When running several recipes in parallel the output from each recipe appears as soon as it is generated, with the result that messages from different recipes may be interspersed, sometimes even appearing on the same line. This can make reading the output very difficult.
To avoid this you can use the ‘--output-sync’ (‘-O’) option.
This option instructs
make to save the output from the commands
it invokes and print it all once the commands are completed.
Additionally, if there are multiple recursive
running in parallel, they will communicate so that only one of them is
generating output at a time.
If working directory printing is enabled (see The
‘--print-directory’ Option), the enter/leave messages are
printed around each output grouping. If you prefer not to see these
messages add the ‘--no-print-directory’ option to
There are four levels of granularity when synchronizing output, specified by giving an argument to the option (e.g., ‘-Oline’ or ‘--output-sync=recurse’).
This is the default: all output is sent directly as it is generated and no synchronization is performed.
Output from each individual line of the recipe is grouped and printed as soon as that line is complete. If a recipe consists of multiple lines, they may be interspersed with lines from other recipes.
Output from the entire recipe for each target is grouped and printed
once the target is complete. This is the default if the
-O option is given with no argument.
Output from each recursive invocation of
make is grouped and
printed once the recursive invocation is complete.
Regardless of the mode chosen, the total build time will be the same. The only difference is in how the output appears.
The ‘target’ and ‘recurse’ modes both collect the output of
the entire recipe of a target and display it uninterrupted when the
recipe completes. The difference between them is in how recipes that
contain recursive invocations of
make are treated
(see Recursive Use of
make). For all recipes
which have no recursive lines, the ‘target’ and ‘recurse’
modes behave identically.
If the ‘recurse’ mode is chosen, recipes that contain recursive
make invocations are treated the same as other targets: the
output from the recipe, including the output from the recursive
make, is saved and printed after the entire recipe is complete.
This ensures output from all the targets built by a given recursive
make instance are grouped together, which may make the output
easier to understand. However it also leads to long periods of time
during the build where no output is seen, followed by large bursts of
output. If you are not watching the build as it proceeds, but instead
viewing a log of the build after the fact, this may be the best option
If you are watching the output, the long gaps of quiet during the
build can be frustrating. The ‘target’ output synchronization
mode detects when
make is going to be invoked recursively,
using the standard methods, and it will not synchronize the output of
those lines. The recursive
make will perform the
synchronization for its targets and the output from each will be
displayed immediately when it completes. Be aware that output from
recursive lines of the recipe are not synchronized (for example if
the recursive line prints a message before running
message will not be synchronized).
The ‘line’ mode can be useful for front-ends that are watching
the output of
make to track when recipes are started and
Some programs invoked by
make may behave differently if they
determine they’re writing output to a terminal versus a file (often
described as “interactive” vs. “non-interactive” modes). For
example, many programs that can display colorized output will not do
so if they determine they are not writing to a terminal. If your
makefile invokes a program like this then using the output
synchronization options will cause the program to believe it’s running
in “non-interactive” mode even though the output will ultimately go
to the terminal.