FreeBSD Make question

Thomas Mueller mueller6724 at
Thu Oct 17 19:19:01 UTC 2013

> I'm trying to write a Makefile for FreeBSD Make (not GNU Make), with target
> names containg spaces.
> Example:
> MY_TARGET=/home/joe/directory name with spaces/hello.c
    @echo ${.TARGET}
> The output is truncated to '/home/joe/directory'
> Is there any possible way to escape this properly?
> I have read all the documentation I could find, and tried several ways
> solving this problem, using quotes, escapes, substitutions.
> The output is the same if as use sh, bash, or tcsh, so it isn't shell
> related.
> Are spaces simply not possible to use in target names?

> If I'm on the wrong list, or someone could point me into any direction to
> solve this, I would gladly appreciate any hints.

> Best Regards,
> Johan

I believe that in (quasi-)Unix in general, including FreeBSD and Linux, 
you use backslash to escape an embedded space in directory or file names.

Backslash causes the following character to be interpreted as an ordinary 
character with no special meaning.


MY_TARGET=/home/joe/directory\ name\ with\ spaces/hello.c


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