make command

This topic provides information about simplifying the recompiling and relinking processes using the make command.

It allows you to record, once only, specific relationships among files. You can then use the make command to automatically perform all updating tasks.

In any project, you normally link programs from object files and libraries. Then, after modifying a source file, you recompile some of the sources and relink the program as often as required. The make command assists in maintaining a set of programs, usually pertaining to a particular software project, by building up-to-date versions of programs. The make command is most useful for medium-sized programming projects. It does not solve the problems of maintaining more than one source version and of describing large programs (see sccs command).

Using the make command to maintain programs, you can:

  • Combine instructions for creating a large program in a single file.
  • Define macros to use within the make command description file.
  • Use shell commands to define the method of file creation, or use the make command to create many of the basic types of files.
  • Create libraries.

The make command requires a description file, file names, specified rules to inform the make command how to build many standard types of files, and time stamps of all system files.