Centos Make Command Not Found

admin14 April 2024Last Update :

Understanding the ‘make’ Command in CentOS

The make command is an essential tool used in the compilation and build process of software development, particularly when dealing with large projects that contain numerous source code files. It automates the mundane aspects of building executable programs from source code by reading files called Makefiles which specify how to derive the target program.

Role of ‘make’ in Software Compilation

In CentOS and other Linux distributions, ‘make’ plays a pivotal role in compiling software from source. It determines which pieces of a program need to be recompiled and issues commands to recompile them. This utility can significantly speed up the recompilation process by skipping over parts of the build process that are already up-to-date, saving developers time and reducing potential human error.

Common Reasons for ‘make: command not found’

  • Lack of installation of the ‘make’ package.
  • Incorrect PATH environment variable settings.
  • User privileges not sufficient to access or execute ‘make’.
  • System corruption or misconfiguration.

Troubleshooting ‘make: command not found’ in CentOS

When you encounter the ‘make: command not found’ error on CentOS, it indicates that the system cannot locate the ‘make’ utility. This section will guide you through various steps to resolve this issue.

Step 1: Checking if ‘make’ is Installed

Firstly, check whether ‘make’ is installed on your system using the following command:

yum list installed | grep make

If ‘make’ is not listed, it means that it needs to be installed.

Step 2: Installing ‘make’

To install ‘make’, use the package manager ‘yum’ as follows:

sudo yum install make

This command will download and install the latest version of ‘make’ along with any dependencies required.

Step 3: Verifying the Installation

After installation, verify that ‘make’ is correctly installed by typing ‘make –version’ into the terminal. You should see output similar to the following:

make --version

This command displays the version of ‘make’ installed, confirming its presence on your system.

Step 4: Ensuring Correct PATH Configuration

If ‘make’ is installed but still not found, ensure that the directory where ‘make’ resides is included in your system’s PATH environment variable. Use the following command to display your current PATH:

echo $PATH

Check if the path to ‘make’ (usually /usr/bin/) is present. If not, add it to your PATH using the appropriate shell command for your environment.

Advanced Troubleshooting Techniques

Checking User Privileges

Sometimes, user privileges may prevent access to certain commands. Ensure that your user account has the necessary permissions to execute ‘make’.

System Integrity Check

A corrupted system file or misconfiguration could also lead to the ‘make: command not found’ error. Running a system integrity check can help identify and fix such issues.

Using ‘make’ Effectively in CentOS

Writing Effective Makefiles

Makefiles are crucial for the ‘make’ utility to function properly. They define the relationships between files in your project and provide instructions on how to compile the code.

Optimizing Build Times with ‘make’

‘make’ can optimize build times by only recompiling files that have changed since the last build, known as incremental builds. This feature is especially useful in large projects.

FAQ Section

What is a Makefile?

A Makefile is a script used by the ‘make’ utility containing rules that tell ‘make’ how to compile and link a program.

Can I use ‘make’ for languages other than C/C++?

Yes, ‘make’ can be used for various programming languages as long as there are appropriate compilers and build instructions defined in the Makefile.

How do I update my PATH variable permanently?

To permanently update your PATH variable, you can add the export command to your shell’s profile script (e.g., ~/.bashrc for Bash).

Is ‘make’ specific to CentOS?

No, ‘make’ is available on most Unix-like operating systems, including other Linux distributions, macOS, and BSD variants.


Resolving the ‘make: command not found’ error in CentOS typically involves checking for the installation of ‘make’, installing or reinstalling it if necessary, and ensuring that the PATH environment variable is configured correctly. With ‘make’ properly set up, developers can efficiently manage and automate their build processes.


  • The GNU Make manual: https://www.gnu.org/software/make/manual/make.html
  • CentOS documentation: https://www.centos.org/docs/
  • Linux man pages online: https://linux.die.net/man/
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