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The AutoTools are a collection of GNU tools to manage the build environment for highly portable projects.

They include:

  • Autoconf (the thing that generates configure scripts)
  • Automake (the thing that generates MakeFiles from sources)

configure file

configure probes the systems for required functions, libraries, and tools and then it generates a config.h file with all #defines as well as MakeFiles to build the package.


If you get weird errors like: error: possibly undefined macro: AM_INIT_AUTOMAKE
      If this token and others are legitimate, please use m4_pattern_allow.
      See the Autoconf documentation. error: possibly undefined macro: AM_CONFIG_HEADER error: possibly undefined macro: AC_PROG_LIBTOOL error: possibly undefined macro: AM_CONDITIONAL

then this means you probably need to upgrade automake(1).