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1.2.2 Configure

The first step is to configure the source code, telling it where various files will be. To do so, run

./configure options

(Note: if you have fetched AUCTeX from Git rather than a regular release, you will have to first follow the instructions in ‘README.GIT’).

On many machines, you will not need to specify any options, but if configure cannot determine something on its own, you’ll need to help it out with one of these options:


All automatic placements for package components will be chosen from sensible existing hierarchies below this: directories like ‘man’, ‘share’ and ‘bin’ are supposed to be directly below prefix.

Only if no workable placement can be found there, in some cases an alternative search will be made in a prefix deduced from a suitable binary.

/usr/local’ is the default prefix, intended to be suitable for a site-wide installation. If you are packaging this as an operating system component for distribution, the setting ‘/usr’ will probably be the right choice. If you are planning to install the package as a single non-priviledged user, you will typically set prefix to your home directory.


If you are using a pretest which isn’t in your $PATH, or configure is not finding the right Emacs executable, you can specify it with this option.


Configure for generation under XEmacs (Emacs is the default). Again, the name of the right XEmacs executable can be specified, complete with path if necessary.


This XEmacs-only option configures the directory for XEmacs packages. A typical user-local setting would be ‘~/.xemacs/xemacs-packages’. If this directory exists and is below prefix, it should be detected automatically. This will install and activate the package.


This XEmacs-only option switches the detection of a package directory and corresponding installation off. Consequently, the Emacs installation scheme will be used. This might be appropriate if you are using a different package system/installer than the XEmacs one and want to avoid conflicts.

The Emacs installation scheme has the following options:


This Emacs-only option specifies the location of the ‘site-lisp’ directory within ‘load-path’ under which the files will get installed (the bulk will get installed in a subdirectory). ‘./configure’ should figure this out by itself.


This is the name of the respective startup files. If lispdir contains a subdirectory ‘site-start.d’, the start files are placed there, and ‘site-start.el’ should load them automatically. Please be aware that you must not move the start files after installation since other files are found relative to them.


This is the directory where the bulk of the package gets located. The startfile adds this into load-path.


You can use this option to specify the directory containing automatically generated information. It is not necessary for most TeX installs, but may be used if you don’t like the directory that configure is suggesting.


This is not an option specific to AUCTeX. A number of standard options to configure exist, and we do not have the room to describe them here; a short description of each is available, using --help. If you use ‘--help=recursive’, then also preview-latex-specific options will get listed.


This disables configuration and installation of preview-latex. This option is not actually recommended. If your Emacs does not support images, you should really upgrade to a newer version. Distributors should, if possible, refrain from distributing AUCTeX and preview-latex separately in order to avoid confusion and upgrade hassles if users install partial packages on their own.



This option is used for specifying a TDS-compliant directory hierarchy. Using --with-texmf-dir=/dir you can specify where the TeX TDS directory hierarchy resides, and the TeX files will get installed in ‘/dir/tex/latex/preview/’.

If you use the --without-texmf-dir option, the TeX-related files will be kept in the Emacs Lisp tree, and at runtime the TEXINPUTS environment variable will be made to point there. You can install those files into your own TeX tree at some later time with M-x preview-install-styles RET.


If you want to specify an exact directory for the preview TeX files, use --with-tex-dir=/dir. In this case, the files will be placed in ‘/dir’, and you’ll also need the following option:


This option may be used to specify where the TeX documentation goes. It is to be used when you are using --with-tex-dir=/dir, but is normally not necessary otherwise.

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