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Arguments to Specify the Goals
The "goals" are the targets that `make' should strive ultimately to
update. Other targets are updated as well if they appear as
dependencies of goals, or dependencies of dependencies of goals, etc.
By default, the goal is the first target in the makefile (not
counting targets that start with a period). Therefore, makefiles are
usually written so that the first target is for compiling the entire
program or programs they describe.
You can specify a different goal or goals with arguments to `make'.
Use the name of the goal as an argument. If you specify several goals,
`make' processes each of them in turn, in the order you name them.
Any target in the makefile may be specified as a goal (unless it
starts with `-' or contains an `=', in which case it will be parsed as
a switch or variable definition, respectively). Even targets not in
the makefile may be specified, if `make' can find implicit rules that
say how to make them.
One use of specifying a goal is if you want to compile only a part of
the program, or only one of several programs. Specify as a goal each
file that you wish to remake. For example, consider a directory
containing several programs, with a makefile that starts like this:
all: size nm ld ar as
If you are working on the program `size', you might want to say
`make size' so that only the files of that program are recompiled.
Another use of specifying a goal is to make files that are not
normally made. For example, there may be a file of debugging output,
or a version of the program that is compiled specially for testing,
which has a rule in the makefile but is not a dependency of the default
Another use of specifying a goal is to run the commands associated
with a phony target (Note: Phony Targets.) or empty target (*note
Empty Target Files to Record Events: Empty Targets.). Many makefiles
contain a phony target named `clean' which deletes everything except
source files. Naturally, this is done only if you request it
explicitly with `make clean'. Following is a list of typical phony and
empty target names. Note: Standard Targets, for a detailed list of
all the standard target names which GNU software packages use.
Make all the top-level targets the makefile knows about.
Delete all files that are normally created by running `make'.
Like `clean', but may refrain from deleting a few files that people
normally don't want to recompile. For example, the `mostlyclean'
target for GCC does not delete `libgcc.a', because recompiling it
is rarely necessary and takes a lot of time.
Any of these targets might be defined to delete *more* files than
`clean' does. For example, this would delete configuration files
or links that you would normally create as preparation for
compilation, even if the makefile itself cannot create these files.
Copy the executable file into a directory that users typically
search for commands; copy any auxiliary files that the executable
uses into the directories where it will look for them.
Print listings of the source files that have changed.
Create a tar file of the source files.
Create a shell archive (shar file) of the source files.
Create a distribution file of the source files. This might be a
tar file, or a shar file, or a compressed version of one of the
above, or even more than one of the above.
Update a tags table for this program.
Perform self tests on the program this makefile builds.
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