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2. An Introduction to Makefiles

You need a file called a makefile to tell make what to do. Most often, the makefile tells make how to compile and link a program.

In this chapter, we will discuss a simple makefile that describes how to compile and link a text editor which consists of eight C source files and three header files. The makefile can also tell make how to run miscellaneous commands when explicitly asked (for example, to remove certain files as a clean-up operation). To see a more complex example of a makefile, see C. Complex Makefile Example.

When make recompiles the editor, each changed C source file must be recompiled. If a header file has changed, each C source file that includes the header file must be recompiled to be safe. Each compilation produces an object file corresponding to the source file. Finally, if any source file has been recompiled, all the object files, whether newly made or saved from previous compilations, must be linked together to produce the new executable editor.

2.1 What a Rule Looks Like  What a rule looks like.
2.2 A Simple Makefile  
2.3 How make Processes a Makefile  How make Processes This Makefile
2.4 Variables Make Makefiles Simpler  
2.5 Letting make Deduce the Commands  
2.6 Another Style of Makefile  
2.7 Rules for Cleaning the Directory  

This document was generated by Jeff Bailey on December, 25 2002 using texi2html