(make.info)Instead of Execution


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Instead of Executing the Commands
=================================

   The makefile tells `make' how to tell whether a target is up to date,
and how to update each target.  But updating the targets is not always
what you want.  Certain options specify other activities for `make'.

`-n'
`--just-print'
`--dry-run'
`--recon'
     "No-op".  The activity is to print what commands would be used to
     make the targets up to date, but not actually execute them.

`-t'
`--touch'
     "Touch".  The activity is to mark the targets as up to date without
     actually changing them.  In other words, `make' pretends to compile
     the targets but does not really change their contents.

`-q'
`--question'
     "Question".  The activity is to find out silently whether the
     targets are up to date already; but execute no commands in either
     case.  In other words, neither compilation nor output will occur.

`-W FILE'
`--what-if=FILE'
`--assume-new=FILE'
`--new-file=FILE'
     "What if".  Each `-W' flag is followed by a file name.  The given
     files' modification times are recorded by `make' as being the
     present time, although the actual modification times remain the
     same.  You can use the `-W' flag in conjunction with the `-n' flag
     to see what would happen if you were to modify specific files.

   With the `-n' flag, `make' prints the commands that it would
normally execute but does not execute them.

   With the `-t' flag, `make' ignores the commands in the rules and
uses (in effect) the command `touch' for each target that needs to be
remade.  The `touch' command is also printed, unless `-s' or `.SILENT'
is used.  For speed, `make' does not actually invoke the program
`touch'.  It does the work directly.

   With the `-q' flag, `make' prints nothing and executes no commands,
but the exit status code it returns is zero if and only if the targets
to be considered are already up to date.  If the exit status is one,
then some updating needs to be done.  If `make' encounters an error,
the exit status is two, so you can distinguish an error from a target
that is not up to date.

   It is an error to use more than one of these three flags in the same
invocation of `make'.

   The `-n', `-t', and `-q' options do not affect command lines that
begin with `+' characters or contain the strings `$(MAKE)' or
`${MAKE}'.  Note that only the line containing the `+' character or the
strings `$(MAKE)' or `${MAKE}' is run regardless of these options.
Other lines in the same rule are not run unless they too begin with `+'
or contain `$(MAKE)' or `${MAKE}' (*Note How the `MAKE' Variable Works:
MAKE Variable.)

   The `-W' flag provides two features:

   * If you also use the `-n' or `-q' flag, you can see what `make'
     would do if you were to modify some files.

   * Without the `-n' or `-q' flag, when `make' is actually executing
     commands, the `-W' flag can direct `make' to act as if some files
     had been modified, without actually modifying the files.

   Note that the options `-p' and `-v' allow you to obtain other
information about `make' or about the makefiles in use (Note: Summary
of Options.).


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