cmd – Windows 7 – make is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file

cmd – Windows 7 – make is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file

Your problem is most likely that the shell does not know where to find your make program. If you want to use it from anywhere, then you must do this, or else you will need to add the full path each time you want to call it, which is quite cumbersome. For instance:

c:program filesgnuwin32binmake.exe option1=thisvalue option2=thatvalue

This is to be taken as an example, it used to look like something like this on XP, I cant say on W7. But gnuwin32 used to provide useful linux-world packages for Windows. Check details on your provider for make.

So to avoid entering the path, you can add the path to your PATH environment variable. You will find this easily.
To make sure it is registered by the OS, open a console (run cmd.exe) and entering $PATH should give you a list of default pathes. Check that the location of your make program is there.

In Windows10, I solved this issue by adding C:MinGWbin to Path then called it using MinGW32-make not make

cmd – Windows 7 – make is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file

This is an old question, but none of the answers here provide enough context for a beginner to choose which one to pick.

What is make?

make is a traditional Unix utility which reads a Makefile to decide what programs to run to reach a particular goal. Typically, that goal is to build a piece of software from a set of source files and libraries; but make is general enough to be used for various other tasks, too, like assembling a PDF from a collection of TeX source files, or retrieving the newest versions of each of a list of web pages.

Besides encapsulating the steps to reach an individual target, make reduces processing time by avoiding to re-execute steps which are already complete. It does this by comparing time stamps between dependencies; if A depends on B but A already exists and is newer than B, there is no need to make A. Of course, in order for this to work properly, the Makefile needs to document all such dependencies.

A: B
    commands to produce A from B

Notice that the indentation needs to consist of a literal tab character. This is a common beginner mistake.

Common Versions of make

The original make was rather pedestrian. Its lineage continues to this day into BSD make, from which nmake is derived. Roughly speaking, this version provides the make functionality defined by POSIX, with a few minor enhancements and variations.

GNU make, by contrast, significantly extends the formalism, to the point where a GNU Makefile is unlikely to work with other versions (or occasionally even older versions of GNU make). There is a convention to call such files GNUmakefile instead of Makefile, but this convention is widely ignored, especially on platforms like Linux where GNU make is the de facto standard make.

Telltale signs that a Makefile uses GNU make conventions are the use of := instead of = for variable assignments (though this is not exclusively a GNU feature) and a plethora of functions like $(shell ...), $(foreach ...), $(patsubst ...) etc.

So Which Do I Need?

Well, it really depends on what you are hoping to accomplish.

If the software you are hoping to build has a vcproj file or similar, you probably want to use that instead, and not try to use make at all.

In the general case, MinGW make is a Windows port of GNU make for Windows, It should generally cope with any Makefile you throw at it.

If you know the software was written to use nmake and you already have it installed, or it is easy for you to obtain, maybe go with that.

You should understand that if the software was not written for, or explicitly ported to, Windows, it is unlikely to compile without significant modifications. In this scenario, getting make to run is the least of your problems, and you will need a good understanding of the differences between the original platform and Windows to have a chance of pulling it off yourself.

In some more detail, if the Makefile contains Unix commands like grep or curl or yacc then your system needs to have those commands installed, too. But quite apart from that, C or C++ (or more generally, source code in any language) which was written for a different platform might simply not work – at all, or as expected (which is often worse) – on Windows.

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