GNU autoconf, automake, and libtool

Expert insight into porting software and building large projects using GNU Autotools

Gary V. Vaughan, Ben Elliston, Tom Tromey, Ian Lance Taylor

Publisher: New Riders, 2001, 389 pages

ISBN: 1-57870-190-2

Keywords: Programming

Last modified: June 30, 2021, 4:36 p.m.

A primary author, two maintainers and a major contributor to the GNU Autotools team up in this unique guide to provide an insider's view on improving software portability and package building using the popular Open Source tools. In GNU Autoconf, Automake, and Libtool, the experts share their firsthand experiences, examples and insights with any software developer, system administrator, or technical manager seeking to maximize the tools' capabilities. This practical tutorial includes:

  • A history of the development of these tools
  • Coverage of such topics as 'Makefile's and configuration triplets
  • Guidelines for writing portable programs in C, C++, and Bourne shell
  • Techniques for engineering code that will build and employe DLLs in the Cygwin environment

With the aid of this tutorial, you will:

  • Develop in-house projects with free software
  • Compile, install, and customize packages
  • Gain insight into the complex nature of software portability and building a large project
  1. History
  2. How to Run Configure, and The Most Useful Standard Makefile Targets
  3. Introducing 'Makefile's
  4. Using GNU Autotools to Manage a "Minimal Project"
  5. Writing a Portable ''
  6. Introducing GNU Automake
  7. A Small GNU Autotools Project
  8. Bootstrapping
  9. Introducing GNU Libtool
  10. Using GNU Libtools with '' and ''
  11. A Large GNU Autotools Project
  12. Rolling Distribution Tarballs
  13. Installing and Uninstaling Configured Packages
  14. Writing Portable C with GNU Autotools
  15. Writing Portable C++ with GNU Autotools
  16. Dynamic Loading
  17. Using GNU libltdl
  18. Advanced GNU Automake Usage
  19. A Complex GNU Autotools Project
  20. GNU M4
  21. Writing Portable Bourne Shell
  22. Writing New Macros for Autoconf
  23. Migrating an Existing Package to GNU Autotools
  24. Using Autotools with Cygnus' Cygwin
  25. Cross-Compilation with GNU Autotools
  1. Installing GNU Autotools
  2. Platforms
  3. Generated File Dependencies
  4. Autoconf Macro Reference
  5. Open Publication License


GNU autoconf, automake, and libtool

Reviewed by Roland Buresund

OK ***** (5 out of 10)

Last modified: Feb. 14, 2011, 6:41 p.m.

This is a pretty good primer and tutorial on the autoconf tools. It is definetely not for the novice (even though it seems to have started as such).

If you know something about it, read it! Otherwise it will only confuse you.


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