( Options/Recursion

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 5.7.3 Communicating Options to a Sub-`make'
 Flags such as `-s' and `-k' are passed automatically to the sub-`make'
 through the variable `MAKEFLAGS'.  This variable is set up
 automatically by `make' to contain the flag letters that `make'
 received.  Thus, if you do `make -ks' then `MAKEFLAGS' gets the value
    As a consequence, every sub-`make' gets a value for `MAKEFLAGS' in
 its environment.  In response, it takes the flags from that value and
 processes them as if they had been given as arguments.   Summary
 of Options Options Summary.
    Likewise variables defined on the command line are passed to the
 sub-`make' through `MAKEFLAGS'.  Words in the value of `MAKEFLAGS' that
 contain `=', `make' treats as variable definitions just as if they
 appeared on the command line.   Overriding Variables Overriding.
    The options `-C', `-f', `-o', and `-W' are not put into `MAKEFLAGS';
 these options are not passed down.
    The `-j' option is a special case ( Parallel Execution
 Parallel.).  If you set it to some numeric value `N' and your operating
 system supports it (most any UNIX system will; others typically won't),
 the parent `make' and all the sub-`make's will communicate to ensure
 that there are only `N' jobs running at the same time between them all.
 Note that any job that is marked recursive ( Instead of Executing
 the Commands Instead of Execution.)  doesn't count against the total
 jobs (otherwise we could get `N' sub-`make's running and have no slots
 left over for any real work!)
    If your operating system doesn't support the above communication,
 then `-j 1' is always put into `MAKEFLAGS' instead of the value you
 specified.  This is because if the `-j' option were passed down to
 sub-`make's, you would get many more jobs running in parallel than you
 asked for.  If you give `-j' with no numeric argument, meaning to run
 as many jobs as possible in parallel, this is passed down, since
 multiple infinities are no more than one.
    If you do not want to pass the other flags down, you must change the
 value of `MAKEFLAGS', like this:
              cd subdir && $(MAKE) MAKEFLAGS=
    The command line variable definitions really appear in the variable
 `MAKEOVERRIDES', and `MAKEFLAGS' contains a reference to this variable.
 If you do want to pass flags down normally, but don't want to pass
 down the command line variable definitions, you can reset
 `MAKEOVERRIDES' to empty, like this:
 This is not usually useful to do.  However, some systems have a small
 fixed limit on the size of the environment, and putting so much
 information into the value of `MAKEFLAGS' can exceed it.  If you see
 the error message `Arg list too long', this may be the problem.  (For
 strict compliance with POSIX.2, changing `MAKEOVERRIDES' does not
 affect `MAKEFLAGS' if the special target `.POSIX' appears in the
 makefile.  You probably do not care about this.)
    A similar variable `MFLAGS' exists also, for historical
 compatibility.  It has the same value as `MAKEFLAGS' except that it
 does not contain the command line variable definitions, and it always
 begins with a hyphen unless it is empty (`MAKEFLAGS' begins with a
 hyphen only when it begins with an option that has no single-letter
 version, such as `--warn-undefined-variables').  `MFLAGS' was
 traditionally used explicitly in the recursive `make' command, like
              cd subdir && $(MAKE) $(MFLAGS)
 but now `MAKEFLAGS' makes this usage redundant.  If you want your
 makefiles to be compatible with old `make' programs, use this
 technique; it will work fine with more modern `make' versions too.
    The `MAKEFLAGS' variable can also be useful if you want to have
 certain options, such as `-k' ( Summary of Options Options
 Summary.), set each time you run `make'.  You simply put a value for
 `MAKEFLAGS' in your environment.  You can also set `MAKEFLAGS' in a
 makefile, to specify additional flags that should also be in effect for
 that makefile.  (Note that you cannot use `MFLAGS' this way.  That
 variable is set only for compatibility; `make' does not interpret a
 value you set for it in any way.)
    When `make' interprets the value of `MAKEFLAGS' (either from the
 environment or from a makefile), it first prepends a hyphen if the value
 does not already begin with one.  Then it chops the value into words
 separated by blanks, and parses these words as if they were options
 given on the command line (except that `-C', `-f', `-h', `-o', `-W',
 and their long-named versions are ignored; and there is no error for an
 invalid option).
    If you do put `MAKEFLAGS' in your environment, you should be sure not
 to include any options that will drastically affect the actions of
 `make' and undermine the purpose of makefiles and of `make' itself.
 For instance, the `-t', `-n', and `-q' options, if put in one of these
 variables, could have disastrous consequences and would certainly have
 at least surprising and probably annoying effects.
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