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 commands unconditionally, regardless of whether a file with that name exists or what its last-modification time is. See section Phony Targets.
.SUFFIXESare the list of suffixes to be used in checking for suffix rules. See section Old-Fashioned Suffix Rules.
.DEFAULTare used for any target for which no rules are found (either explicit rules or implicit rules). See section Defining Last-Resort Default Rules. If
.DEFAULTcommands are specified, every file mentioned as a dependency, but not as a target in a rule, will have these commands executed on its behalf. See section Implicit Rule Search Algorithm.
.PRECIOUSdepends on are given the following special treatment: if
makeis killed or interrupted during the execution of their commands, the target is not deleted. See section 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 section Chains of Implicit Rules. You can also list the target pattern of an implicit rule (such as `%.o') as a dependency file of the special target
.PRECIOUSto preserve intermediate files created by rules whose target patterns match that file's name.
.INTERMEDIATEdepends on are treated as intermediate files. See section Chains of Implicit Rules.
.INTERMEDIATEwith no dependencies marks all file targets mentioned in the makefile as intermediate.
.SECONDARYdepends on are treated as intermediate files, except that they are never automatically deleted. See section Chains of Implicit Rules.
.SECONDARYwith no dependencies marks all file targets mentioned in the makefile as secondary.
makewill ignore errors in execution of the commands run for those particular files. The commands for
.IGNOREare not meaningful. If mentioned as a target with no dependencies,
.IGNOREsays to ignore errors in execution of commands for all files. This usage of `.IGNORE' is supported only for historical compatibility. Since this affects every command in the makefile, it is not very useful; we recommend you use the more selective ways to ignore errors in specific commands. See section Errors in Commands.
makewill not the print commands to remake those particular files before executing them. The commands for
.SILENTare not meaningful. If mentioned as a target with no dependencies,
.SILENTsays not to print any commands before executing them. This usage of `.SILENT' is supported only for historical compatibility. We recommend you use the more selective ways to silence specific commands. See section Command Echoing. If you want to silence all commands for a particular run of
make, use the `-s' or `--silent' option (see section Summary of Options).
maketo export all variables to child processes by default. See section Communicating Variables to a Sub-
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 section Old-Fashioned Suffix Rules.
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