Using autoconf/automake in spec files
This document seeks to document the usage of
libtoolize during a package build in Fedora; i.e. the usage of older packages like
- Autoconf, Automake, and Libtool (collectively, the “autotools”) can by used for many Fedora packages to create
Makefiles. The resulting
Makefiles might be different on systems with a different set of installed packages and thus might lead to unpredictable results. In particular, when any of Fedora's autotools packages is upgraded, the new version may not be compatible with the autotools input files in Fedora's numerous autotools-derived upstream source packages.
- Some packages use old autotools versions in order to build their
Makefiles. Some of these older helper tools aren't multilib capable and patches need to be applied to be able to build the package on multilib systems. Upstream doesn't maintain these tools anymore and so the tools won't get any bugfixes.
- Autotools-generated source packages are intended to be buildable without requiring the autotools on the host system.
libtoolizeand the accompanying
autoreconfshouldn't be used in the
%buildsections of a package's spec file. Applying a patch to update the
Makefile.ins is preferred as the results are predictable and packages are more reproducible.
- When manual modification of
Makefile.infor the purpose of generating a patch is impractical, packagers can create a patch by regenerating
Makefile.into use as input to
diff. In general,
autoreconfshould not be used for this purpose because it will regenerate files that probably don't need to be regenerated.
- If only
Makefile.amhas been touched, run
configure.ac(or in older packages,
configure.in) has been modified, but no additional Autoconf macros were invoked, run
- If new macro invocations have been added to
configure.ac, first run
aclocal.m4), then run
autoconf. Many projects distribute their own Autoconf macros in an “
m4” or “
macros” subdirectory; you will need to provide
-Iflag with the path to these macros. Note that you do not need to include modifications to
aclocal.m4in your patch.
- If only
- Package maintainers should work with upstream to port the scripts to recent autotools. Sometimes this won't work due to time constraints or due to compatibility concerns for multi-platform packages such as p.e. Firefox; but at least an attempt should be made.
autoconf213 to a recent version is covered at Upgrading From Version 2.13.
Tips to update from older Automake versions are available at Upgrading a Package to a Newer Automake Version. The
NEWS file in the latest
automake package also lists differences between the versions and gives some hint what one has to look out for.