The GNU `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 04 April 2000,
documents GNU `make' Version 3.79.
This manual describes `make' and contains the following chapters:
* Overview Overview of `make'.
* Introduction An introduction to `make'.
* Makefiles Makefiles tell `make' what to do.
* Rules Rules describe when a file must be remade.
* Commands Commands say how to remake a file.
* Using Variables You can use variables to avoid repetition.
* Conditionals Use or ignore parts of the makefile based
on the values of variables.
* Functions Many powerful ways to manipulate text.
* Invoking make Running. How to invoke `make' on the command line.
* Implicit Rules Use implicit rules to treat many files alike,
based on their file names.
* Archives How `make' can update library archives.
* Features Features GNU `make' has over other `make's.
* Missing What GNU `make' lacks from other `make's.
* Makefile Conventions Conventions for makefiles in GNU programs.
* Quick Reference A quick reference for experienced users.
* Error Messages A list of common errors generated by `make'.
* Complex Makefile A real example of a straightforward,
but nontrivial, makefile.
* Concept Index Index of Concepts
* Name Index Index of Functions, Variables, & Directives
--- The Detailed Node Listing ---
Overview of `make'
* Preparing Preparing and Running Make
* Reading On Reading this Text
* Bugs Problems and Bugs
An Introduction to Makefiles
* Rule Introduction What a rule looks like.
* Simple Makefile A Simple Makefile
* How Make Works How `make' Processes This Makefile
* Variables Simplify Variables Make Makefiles Simpler
* make Deduces Letting `make' Deduce the Commands
* Combine By Prerequisite Another Style of Makefile
* Cleanup Rules for Cleaning the Directory
* Makefile Contents What makefiles contain.
* Makefile Names How to name your makefile.
* Include How one makefile can use another makefile.
* MAKEFILES Variable The environment can specify extra makefiles.
* Remaking Makefiles How makefiles get remade.
* Overriding Makefiles How to override part of one makefile
with another makefile.
* Reading Makefiles How makefiles are parsed.
* Rule Example An example explained.
* Rule Syntax General syntax explained.
* Wildcards Using wildcard characters such as `*'.
* Directory Search Searching other directories for source files.
* Phony Targets Using a target that is not a real file's name.
* Force Targets You can use a target without commands
or prerequisites to mark other
targets as phony.
* Empty Targets When only the date matters and the
files are empty.
* Special Targets Targets with special built-in meanings.
* Multiple Targets When to make use of several targets in a rule.
* Multiple Rules How to use several rules with the same target.
* Static Pattern Static pattern rules apply to multiple targets
and can vary the prerequisites according to
the target name.
* Double-Colon How to use a special kind of rule to allow
several independent rules for one target.
* Automatic Prerequisites How to automatically generate rules giving
prerequisites from source files themselves.
Using Wildcard Characters in File Names
* Wildcard Examples Several examples
* Wildcard Pitfall Problems to avoid.
* Wildcard Function How to cause wildcard expansion where
it does not normally take place.
Searching Directories for Prerequisites
* General Search Specifying a search path that applies
to every prerequisite.
* Selective Search Specifying a search path
for a specified class of names.
* Search Algorithm When and how search paths are applied.
* Commands/Search How to write shell commands that work together
with search paths.
* Implicit/Search How search paths affect implicit rules.
* Libraries/Search Directory search for link libraries.
Static Pattern Rules
* Static Usage The syntax of static pattern rules.
* Static versus Implicit When are they better than implicit rules?
Writing the Commands in Rules
* Echoing How to control when commands are echoed.
* Execution How commands are executed.
* Parallel How commands can be executed in parallel.
* Errors What happens after a command execution error.
* Interrupts What happens when a command is interrupted.
* Recursion Invoking `make' from makefiles.
* Sequences Defining canned sequences of commands.
* Empty Commands Defining useful, do-nothing commands.
Recursive Use of `make'
* MAKE Variable The special effects of using `$(MAKE)'.
* Variables/Recursion How to communicate variables to a sub-`make'.
* Options/Recursion How to communicate options to a sub-`make'.
* -w Option How the `-w' or `--print-directory' option
helps debug use of recursive `make' commands.
How to Use Variables
* Reference How to use the value of a variable.
* Flavors Variables come in two flavors.
* Advanced Advanced features for referencing a variable.
* Values All the ways variables get their values.
* Setting How to set a variable in the makefile.
* Appending How to append more text to the old value
of a variable.
* Override Directive How to set a variable in the makefile even if
the user has set it with a command argument.
* Defining An alternate way to set a variable
to a verbatim string.
* Environment Variable values can come from the environment.
* Automatic Some special variables have predefined
meanings for use with implicit rules.
Advanced Features for Reference to Variables
* Substitution Refs Referencing a variable with
substitutions on the value.
* Computed Names Computing the name of the variable to refer to.
Conditional Parts of Makefiles
* Conditional Example Example of a conditional
* Conditional Syntax The syntax of conditionals.
* Testing Flags Conditionals that test flags.
Functions for Transforming Text
* Syntax of Functions How to write a function call.
* Text Functions General-purpose text manipulation functions.
* File Name Functions Functions for manipulating file names.
* Foreach Function Repeat some text with controlled variation.
* Call Function Expand a user-defined function.
* Origin Function Find where a variable got its value.
* Shell Function Substitute the output of a shell command.
How to Run `make'
* Makefile Arguments How to specify which makefile to use.
* Goals How to use goal arguments to specify which
parts of the makefile to use.
* Instead of Execution How to use mode flags to specify what
kind of thing to do with the commands
in the makefile other than simply
* Avoiding Compilation How to avoid recompiling certain files.
* Overriding How to override a variable to specify
an alternate compiler and other things.
* Testing How to proceed past some errors, to
* Options Summary Summary of Options
Using Implicit Rules
* Using Implicit How to use an existing implicit rule
to get the commands for updating a file.
* Catalogue of Rules A list of built-in implicit rules.
* Implicit Variables How to change what predefined rules do.
* Chained Rules How to use a chain of implicit rules.
* Pattern Rules How to define new implicit rules.
* Last Resort How to defining commands for rules
which cannot find any.
* Suffix Rules The old-fashioned style of implicit rule.
* Implicit Rule Search The precise algorithm for applying
Defining and Redefining Pattern Rules
* Pattern Intro An introduction to pattern rules.
* Pattern Examples Examples of pattern rules.
* Automatic How to use automatic variables in the
commands of implicit rules.
* Pattern Match How patterns match.
* Match-Anything Rules Precautions you should take prior to
defining rules that can match any
target file whatever.
* Canceling Rules How to override or cancel built-in rules.
Using `make' to Update Archive Files
* Archive Members Archive members as targets.
* Archive Update The implicit rule for archive member targets.
* Archive Pitfalls Dangers to watch out for when using archives.
* Archive Suffix Rules You can write a special kind of suffix rule
for updating archives.
Implicit Rule for Archive Member Targets
* Archive Symbols How to update archive symbol directories.
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