Thursday, January 22, 2009

Configuring Make file

Any of us who have used Linux will eventually end up installing softwares from source. The most common method for installing softwares written is C, C++, Fortran etc is using Makefile.

The Makefile contains the list of commands that will be used to create the various libraries, binaries etc.

In the most simplest of the scenario, the installation will involve

make install
make clean

The first step prepares the makefile with all relavant configuration depending on the system on which it is being installed. This could include, the location where the files will be stored after installation, the type of CPU etc. The second step "make" compiles and "make install" builds and places the program in the appropriate locations. "make clean" clears any temporary files that have been created.

Depending on the different scenarios and type of software being installed, different configuration may have to be set. In the example below, we will configure the installation of magick++ (a C++ library for ImageMagick) so that it is installed in /usr/local/magick++/magick++/ instead of the default location /usr/local/

./configure --with-quantum-depth=8 --prefix=/usr/local/magick++/magick++/ --exec-prefix=/usr/local/magick++/magick++/

--prefix is the location where the lib and include files will be stored after compiling. If not specified, it will be assumed as /usr/local

--exec-prefix is the location where bin files will be located.

By default, --prefix = --exec-prefix

There are many other configuration parameters that can be set, which again depends on the software. I will keep posting more such configuration.

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