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Linux Makefile - When to use a makefile

ยท 5 min read
Christophe

Linux Makefile - When to use a makefile

Coding your own makefile has the enormous, terribly powerful advantage of being able to centralise the commands you use on your project in a single place, whatever the nature of the project (php, javascript, nodeJs, markdown, etc.).

The presence of a file called makefile sends a clear message to anyone who comes to work on the project: Hey, have a look here, you'll find all the commands you need. And it's really easy to list existing commands (see my article Linux Makefile - Adding a help screen).

So, you can define an up command (you choose the name of the command) which will launch all the actions required to start the project; you could have down for just the opposite, check to check that the project is valid (e.g. launch static checks of the quality of your code), and so on.

Only for Linux / WSL (not for DOS/PowerShell)

This chapter only concern Linux since DOS/PowerShell didn't support the GNU make command.

In the Create your Joomla website using Docker blog article, we have seen a lot of docker commands.

By alphabetical order:

  • docker compose down,
  • docker compose exec joomla /bin/sh,
  • docker compose kill,
  • docker compose logs --follow,
  • docker compose up --detach,
  • docker container list,
  • docker image list,
  • docker network list,
  • and many more

It's certainly not easy to remember them all, so why not simplify things by putting them in a makefile?

We will use GNU make for this.

Install makeโ€‹

First run which make in your Linux console to check if make is installed. If so, you will get f.i. /usr/bin/make as result. If you got make not found, please run sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get -y install make to install it.

This done, we will create a new file called makefile in your project's directory. A makefile is pure text so you can use any editor you want. On my side, I've now my own habits with Visual Studio Code.

This file is specific to each project, not global.

The makefile, being created in your project's directory, can contain instructions for that specific project. You could have one makefile for each project.

Being in your editor with an empty makefile file, just copy/paste the content below:

adminer:
@printf "\e[1;033m%s\e[0m\n\n" "User is root and password is example. Please open http://127.0.0.1:8088?server=joomladb&username=root&db=joomla_db to open Adminer."
@printf "\e[1;033m%s\e[0m\n\n" "Starting adminer. If the browser didn't open automatically, please surf to http://127.0.0.1:8088?server=joomladb&username=root&db=joomla_db to open adminer."
docker run -d --rm --name adminer --link joomladb:db --network kingsbridge_default -p 8088:8080 adminer
-sensible-browser http://localhost:8088 &

bash:
@printf "\e[1;033m%s\e[0m\n\n" "Start an interactive shell in the Joomla Docker container; type exit to quit"
docker compose exec joomla /bin/sh

code:
code .

down:
docker compose down

explorer:
explorer.exe .

kill:
docker compose kill

logs:
docker compose logs --follow

start:
@printf "\e[1;033m%s\e[0m\n\n" "Starting your website. If the browser didn't open automatically, please surf to http://127.0.0.1:8080 to open your site."
-sensible-browser http://localhost:8080 &

up:
docker compose up --detach

phpmyadmin:
@printf "\e[1;033m%s\e[0m\n\n" "User is root and password is example. Please open http://127.0.0.1:8089 to open phpmyadmin."
@printf "\e[1;033m%s\e[0m\n\n" "Starting phpmyadmin. If the browser didn't open automatically, please surf to http://127.0.0.1:8089 to open phpmyadmin."
docker run --name phpmyadmin -d --link joomladb:db --network kingsbridge_default -p 8089:80 phpmyadmin
-sensible-browser http://localhost:8089 &

Make sure indentation is using tabs, not space.

Save and close vscode.

Add a help screen

See my article Linux Makefile - Adding a help screen to learn how to be able to add a help screen to the list of commands.

danger

The indentation in a makefile SHOULD BE made using tabs and not spaces, this is crucial. So please make sure, if your file didn't work, you know what to do.

Lines like adminer: or bash: are called targets; it's your commands. Take a look to the up: target: you'll retrieve one command and it's docker compose up --detach.

So, from now, instead of running (and remember) docker compose up --detach to run your application, now, just run make up to get the same.

To launch the browser and surf on your site, it will be make start.

It's much easier to remember a command like make something than remember all Docker commands here (can be everything else, not just Docker).

Use printf to echo valuable information

By typing make phpmyadmin, it would be nice to see, on the console, the credentials to use and a small tip like this:

โฏ make phpmyadmin
User is root and password is example. Please open http://127.0.0.1:8089 to open phpmyadmin.

docker run --name phpmyadmin -d --link joomladb:db --network kingsbridge_default -p 8089:80 phpmyadmin
a0c37edd9f8c139556f1f0a6b028ec5102362f16233efbc05f56d184edfb83c9

To do this, just use the printf function like illustrated above.

Please read my Makefile - Tutorial and Tips & Tricks GitHub repository if you wish to learn more about Make.

Feel free to add your own make instructions; can be multiline.