building something from CVS with GNU autotools

Giorgos Keramidas keramida at
Tue Jul 5 14:38:56 GMT 2005

On 2005-07-05 16:14, Marco Molteni <molter at> wrote:
> I pulled all my hair and lost my sanity.  I searched mailing lists ang
> google, found a lot of people with my same problem but never a
> definitive solution.
> Problem is when trying to build on fbsd no matter which program out of
> CVS (ie: not a release) which uses GNU autotools.
> After patching ./ to use the versioned autotools, I get the
> standard error (standard because google is full of it):
> ./ltconfig: ./ltconfig: No such file or directory
> configure: error: libtool configure failed
> I tried also building a directory full of symlinks and putting it at
> the beginning of my PATH, to be sure to catch any invocation of the
> autotools stuff:
> molter at gattaccio[~]$ ls autodamage
> aclocal@ -> /usr/local/bin/aclocal15
> autoconf@ -> /usr/local/bin/autoconf259
> autoheader@ -> /usr/local/bin/autoheader259
> and so on, but I still hit the wall.
> In my case I am trying to compile the CVS version of silky
> (, but as I said silky is a program like
> another.
> I also saw there is a /usr/ports/Mk/ makefile with
> some comments in it, but it is not clear to me how to reuse that stuff
> outside of a port.
> Is there a way to solve my problems, without requiring any fbsd user
> to become a master of the weird and (censured comments) autotools ?


This question comes up very frequently and has been answered several
times.  My preferred solution to the autotools "problem", which works
admirably well on all systems I've tried it so far (FreeBSD, Solaris and
Linux) is to install a local version of the latest autotools in
/opt/autotools and prepend /opt/autotools/bin to my PATH.

A simpler solution, if you don't really want to go into the trouble of
downloading the source tarballs for autoconf, automake and libtool,
compiling everything yourself and installing in /opt/autotools, is to
use the devel/gnu-* ports that install autoconf, automake and libtool in
/usr/local/gnu-autotools and prepend that to your PATH.

- Giorgos

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