Python Makefiles... are they possible?

Oscar Benjamin oscar.j.benjamin at
Wed Feb 13 02:00:47 CET 2013

On 13 February 2013 00:44, Malcolm White <white.m88 at> wrote:
> I have written a piece of code that will be part of a larger repository of related programs. Within this repository, it is standard to issue a 'make' command to compile any desired program. Is it possible to create a Makefile to compile a simple Python program? Based on what I have come across so far, this is not (at least not typically) the way things are done with Python.

You can use a Makefile for anything you want in a Python project.
However Python code is not (typically) compiled so it is not common
practise to compile it with or without a Makefile. When part of a
Python project is compiled because, for example it bundles some C code
to be used within Python, the compilation needs to performed in way
that will be compatible with Python so the process is normally
controlled by Python, through a file. In this case
compilation is done with something like 'python build' (Of
course there's nothing to stop you from adding that command to a
Makefile and invoking it with 'make').

I often use Makefiles in Python projects for other purposes, though,
such as running tests with 'make test' or building documentation with
'make doc'.


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