what is the minimal version of make supported for building the kernel?

Jim Davis jim.epost at gmail.com
Wed Jul 6 18:02:05 EDT 2016

On Mon, Jun 20, 2016 at 5:15 AM, Robert P. J. Day <rpjday at crashcourse.ca> wrote:

>   now, Documentation/Changes currently does indeed state:
> Current Minimal Requirements
> ============================
> ... snip ...
> o  GNU make               3.80                    # make --version
> but i did a quick grep to find:
>   $ grep -r "else ifeq" *
>   lib/raid6/test/Makefile:else ifeq ($(HAS_NEON),yes)
>   $
> so would that single test not violate the rule just described above?
> is Documentation/Changes entirely up to date with respect to minimal
> requirements?

Probably not.  Checking with the latest 4.x and 3.x stable releases,
on a CentOS 5.11 i386 VM with 4GB of RAM,  'make defconfig' fails in
4.6.3 using make 3.80:

make[1]: *** virtual memory exhausted.  Stop.

which looks like a bug that was fixed in 3.81.  'make defconfig' using
make 3.80 works with 3.14.73, but curiously 'make distclean' then
fails with

Extraneous text after 'else' directive

in kernel/gcov/Makefile.

As make 3.80 dates from 2002... it might be time to bump the minimum
required make version up to 3.81 (which is only ten years old now).


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