automake, autoconf compiling

Keith Bottner keith at
Thu Jan 13 14:55:13 PST 2005

All of the information both of your provided is helpful. I will have to
investigate further. Some of the information that Tom specified helped me to
track down the problem. Basically I have multiple versions of the tools
installed and there are two different directories with aclocal m4 files. If
I explicitly change the shell script to also include the other directory
then everything seems to continue on until compile time when there is a
header that cannot be found. It appears this header alloca.h is located in
/usr/src/gnu/usr.bin/sort/alloca.h. I was just wondering if Giorgos method
would also alleviate these problems or if this is just par for the course
when using projects that people have not moved into the ports collection?


-----Original Message-----
From: owner-freebsd-newbies at
[mailto:owner-freebsd-newbies at] On Behalf Of Giorgos Keramidas
Sent: Thursday, January 13, 2005 3:48 PM
To: Tom Huppi
Cc: Keith Bottner; freebsd-questions at; Freebsd-Newbies at Freebsd.
Subject: Re: automake, autoconf compiling


On 2005-01-13 16:24, Tom Huppi <thuppi at> wrote:
>On Thu, 13 Jan 2005, Keith Bottner wrote:
>> I am trying to get a development system setup and am having trouble 
>> identifying how FreeBSD handles automake, autoconf and the like.
>> [...] 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've recently been struggling with similar issues, and would be 
> interested to know what others might have found effective.

I use autoconf/automake and libtool daily at work[1].

The programs I write have to run on at least 3 different operating systems
(FreeBSD, Linux and Solaris) without the need for constant manual tweaking
of the source.

The best way to do that is to use the same version of autotools on all those
platforms.  So, I install the latest possible versions of these tools with
--prefix=/opt/autotools on all the machines I have to use, and stop worrying
about all the details.

When I have to use the tools, I add /opt/autotools/bin at the beginning of
my PATH.  When I don't need them, I remove /opt/autotools/bin from my path.

This has worked wonders so far.

- Giorgos

[1] The operative keyword here is "at work".  I don't use autoconf and
friends for programs I write on my own.  I prefer bsd.*.mk for that.
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