Noob compiling tip – “make -j” is your friend

In today’s super duper processor world if you are still only running the standard trio:

make install

.. then you’re really missing out. Well, that is unless you like having more time to drink your coffee while waiting for compilation jobs to finish.

The make command comes with an option to spawn off multiple processes while building. This is can dramatically reduce compilation time. For example, building Quantum GIS from source (for use with our upcoming Ingres Geospatial release) – took about 12 minutes to build the traditional way. But, if you take the number of cores your system has, add 1 and pass that along to the make command then you’re really cooking…:

make -j 5

.. it took only 3.5 minutes.

Try it, you’ll like it!

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Tyler Mitchell

Product and marketing leader, author and technology writer in NoSQL, big data, graph analytics, and geospatial. Follow me @1tylermitchell or get my book from

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