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1. Overview of make

The make utility automatically determines which pieces of a large program need to be recompiled, and issues commands to recompile them. This manual describes GNU make, which was implemented by Richard Stallman and Roland McGrath. Development since Version 3.76 has been handled by Paul Smith.

GNU make conforms to section 6.2 of IEEE Standard 1003.2-1992 (POSIX.2).

Our examples show C programs, since they are most common, but you can use make with any programming language whose compiler can be run with a shell command. Indeed, make is not limited to programs. You can use it to describe any task where some files must be updated automatically from others whenever the others change.

Preparing and Running Make  
1.1 How to Read This Manual  On Reading this Text
1.2 Problems and Bugs  

Preparing and Running Make

To prepare to use make, you must write a file called the makefile that describes the relationships among files in your program and provides commands for updating each file. In a program, typically, the executable file is updated from object files, which are in turn made by compiling source files.

Once a suitable makefile exists, each time you change some source files, this simple shell command:

 
make

suffices to perform all necessary recompilations. The make program uses the makefile data base and the last-modification times of the files to decide which of the files need to be updated. For each of those files, it issues the commands recorded in the data base.

You can provide command line arguments to make to control which files should be recompiled, or how. See section How to Run make.


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  Published under the terms of the GNU General Public License Design by Interspire