HEADS UP: Impending autotools changes

Ade Lovett ade at FreeBSD.org
Tue Jul 24 02:53:05 UTC 2007

In the next few days, after extensive testing, the next major update  
to the autotools infrastructure will be committed to the ports tree.

These changes bring FreeBSD's autoconf/automake in line with autotool  
suites available on other platforms, allowing for multiple versions  
to be installed and run in isolation of each other:

[ade at foo:/usr/local/bin] 4% ls autoconf* automake*
autoconf               autoconf-wrapper       automake-1.6
autoconf-2.13          automake               automake-1.7
autoconf-2.53          automake-1.10          automake-1.8
autoconf-2.59          automake-1.4           automake-1.9
autoconf-2.61          automake-1.5           automake-wrapper

As you will see from the above, the naming conventions have been  
changed to be "stock", with unversioned scripts allowing the use of  
any version of the tools via a couple of wrapper scripts written by  
des at .

There are 3 key points associated with this change:

1.  The ports versions of autoconf* and automake* can now be used,  
not only for building other ports, but also for developing platform- 
independent code using this tools -- as such, the gnu-* variants will  
be disappearing shortly.

2.  For IDEs, or development in general, a new port, devel/autotools  
(also available in a port Makefile as USE_AUTOTOOLS= autotools:run)  
will bring in all available versions of the autotools.

3.  When it comes to the actual update, a number of ports, most  
notably IDEs and php{4,5}, but all software that embeds the current  
names of autotools in build scripts etc. will need to be updated, or  
bad things will happen.  Regretfully, particularly in the case of  
PHP, this will likely require manual intervention outside of the  
portupgrade/portmaster update methodologies.

That aside, this is a significant step forward for autotools on  
FreeBSD, and my thanks go out to those that have provided assistance  
and testing.  In particularly, I would like to thank linimon@, pav@,  
kris@ and des@ for their respective efforts in making this happen.


More information about the freebsd-ports mailing list