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6.35. Autoconf-2.59

The Autoconf package contains programs for producing shell scripts that can automatically configure source code.

Approximate build time: 0.5 SBU

Required disk space: 7.7 MB

Autoconf installation depends on: Bash, Coreutils, Diffutils, Grep, M4, Make, Perl, and Sed

6.35.1. Installation of Autoconf

Prepare Autoconf for compilation:

./configure --prefix=/usr

Compile the package:


To test the results, issue: make check. This takes a long time, about 2 SBUs.

Install the package:

make install

6.35.2. Contents of Autoconf

Installed programs: autoconf, autoheader, autom4te, autoreconf, autoscan, autoupdate, and ifnames

Short Descriptions


Produces shell scripts that automatically configure software source code packages to adapt to many kinds of Unix-like systems. The configuration scripts it produces are independent—running them does not require the autoconf program.


A tool for creating template files of C #define statements for configure to use


A wrapper for the M4 macro processor


Automatically runs autoconf, autoheader, aclocal, automake, gettextize, and libtoolize in the correct order to save time when changes are made to autoconf and automake template files


Helps to create a configure.in file for a software package; it examines the source files in a directory tree, searching them for common portability issues, and creates a configure.scan file that serves as as a preliminary configure.in file for the package


Modifies a configure.in file that still calls autoconf macros by their old names to use the current macro names


Helps when writing configure.in files for a software package; it prints the identifiers that the package uses in C preprocessor conditionals. If a package has already been set up to have some portability, this program can help determine what configure needs to check for. It can also fill in gaps in a configure.in file generated by autoscan