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4.3 Macros

A number of useful macros exist which may be used anywhere throughout the `Makefile'. Macros start with a dollar sign, like shell variables. Our first `Makefile' used a few:

$(CC) $(CFLAGS) -c $< -o $@

Here, syntactic forms of `$(..)' are make variable expansions. It is possible to define a make variable using a `var=value' syntax:

CC = ec++

In a `Makefile', $(CC) will then be literally replaced by `ec++'. make has a number of built-in variables and default values. The default value for `$(CC)' is cc.

Other built-in macros exist with fixed semantics. The two most common macros are $@ and $<. They represent the names of the target and the first dependency for the rule in which they appear. $@ is available in any rule, but for some versions of make $< is only available in suffix rules. Here is a simple `Makefile':

all:    dummy
	@echo "$@ depends on dummy"

	touch $@

This is what make outputs when processing this `Makefile':

$ make
touch dummy
all depends on dummy

The GNU Make manual documents these macros in more detail.

This document was generated by Gary V. Vaughan on November, 13 2000 using texi2html