using libtool with "convenience libraries"

Allan Bowhill abowhill at
Fri Feb 20 11:13:35 PST 2004

I am trying to build libtool support into a C++ project, and was
wondering if anyone could shed some light on how to do this properly.

My project is divided by class modules. Modules reside in project
subdirectories, accompanied by unit test code for each class:


What I need to do is to create a build environment using the GNU
Autotools (autoconf, automake, libtool) so that .la files ("convenience
libraries") are built in each subdir, making it possible to build both
the main executable and all the test executables from the same binaries.

There is a pretty close example of what I want to do in

> cd  /usr/ports/devel/libtool15
> make clean extract
> cd work/libtool-1.5/depdemo
> gmake
[everything compiles fine...]

But there are problems if I try to use the depdemo directory 
outside the libtool-1.5 build tree:

> cd  /usr/ports/devel/libtool15
> make clean extract
> cd work/libtool-1.5
> cp -R depdemo /tmp
configure: error: cannot find install-sh or in . ./.. ./../..

install-sh is not the only missing file, there are a bunch of them.
Simply copying-in what I think is missing doesn't work. Neither do
do various incantations of autoreconf.

What files should I copy into this example to make it work?

As an aside, without libtool, autoreconf and the associated tools work
as they are documented in rolling a release. But things become
uncooperative when I try to integrate libtool in my project.

Any advice from an experienced autoconf user would be appreciated.

Allan Bowhill
abowhill at
A budget is just a method of worrying before you spend money, as well
as afterward.
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