Automating Tasks with make

make is an automation tool aimed at creating builds for software. It’s commonly used to compile and install software. Many times, package managers don’t have the very latest version of a particular piece of software available, so the only way to install the most recent version is to download the source code and compile it yourself. The process usually involves downloading the source code archive, extracting it, switching to the directory containing the code, running a script called configure to set some variables based on your environment, and running make to compile the software. It usually looks something like this:

 $ ​​./configure
 $ ​​make
 $ ​​sudo​​ ​​make​​ ​​install

make works by reading a file named ...

Get Small, Sharp Software Tools now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.