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3.2 What Name to Give Your Makefile

By default, when make looks for the makefile, it tries the following names, in order: `GNUmakefile', `makefile' and `Makefile'.

Normally you should call your makefile either `makefile' or `Makefile'. (We recommend `Makefile' because it appears prominently near the beginning of a directory listing, right near other important files such as `README'.) The first name checked, `GNUmakefile', is not recommended for most makefiles. You should use this name if you have a makefile that is specific to GNU make, and will not be understood by other versions of make. Other make programs look for `makefile' and `Makefile', but not `GNUmakefile'.

If make finds none of these names, it does not use any makefile. Then you must specify a goal with a command argument, and make will attempt to figure out how to remake it using only its built-in implicit rules. See section Using Implicit Rules.

If you want to use a nonstandard name for your makefile, you can specify the makefile name with the `-f' or `--file' option. The arguments `-f name' or `--file=name' tell make to read the file name as the makefile. If you use more than one `-f' or `--file' option, you can specify several makefiles. All the makefiles are effectively concatenated in the order specified. The default makefile names `GNUmakefile', `makefile' and `Makefile' are not checked automatically if you specify `-f' or `--file'.

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