Chapter 3. GNU make

The GNU make utility, commonly abbreviated make, is a tool for controlling the generation of executables from source files. make automatically determines which parts of a complex program have changed and need to be recompiled. make uses configuration files called Makefiles to control the way programs are built.

Red Hat Developer Toolset is distributed with make 4.2.1. This version is more recent than the version included in Red Hat Enterprise Linux and provides a number of bug fixes and enhancements.

3.1. Installing make

In Red Hat Developer Toolset, GNU make is provided by the devtoolset-8-make package and is automatically installed with devtoolset-8-toolchain as described in Section 1.5, “Installing Red Hat Developer Toolset”.

3.2. Using make

To build a program without using a Makefile, run the make tool as follows:

$ scl enable devtoolset-8 'make source_file_without_extension'

This command makes use of implicit rules that are defined for a number of programming languages, including C, C++, and Fortran. The result is a binary file named source_file_without_extension in the current working directory.

Note that you can execute any command using the scl utility, causing it to be run with the Red Hat Developer Toolset binaries used in preference to the Red Hat Enterprise Linux system equivalent. This allows you to run a shell session with Red Hat Developer Toolset make as default:

$ scl enable devtoolset-8 'bash'
Note

To verify the version of make you are using at any point:

$ which make

Red Hat Developer Toolset’s make executable path will begin with /opt. Alternatively, you can use the following command to confirm that the version number matches that for Red Hat Developer Toolset make:

$ make -v

Example 3.1. Building a C Program Using make

Consider a source file named hello.c with the following contents:

#include <stdio.h>

int main(int argc, char *argv[]) {
  printf("Hello, World!\n");
  return 0;
}

Build this source code using the implicit rules defined by the make utility from Red Hat Developer Toolset:

$ scl enable devtoolset-8 'make hello'
cc     hello.c   -o hello

This creates a new binary file called hello in the current working directory.

3.3. Using Makefiles

To build complex programs that consist of a number of source files, make uses configuration files called Makefiles that control how to compile the components of a program and build the final executable. Makefiles can also contain instructions for cleaning the working directory, installing and uninstalling program files, and other operations.

make automatically uses files named GNUmakefile, makefile, or Makefile in the current directory. To specify another file name, use the -f option:

$ make -f make_file

Describing the details of Makefile syntax is beyond the scope of this guide. See GNU make, the upstream GNU make manual, which provides an in-depth description of the GNU make utility, Makefile syntax, and their usage.

The full make manual is also available in the Texinfo format as a part of your installation. To view this manual:

$ scl enable devtoolset-8 'info make'

Example 3.2. Building a C Program Using a Makefile

Consider the following universal Makefile named Makefile for building the simple C program introduced in Example 3.1, “Building a C Program Using make”. The Makefile defines some variables and specifies four rules, which consist of targets and their recipes. Note that the lines with recipes must start with the TAB character:

CC=gcc
CFLAGS=-c -Wall
SOURCE=hello.c
OBJ=$(SOURCE:.c=.o)
EXE=hello

all: $(SOURCE) $(EXE)

$(EXE): $(OBJ)
        $(CC) $(OBJ) -o $@

.o: .c
        $(CC) $(CFLAGS) $< -o $@

clean:
        rm -rf $(OBJ) $(EXE)

To build the hello.c program using this Makefile, run the make utility:

$ scl enable devtoolset-8 'make'
gcc -c -Wall hello.c -o hello.o
gcc hello.o -o hello

This creates a new object file hello.o and a new binary file called hello in the current working directory.

To clean the working directory, run:

$ scl enable devtoolset-8 'make clean'
rm -rf hello.o hello

This removes the object and binary files from the working directory.

3.4. Additional Resources

For more information about the GNU make tool and its features, see the resources listed below.

Installed Documentation

  • make(1) — The manual page for the make utility provides information on its usage. To display the manual page for the version included in Red Hat Developer Toolset:

    $ scl enable devtoolset-8 'man make'
  • The full make manual, which includes detailed information about Makefile syntax, is also available in the Texinfo format. To display the info manual for the version included in Red Hat Developer Toolset:

    $ scl enable devtoolset-8 'info make'

Online Documentation

  • GNU make — The upstream GNU make manual provides an in-depth description of the GNU make utility, Makefile syntax, and their usage.

See Also

  • Chapter 1, Red Hat Developer Toolset — An overview of Red Hat Developer Toolset and more information on how to install it on your system.
  • Chapter 2, GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) — Instructions on using the GNU Compiler Collection, a portable compiler suite with support for a wide selection of programming languages.
  • Chapter 4, binutils — Instructions on using binutils, a collection of binary tools to inspect and manipulate object files and binaries.
  • Chapter 5, elfutils — Instructions on using elfutils, a collection of binary tools to inspect and manipulate ELF files.
  • Chapter 6, dwz — Instructions on using the dwz tool to optimize DWARF debugging information contained in ELF shared libraries and ELF executables for size.
  • Chapter 7, GNU Debugger (GDB) — Instructions on debugging programs written in C, C++, and Fortran.