automake, autoconf compiling

Tom Huppi thuppi at
Thu Jan 13 13:24:25 PST 2005

Hi Keith,

I've recently been struggling with similar issues, and would be
interested to know what others might have found effective.

I have a number of different versions of the auto-tools on my
machine, almost certainly as a result of installing various ports.
It is worth note that one can glean some info on how the FreeBSD
ports infrastructure handles this problem by looking at
/usr/ports/Mk/  For my part, I found the details
to be too 'ugly' to attempt to emulate in my work, but they are
interesting all-the-same.  To date I have not resorted to
installing any custom, system-wide builds of any of these tools
for fear of harming my ability to use the ports infrastructure and
out of a desire to reduce future maintenance considerations.

For the most part, I have reasonable luck simply calling the
desired tool by it's installed name.  (i.e., 'autoconf259' instead
of 'autoconf'.)  Most of these tools know where to obtain their
helper files due to the PREFIX they were assigned when they
themselves were 'built'.

I have run into situations where aclocal got confused by multiple
macro definitions (for some libtool macros in my case.)  That was
a bit hard to debug, and it may be rare as my research didn't turn
up too many references.

I think it pertinent to expand this question to freebsd-questions
to include a wider audience.  Certainly these are FreeBSD specific
considerations, and probably not extremely arcane ones.


 - Tom

On Thu, 13 Jan 2005, Keith Bottner wrote:

> First let me say that I am definitely a newbie to FreeBSD but not to Linux
> or Windows.
> I am trying to get a development system setup and am having trouble
> identifying how FreeBSD handles automake, autoconf and the like.
> Specifically I am trying to get the Apache log4cxx source to compile and of
> course I am running into problems with automake, aclocal, autoheader,
> autoconf and libtoolize not being in the path. I did chase them down in the
> /usr/local/libexec/automake18 and similar directories but placing them in
> the path still generates errors (i.e. there continues to be things that are
> missing at various stages).
> I guess my general question is: What is the standard way for setting up
> FreeBSD to use these (GNU tools) with the least trouble across disparate
> projects?
> I have never had this problem on Linux as they have always been properly
> setup on install and I want to get FreeBSD going and do it the way that is
> accepted as the standard so that later generalizing my project with autoconf
> will be standardized as well.
> I appreciate any feedback and realize this is a rather broad question, but
> hey I said I was new to FreeBSD.
> Keith
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