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Autoconf

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3. Making configure Scripts

The configuration scripts that Autoconf produces are by convention called configure. When run, configure creates several files, replacing configuration parameters in them with appropriate values. The files that configure creates are:

To create a configure script with Autoconf, you need to write an Autoconf input file `configure.ac' (or `configure.in') and run autoconf on it. If you write your own feature tests to supplement those that come with Autoconf, you might also write files called `aclocal.m4' and `acsite.m4'. If you use a C header file to contain #define directives, you might also run autoheader, and you will distribute the generated file `config.h.in' with the package.

Here is a diagram showing how the files that can be used in configuration are produced. Programs that are executed are suffixed by `*'. Optional files are enclosed in square brackets (`[]'). autoconf and autoheader also read the installed Autoconf macro files (by reading `autoconf.m4').

Files used in preparing a software package for distribution:
 
your source files --> [autoscan*] --> [configure.scan] --> configure.ac

configure.ac --.
               |   .------> autoconf* -----> configure
[aclocal.m4] --+---+
               |   `-----> [autoheader*] --> [config.h.in]
[acsite.m4] ---'

Makefile.in -------------------------------> Makefile.in

Files used in configuring a software package:
 
                       .-------------> [config.cache]
configure* ------------+-------------> config.log
                       |
[config.h.in] -.       v            .-> [config.h] -.
               +--> config.status* -+               +--> make*
Makefile.in ---'                    `-> Makefile ---'

3.1 Writing `configure.ac'  What to put in an Autoconf input file
3.2 Using autoscan to Create `configure.ac'  Semi-automatic `configure.ac' writing
3.3 Using ifnames to List Conditionals  Listing the conditionals in source code
3.4 Using autoconf to Create configure  How to create configuration scripts
3.5 Using autoreconf to Update configure Scripts  Remaking multiple configure scripts


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