags.
Functions for Transforming Text
8.1 Function Call Syntax How to write a function call. 8.2 Functions for String Substitution and Analysis General-purpose text manipulation functions. 8.3 Functions for File Names Functions for manipulating file names. 8.4 The
Repeat some text with controlled variation. 8.5 The
Conditionally expand a value. 8.6 The
Expand a user-defined function. 8.7 The
Return the un-expanded value of a variable. 8.8 The
Evaluate the arguments as makefile syntax. 8.9 The
Find where a variable got its value. 8.10 The
Substitute the output of a shell command. 8.11 Functions That Control Make Functions that control how make runs.
How to Run
9.1 Arguments to Specify the Makefile How to specify which makefile to use. 9.2 Arguments to Specify the Goals How to use goal arguments to specify which parts of the makefile to use. 9.3 Instead of Executing the Commands How to use mode flags to specify what kind of thing to do with the commands in the makefile other than simply execute them. 9.4 Avoiding Recompilation of Some Files How to avoid recompiling certain files. 9.5 Overriding Variables How to override a variable to specify an alternate compiler and other things. 9.6 Testing the Compilation of a Program How to proceed past some errors, to test compilation. 9.7 Summary of Options
Using Implicit Rules
10.1 Using Implicit Rules How to use an existing implicit rule to get the commands for updating a file. 10.2 Catalogue of Implicit Rules A list of built-in implicit rules. 10.3 Variables Used by Implicit Rules How to change what predefined rules do. 10.4 Chains of Implicit Rules How to use a chain of implicit rules. 10.5 Defining and Redefining Pattern Rules How to define new implicit rules. 10.6 Defining Last-Resort Default Rules How to defining commands for rules which cannot find any. 10.7 Old-Fashioned Suffix Rules The old-fashioned style of implicit rule. 10.8 Implicit Rule Search Algorithm The precise algorithm for applying implicit rules.
Defining and Redefining Pattern Rules
10.5.1 Introduction to Pattern Rules An introduction to pattern rules. 10.5.2 Pattern Rule Examples Examples of pattern rules. 10.5.3 Automatic Variables How to use automatic variables in the commands of implicit rules. 10.5.4 How Patterns Match How patterns match. 10.5.5 Match-Anything Pattern Rules Precautions you should take prior to defining rules that can match any target file whatever. 10.5.6 Canceling Implicit Rules How to override or cancel built-in rules.
maketo Update Archive Files
11.1 Archive Members as Targets Archive members as targets. 11.2 Implicit Rule for Archive Member Targets The implicit rule for archive member targets. 11.3 Dangers When Using Archives Dangers to watch out for when using archives. 11.4 Suffix Rules for Archive Files You can write a special kind of suffix rule for updating archives.
Implicit Rule for Archive Member Targets
11.2.1 Updating Archive Symbol Directories How to update archive symbol directories.
14.1 General Conventions for Makefiles 14.2 Utilities in Makefiles 14.3 Variables for Specifying Commands 14.4 Variables for Installation Directories 14.5 Standard Targets for Users 14.6 Install Command Categories Three categories of commands in the `install'
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