The recipes in built-in implicit rules make liberal use of certain
predefined variables. You can alter the values of these variables in
the makefile, with arguments to
make, or in the environment to
alter how the implicit rules work without redefining the rules
themselves. You can cancel all variables used by implicit rules with
the ‘-R’ or ‘--no-builtin-variables’ option.
For example, the recipe used to compile a C source file actually says ‘$(CC) -c $(CFLAGS) $(CPPFLAGS)’. The default values of the variables used are ‘cc’ and nothing, resulting in the command ‘cc -c’. By redefining ‘CC’ to ‘ncc’, you could cause ‘ncc’ to be used for all C compilations performed by the implicit rule. By redefining ‘CFLAGS’ to be ‘-g’, you could pass the ‘-g’ option to each compilation. All implicit rules that do C compilation use ‘$(CC)’ to get the program name for the compiler and all include ‘$(CFLAGS)’ among the arguments given to the compiler.
The variables used in implicit rules fall into two classes: those that are
names of programs (like
CC) and those that contain arguments for the
CFLAGS). (The “name of a program” may also contain
some command arguments, but it must start with an actual executable program
name.) If a variable value contains more than one argument, separate them
The following tables describe of some of the more commonly-used predefined
variables. This list is not exhaustive, and the default values shown here may
not be what
make selects for your environment. To see the
complete list of predefined variables for your instance of GNU
can run ‘make -p’ in a directory with no makefiles.
Here is a table of some of the more common variables used as names of programs in built-in rules:
Archive-maintaining program; default ‘ar’.
Program for compiling assembly files; default ‘as’.
Program for compiling C programs; default ‘cc’.
Program for compiling C++ programs; default ‘g++’.
Program for running the C preprocessor, with results to standard output; default ‘$(CC) -E’.
Program for compiling or preprocessing Fortran and Ratfor programs; default ‘f77’.
Program to use to compile Modula-2 source code; default ‘m2c’.
Program for compiling Pascal programs; default ‘pc’.
Program for extracting a file from RCS; default ‘co’.
Program for extracting a file from SCCS; default ‘get’.
Program to use to turn Lex grammars into source code; default ‘lex’.
Program to use to turn Yacc grammars into source code; default ‘yacc’.
Program to use to run lint on source code; default ‘lint’.
Program to convert a Texinfo source file into an Info file; default ‘makeinfo’.
Program to make TeX DVI files from TeX source; default ‘tex’.
Program to make TeX DVI files from Texinfo source; default ‘texi2dvi’.
Program to translate Web into TeX; default ‘weave’.
Program to translate C Web into TeX; default ‘cweave’.
Program to translate Web into Pascal; default ‘tangle’.
Program to translate C Web into C; default ‘ctangle’.
Command to remove a file; default ‘rm -f’.
Here is a table of variables whose values are additional arguments for the programs above. The default values for all of these is the empty string, unless otherwise noted.
Flags to give the archive-maintaining program; default ‘rv’.
Extra flags to give to the assembler (when explicitly invoked on a ‘.s’ or ‘.S’ file).
Extra flags to give to the C compiler.
Extra flags to give to the C++ compiler.
Extra flags to give to the RCS
Extra flags to give to the C preprocessor and programs that use it (the C and Fortran compilers).
Extra flags to give to the Fortran compiler.
Extra flags to give to the SCCS
Extra flags to give to compilers when they are supposed to invoke the linker,
‘ld’, such as
-L. Libraries (
-lfoo) should be
added to the
LDLIBS variable instead.
Library flags or names given to compilers when they are supposed to
invoke the linker, ‘ld’.
LOADLIBES is a deprecated (but
still supported) alternative to
LDLIBS. Non-library linker
flags, such as
-L, should go in the
Extra flags to give to Lex.
Extra flags to give to Yacc.
Extra flags to give to the Pascal compiler.
Extra flags to give to the Fortran compiler for Ratfor programs.
Extra flags to give to lint.