I'm trying to run the makefile, shown in this repo, which is a simple Wayland client. But when I run make, it seems that the output of $(WAYLAND) is blank, and it fails to compile due to not being able to find the necessary wayland-client.h header file. cc (GCC) version 5.3.1 on Fedora 23 in bash.

Below are some details. My question is, what mistake am I making with my environment that is preventing this makefile from working for me as intended?

Contents of makefile:

WAYLAND=`pkg-config wayland-client --cflags --libs`
CFLAGS?=-std=c11 -Wall -Werror -O3 -fvisibility=hidden

hello_wayland: hello_wayland.o helpers.o helpers.h images.bin
    $(CC) -o hello_wayland *.o $(WAYLAND) -lrt

images.bin: images/convert.py images/window.png images/fish.png
    cat window.bin fish.bin > images.bin

    $(RM) *.o fish.bin window.bin hello_wayland

Output of make:

cc -std=c11 -Wall -Werror -O3 -fvisibility=hidden -c -o hello_wayland.o hello_wayland.c hello_wayland.c:6:28: fatal error: wayland-client.h: No such file or directory

Notice how the options to cc above seem to be missing the output of $(WAYLAND) specified in makefile. If I manually execute cc like this:

cc -std=c11 -Wall -Werror -O3 -fvisibility=hidden -c -o hello_wayland.o hello_wayland.c \
-I/home/me/install/include -L/home/me/install/lib -lwayland-client

The compilation succeeds.

Output of pkg-config wayland-client --cflags --libs:

-I/home/me/install/include -L/home/me/install/lib -lwayland-client

Contents of ~/.bash_profile:

source ~/.profile
source ~/.bashrc

Relevant contents of ~/.bashrc:

export WLD=$HOME/install
export PKG_CONFIG_PATH=$WLD/lib/pkgconfig/:$WLD/share/pkgconfig/
export PATH=$WLD/bin:$PATH
export ACLOCAL_PATH=$WLD/share/aclocal
export ACLOCAL="aclocal -I $ACLOCAL_PATH"

Thanks for pointing out something that should probably be totally obvious to me.

  • regarding the line setting CFLAGS, this part: CFLAGS?=-std=c11 should be: CFLAGS := -std=c11 – user3629249 Mar 20 '16 at 21:02

the posted makefile is missing some details

Note: it is (almost) always best to separate the compile step from the link step

The following makefile corrects those details

Note: <tab> means to use the tab key in the actual makefile

RM             := /usr/bin/rm

LFLAGS         += `pkg-config wayland-client --libs`

CFLAGS         := -std=c11 -Wall -Werror -O3 -fvisibility=hidden
CFLAGS         += `pkg-config wayland-client --cflags`

OBJS           := hello_wayland.o helpers.o
HDRS           := helpers.h

TARGET         := hello_wayland

.PHONY: all
all: $(TARGET)

$(TARGET): $(OBJS) images.bin
<tab>$(CC) -o hello_wayland *.o $(LFLAGS) -lrt

%.o:%.c $(HDRS)
<tab>$(CC) $(CFLAGS)-c $< -o $@ -I.

images.bin: images/convert.py images/window.png images/fish.png
<tab>cat window.bin fish.bin > images.bin

.PHONY: clean
<tab>$(RM) *.o fish.bin window.bin hello_wayland

You ask what is wrong with the original makefile:

here are some observations:

-- macros in a make file are of two types:
   those evaluated only once using `:=`
   those evaluated every time they are referenced `=`

WAYLAND=`pkg-config wayland-client --cflags --libs`
== WAYLAND will be re-evaluated every time referenced

CFLAGS?=-std=c11 -Wall -Werror -O3 -fvisibility=hidden
== invalid format for macro.  `?=` should be `:=`

== in a makefile,  typical usage is `make all`  but this makefile is missing that target (which should be the first target so `make` by itself, will execute the first target)
== `targets` for a link step should not be the actual file name
==== but rather a macro name where that macro contains the target name
==== This usage of a macro also makes it easy to set the resulting executable file name at the invocation of `make`
==== while either way will work, for flexability it is best to create a macro
==== this is expecially true when writing a recursive makefile or multiple different executables
hello_wayland: hello_wayland.o helpers.o helpers.h images.bin

== this is a link step, with hidden compiles, using the default recipe, which knows nothing about any specific header file
==== so the hidden compiles will not be done if the header file changes
== and a header file `helpers.h` should never be in a link step
== the `*.o` is a `glob` operation, which should not be used in makefiles
==== instead use the make facilties:

SRC := $(wildcard *.c)
OBJ := $(SRC:.c=.o)

== the 'target' is properly referenced by `$@` and there can be no keypunch errors if the `$@` is used.
    $(CC) -o hello_wayland *.o $(WAYLAND) -lrt

images.bin: images/convert.py images/window.png images/fish.png
    cat window.bin fish.bin > images.bin

== when a `target` is not the name of a produced file,
==== especially in older versions of `make`
==== then the target needs to be preceeded by a 

.PHONY: <list of target names that produce no actual output file>

== using  a `glob` operation in a makefile is a bad idea
==== instead use the appropriate macro
==== like the $(OBJS) macro listed above
    $(RM) *.o fish.bin window.bin hello_wayland

So, why did the original makefile not work? a combination of things that accumulate into a make failure. Here are the more obvious reasons:

1) the incorrect setting of the CFLAGS macro
2) the combining of the link operation with the compile operations
3) the missing .PHONY: statement
4) the use of the `glob` statements
  • Thanks, this makefile works without issue. But I'm still curious about why the original fails to utilize the output of pkg-config via the original WAYLAND variable. – ybakos Mar 21 '16 at 13:18
  • Whoah, awesome edit, thanks for taking the time to explain! – ybakos Mar 21 '16 at 19:36

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