Certain names have special meanings if they appear as targets.
.PHONYare considered to be phony targets. When it is time to consider such a target,
makewill run its recipe unconditionally, regardless of whether a file with that name exists or what its last-modification time is. See Phony Targets.
.SUFFIXESare the list of suffixes to be used in checking for suffix rules. See Old-Fashioned Suffix Rules.
.DEFAULTis used for any target for which no rules are found (either explicit rules or implicit rules). See Last Resort. If a
.DEFAULTrecipe is specified, every file mentioned as a prerequisite, but not as a target in a rule, will have that recipe executed on its behalf. See Implicit Rule Search Algorithm.
.PRECIOUSdepends on are given the following special treatment: if
makeis killed or interrupted during the execution of their recipes, the target is not deleted. See Interrupting or Killing
make. Also, if the target is an intermediate file, it will not be deleted after it is no longer needed, as is normally done. See Chains of Implicit Rules. In this latter respect it overlaps with the
You can also list the target pattern of an implicit rule (such as
‘%.o’) as a prerequisite file of the special target
to preserve intermediate files created by rules whose target patterns
match that file's name.
.INTERMEDIATEdepends on are treated as intermediate files. See Chains of Implicit Rules.
.INTERMEDIATEwith no prerequisites has no effect.
.SECONDARYdepends on are treated as intermediate files, except that they are never automatically deleted. See Chains of Implicit Rules.
.SECONDARY with no prerequisites causes all targets to be treated
as secondary (i.e., no target is removed because it is considered
.SECONDEXPANSIONis mentioned as a target anywhere in the makefile, then all prerequisite lists defined after it appears will be expanded a second time after all makefiles have been read in. See Secondary Expansion.
.DELETE_ON_ERRORis mentioned as a target anywhere in the makefile, then
makewill delete the target of a rule if it has changed and its recipe exits with a nonzero exit status, just as it does when it receives a signal. See Errors in Recipes.
makewill ignore errors in execution of the recipe for those particular files. The recipe for
.IGNORE(if any) is ignored.
If mentioned as a target with no prerequisites,
.IGNORE says to
ignore errors in execution of recipes for all files. This usage of
‘.IGNORE’ is supported only for historical compatibility. Since
this affects every recipe in the makefile, it is not very useful; we
recommend you use the more selective ways to ignore errors in specific
recipes. See Errors in Recipes.
.LOW_RESOLUTION_TIME, make assumes that these files are created by commands that generate low resolution time stamps. The recipe for the
.LOW_RESOLUTION_TIMEtarget are ignored.
The high resolution file time stamps of many modern file systems
lessen the chance of make incorrectly concluding that a file
is up to date. Unfortunately, some hosts do not provide a way to set a
high resolution file time stamp, so commands like ‘cp -p’ that
explicitly set a file's time stamp must discard its sub-second part.
If a file is created by such a command, you should list it as a
.LOW_RESOLUTION_TIME so that make
does not mistakenly conclude that the file is out of date. For
.LOW_RESOLUTION_TIME: dst dst: src cp -p src dst
Since ‘cp -p’ discards the sub-second part of src's time
stamp, dst is typically slightly older than src even when
it is up to date. The
.LOW_RESOLUTION_TIME line causes
make to consider dst to be up to date if its time stamp
is at the start of the same second that src's time stamp is in.
Due to a limitation of the archive format, archive member time stamps
are always low resolution. You need not list archive members as
.LOW_RESOLUTION_TIME, as make does this
makewill not print the recipe used to remake those particular files before executing them. The recipe for
If mentioned as a target with no prerequisites,
.SILENT says not
to print any recipes before executing them. This usage of
‘.SILENT’ is supported only for historical compatibility. We
recommend you use the more selective ways to silence specific recipes.
See Recipe Echoing. If you want to silence all recipes
for a particular run of
make, use the ‘-s’ or
‘--silent’ option (see Options Summary).
maketo export all variables to child processes by default. See Communicating Variables to a Sub-
.NOTPARALLELis mentioned as a target, then this invocation of
makewill be run serially, even if the ‘-j’ option is given. Any recursively invoked
makecommand will still run recipes in parallel (unless its makefile also contains this target). Any prerequisites on this target are ignored.
.ONESHELLis mentioned as a target, then when a target is built all lines of the recipe will be given to a single invocation of the shell rather than each line being invoked separately (see Recipe Execution).
.POSIXis mentioned as a target, then the makefile will be parsed and run in POSIX-conforming mode. This does not mean that only POSIX-conforming makefiles will be accepted: all advanced GNU
makefeatures are still available. Rather, this target causes
maketo behave as required by POSIX in those areas where
make's default behavior differs.
In particular, if this target is mentioned then recipes will be
invoked as if the shell had been passed the
-e flag: the first
failing command in a recipe will cause the recipe to fail immediately.
Any defined implicit rule suffix also counts as a special target if it appears as a target, and so does the concatenation of two suffixes, such as ‘.c.o’. These targets are suffix rules, an obsolete way of defining implicit rules (but a way still widely used). In principle, any target name could be special in this way if you break it in two and add both pieces to the suffix list. In practice, suffixes normally begin with ‘.’, so these special target names also begin with ‘.’. See Old-Fashioned Suffix Rules.