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                 [ACTION-IF-FOUND], [ACTION-IF-NOT_FOUND])


Provides a generic test for a given library, similar in concept to the PKG_CHECK_MODULES macro used by pkg-config.

Most simplest libraries can be checked against simply through the presence of a header file and a library to link to. This macro allows to wrap around the test so that it doesn’t have to be recreated each time.

Rather than define –with-$LIBRARY arguments, it uses variables in the same way that PKG_CHECK_MODULES does. It doesn’t, though, use the same names, since you shouldn’t provide a value for LIBS or CFLAGS but rather for LDFLAGS and CPPFLAGS, to tell the linker and compiler where to find libraries and headers respectively.

If the library is find, HAVE_PREFIX is defined, and in all cases PREFIX_LDFLAGS and PREFIX_CPPFLAGS are substituted.


  AX_CHECK_LIBRARY([LIBEVENT], [event.h], [event], [],
                   [AC_MSG_ERROR([Unable to find libevent])])

Source Code

Download the latest version of ax_check_library.m4 or browse the macro’s revision history.


Copyright © 2010 Diego Elio Petteno‘

This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with this program. If not, see <>.

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