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slow "make clean"

From: Ralf Hemmecke
Subject: slow "make clean"
Date: Sat, 12 Feb 2011 23:46:55 +0100
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv: Gecko/20101207 Thunderbird/3.1.7

I've a project that must use subdir-objects, because of filename clashes in subdirectories (non-recursive build).

AM_INIT_AUTOMAKE([-Wall -Werror foreign subdir-objects])

I just have


but quite a lot of files.

The generated Makefile contains a target "mostlyclean-compile" which has about 1500 lines that look like

  -rm -f src/foo/foo.$(OBJEXT)
  -rm -f src/foo/foo.lo

Of course it takes ages to say "make clean". About 10 sec.

Wouldn't it be faster if there were just one call to rm or at least block the number of arguments to rm so that the maximal argument lenght is not exceeded?

Any idea how I can speed that up?


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