imake - C preprocessor interface to the make utility


imake [-Ddefine] [-Idir] [-Ttemplate]
	[-f filename] [-s filename] [-e ] [ -v]


The imake(1) utility is used to generate Makefiles from a template, a set of cpp(1) macro functions, and a per-directory input file called an Imakefile. This allows computer dependencies (such as compiler options, alternate command names, and special make rules) to be kept separate from the descriptions of the various items to be built.


The following command-line options may be passed to imake(1):

This option is passed directly to cpp(1). It is typically used to set directory-specific variables. For example, the X Window System uses this flag to set TOPDIR to the name of the directory containing the top of the core distribution and CURDIR to the name of the current directory, relative to the top.
This option is passed directly to cpp(1). It is typically used to indicate the directory in which the imake(1) template and configuration files may be found.
This option specifies the name of the master template file (which is usually located in the directory specified with -I) used by cpp(1). The default is Imake.tmpl.
This option specifies the name of the per-directory input file. The default is Imakefile.
This option specifies the name of the make description file to be generated but make should not be invoked. If the filename is a dash (-), the output is written to stdout. The default is to generate, but not execute, a Makefile.
This option indicates the imake(1) should execute the generated Makefile. The default is to leave this to the user.
This option indicates that imake(1) should print the cpp(1) command line that it is using to generate the Makefile.


The imake(1) utility invokes cpp(1) with any -I or -D flags passed on the command line and passes it the following 3 lines:

#define IMAKE_TEMPLATE "Imake.tmpl"
#define INCLUDE_IMAKEFILE "Imakefile"
where Imake.tmpl and Imakefile may be overridden by the -T and -f command options, respectively.

The IMAKE_TEMPLATE typically reads in a file containing machine-dependent parameters (specified as cpp(1) symbols), a site-specific parameters file, a file defining variables, a file containing cpp(1) macro functions for generating make rules, and finally the Imakefile (specified by INCLUDE_IMAKEFILE) in the current directory. The Imakefile uses the macro functions to indicate what targets should be built; imake(1) takes care of generating the appropriate rules.

The imake(1) utility configuration files contain two types of variables: imake variables and make variables. The imake variables are interpreted by cpp when imake(1) is run. By convention they are mixed case. The make variables are written into the Makefile for later interpretation by make. By convention make variables are upper case.

The rules file (usually named Imake.rules in the configuration directory) contains a variety of cpp(1) macro functions that are configured according to the current platform. The imake(1) utility replaces any occurrences of the string @@ with a newline to allow macros that generate more than one line of make rules. For example, the macro

#define   program_target(program, objlist)		@@\
program:  objlist								 @@\
		$(CC)  -o  $@  objlist  $(LDFLAGS)

when called with program_target(foo, foo1.o foo2.o) will expand to
foo:	foo1.o  foo2.o
		$(CC)  -o  $@  foo1.o  foo2.o  $(LDFLAGS)

On systems whose cpp(1) reduces multiple tabs and spaces to a single space, imake(1) attempts to put back any necessary tabs (make(1) is very picky about the difference between tabs and spaces). For this reason, colons (:) in command lines must be preceded by a backslash (\).


The X Window System uses imake(1) extensively, for both full builds within the source tree and external software. As mentioned previously, two special variables, TOPDIR and CURDIR, are set to make referencing files using relative path names easier. For example, the following command is generated automatically to build the Makefile in the directory lib/X/ (relative to the top of the sources):

%  ../.././config/imake  -I../.././config  \
		-DTOPDIR=../../.   -DCURDIR=./lib/X

When building X programs outside the source tree, a special symbol UseInstalled is defined and TOPDIR and CURDIR are omitted. If the configuration files have been properly installed, the script xmkmf(1) may be used.


Here is a summary of the files read by imake(1) as used by X. The indentation shows what files include what other files.

Imake.tmpl	generic variables
		site.def	site-specific, BeforeVendorCF defined
		*.cf		machine-specific
			*Lib.rulesshared library rules
		site.def	site-specific, AfterVendorCF defined
		Project.tmplX-specific variables
			*Lib.tmplshared library variables
		Imake.rules rules
		Library.tmpllibrary rules
		Server.tmpl server rules

Note that site.def gets included twice, once before the *.cf file and once after. Although most site customizations should be specified after the *.cf file, some, such as the choice of compiler, need to be specified before, because other variable settings may depend on them.

The first time site.def is included, the variable BeforeVendorCF is defined, and the second time, the variable AfterVendorCF is defined. All code in site.def should be inside an #ifdef for one of these symbols.


The imake(1) utility uses the following files:

Temporary input file for cpp(1).
Temporary input file for make.
Default C preprocessor.
Default configuration and template files for Interix systems.


The following environment variables may be set; however, their use is not recommended as they introduce dependencies that are not readily apparent when imake(1) is run:

If defined, this should be a valid include argument for the C preprocessor. For example, -I/usr/include/local. Actually, any valid cpp(1) argument will work here.
If defined, this should be a valid path to a preprocessor program, such as /usr/contrib/bin/cpp. By default, imake(1) will use /usr/contrib/intel-pc-interix/version, where version is the version of gcc.
If defined, this should be a valid path to a make program, such as /bin/make. By default, imake(1) will use whatever make program is found using execvp(3). This variable is only used if the -e option is specified.


Todd Brunhoff, Tektronix and MIT Project Athena; Jim Fulton, MIT X Consortium



S. I. Feldman, Make A Program for Maintaining Computer Programs