Here is a list of the more common errors you might see generated by
make, and some information about what they mean and how to fix
make errors are not fatal, especially in the presence
- prefix on a command script line, or the
line option. Errors that are fatal are prefixed with the string
Error messages are all either prefixed with the name of the program (usually ‘make’), or, if the error is found in a makefile, the name of the file and linenumber containing the problem.
In the table below, these common prefixes are left off.
makeerrors at all. They mean that a program that
makeinvoked as part of a command script returned a non-0 error code (‘Error NN’), which
makeinterprets as failure, or it exited in some other abnormal fashion (with a signal of some type). See Errors in Commands.
*** is attached to the message, then the subprocess failed
but the rule in the makefile was prefixed with the
make ignored the error.
makecould not understand much of anything about the command line it just read. GNU
makelooks for various kinds of separators (
=, TAB characters, etc.) to help it decide what kind of commandline it's seeing. This means it couldn't find a valid one.
One of the most common reasons for this message is that you (or perhaps
your oh-so-helpful editor, as is the case with many MS-Windows editors)
have attempted to indent your command scripts with spaces instead of a
TAB character. In this case,
make will use the second form of
the error above. Remember that every line in the command script must
begin with a TAB character. Eight spaces do not count. See Rule Syntax.
makecommand (such as a variable assignment). Command scripts must always be associated with a target.
The second form is generated if the line has a semicolon as the first
make interprets this to mean you left
out the "target: prerequisite" section of a rule. See Rule Syntax.
makedecided it needed to build a target, but then couldn't find any instructions in the makefile on how to do that, either explicit or implicit (including in the default rules database).
If you want that file to be built, you will need to add a rule to your
makefile describing how that target can be built. Other possible
sources of this problem are typos in the makefile (if that filename is
wrong) or a corrupted source tree (if that file is not supposed to be
built, but rather only a prerequisite).
makecouldn't find any makefiles to read in. The latter means that some makefile was found, but it didn't contain any default goal and none was given on the command line. GNU
makehas nothing to do in these situations. See Arguments to Specify the Makefile.
makeallows commands to be specified only once per target (except for double-colon rules). If you give commands for a target which already has been defined to have commands, this warning is issued and the second set of commands will overwrite the first set. See Multiple Rules for One Target.
makedetected a loop in the dependency graph: after tracing the prerequisite yyy of target xxx, and its prerequisites, etc., one of them depended on xxx again.
makevariable xxx that, when it's expanded, will refer to itself (xxx). This is not allowed; either use simply-expanded variables (
:=) or use the append operator (
+=). See How to Use Variables.
%); and the fourth means that all three parts of the static pattern rule contain pattern characters (
%)–only the first two parts should. See Syntax of Static Pattern Rules.
makedetects error conditions related to parallel processing on systems where sub-
makes can communicate (see Communicating Options to a Sub-
make). This warning is generated if a recursive invocation of a
makeprocess is forced to have ‘-jN’ in its argument list (where N is greater than one). This could happen, for example, if you set the
MAKEenvironment variable to ‘make -j2’. In this case, the sub-
makedoesn't communicate with other
makeprocesses and will simply pretend it has two jobs of its own.
makeprocesses to communicate, the parent will pass information to the child. Since this could result in problems if the child process isn't actually a
make, the parent will only do this if it thinks the child is a
make. The parent uses the normal algorithms to determine this (see How the
MAKEVariable Works). If the makefile is constructed such that the parent doesn't know the child is a
makeprocess, then the child will receive only part of the information necessary. In this case, the child will generate this warning message and proceed with its build in a sequential manner.