GNU Make is described as 'Make is a tool which controls the generation of executables and other non-source files of a program from the program's source files' and is an app in the Development category. There are more than 25 alternatives to GNU Make for a variety of platforms, including Linux, Mac, Windows, BSD and Android. The best alternative is CMake, which is both free and Open Source. Other great apps like GNU Make are Ninja Build (Free, Open Source), SCons (Free, Open Source), Maven (Free, Open Source) and Gradle (Free, Open Source).
Ninja is a small build system with a focus on speed. It differs from other build systems in two major respects: it is designed to have its input files generated by a higher-level build system, and it is designed to run builds as fast as possible.
SCons is an Open Source software construction tool—that is, a next-generation build tool. Think of SCons as an improved, cross-platform substitute for the classic Make utility with integrated functionality similar to autoconf/automake and compiler caches such as ccache.
Apache Maven is a Java-based tool for build automation and project management (in software development). It is centered around a Project Object Model (POM) described in a XML file that describes the project structure and its dependencies to other components and libraries.
Gradle is build automation evolved. Gradle can automate the building, testing, publishing, deployment and more of software packages or other types of projects such as generated static websites, generated documentation or indeed anything else.
The main design point of Meson is that every moment a developer spends writing or debugging build definitions is a second wasted. So is every second spent waiting for the build system to actually start compiling code.
CheckInstall is a Linux program which eases installation & uninstallation of software compiled from source. After software compilation it can automatically generate a Slackware, RPM, or Debian-compatible package that can later be cleanly uninstalled.