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9.7 Temporary Files

In some situations, make will need to create its own temporary files. These files must not be disturbed while make is running, including all recursively-invoked instances of make.

If the environment variable MAKE_TMPDIR is set then all temporary files created by make will be placed there.

If MAKE_TMPDIR is not set, then the standard location for temporary files for the current operating system will be used. For POSIX systems this will be the location set in the TMPDIR environment variable, or else the system’s default location (e.g., /tmp) is used. On Windows, first TMP then TEMP will be checked, then TMPDIR, and finally the system default temporary file location will be used.

Note that this directory must already exist or make will fail: make will not attempt to create it.

These variables cannot be set from within a makefile: GNU make must have access to this location before it begins reading the makefiles.