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11.1 Archive Members as Targets

An individual member of an archive file can be used as a target or prerequisite in make. You specify the member named member in archive file archive as follows:


This construct is available only in targets and prerequisites, not in recipes! Most programs that you might use in recipes do not support this syntax and cannot act directly on archive members. Only ar and other programs specifically designed to operate on archives can do so. Therefore, valid recipes to update an archive member target probably must use ar. For example, this rule says to create a member hack.o in archive foolib by copying the file hack.o:

foolib(hack.o) : hack.o
        ar cr foolib hack.o

In fact, nearly all archive member targets are updated in just this way and there is an implicit rule to do it for you. Please note: The ‘c’ flag to ar is required if the archive file does not already exist.

To specify several members in the same archive, you can write all the member names together between the parentheses. For example:

foolib(hack.o kludge.o)

is equivalent to:

foolib(hack.o) foolib(kludge.o)

You can also use shell-style wildcards in an archive member reference. See Using Wildcard Characters in File Names. For example, ‘foolib(*.o) expands to all existing members of the foolib archive whose names end in ‘.o’; perhaps ‘foolib(hack.o) foolib(kludge.o)’.