exec: "make": executable file not found in %PATH%

exec: "make": executable file not found in %PATH% Error compiling for board Generic Esp8266

where/what is this make file the compile is talking about. im trying compile lwip 1.4 from source but im getting that error

Are you on Linux?

"make" is a program that helps with building code. Linux has it. Windows doesn't.

Edit: You can download it as a windows executable.
Edit2: makefile - How to install and use "make" in Windows? - Stack Overflow

what is the %path% its talking about. where is it. i installed make and added it to system path. but the compiler still gives the same error

"%path%" is how you access system path in command line or batch files. It's like a global variable. You can open cmd type "echo %path%" and it will print out your path for you.

Are you sure you added make to your path correctly? Open cmd and type "make" then press enter. If it says "'make' is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file." it means you haven't added it to path.

Edit: On Windows 10 (I don't know about previous one) there are 2 PATHs. One for current user and one for all users. Perhaps you have added make to current user's PATH but the compiler is running under another user. Make sure you add 'make' to system PATH as well.

A quick Google search suggests that it's a problem with Docker. docker: executable file not found in $PATH - Stack Overflow.

I know nothing of Docker. So if my previous answer didn't work I won't be able to help any further.