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6.1 Configuring AutoGen

AutoGen is configured and built using Libtool, Automake and Autoconf. Consequently, you can install it wherever you wish using the ‘--prefix’ and other options. To the various configuration options supplied by these tools, AutoGen adds a few of its own:


AutoGen is now capable of acting as a CGI forms server, See section AutoGen as a CGI server. As such, it will gather its definitions using either ‘GET’ or ‘POST’ methods. All you need to do is have a template named ‘cgi.tpl’ handy or specify a different one with a command line option.

However, doing this without disabling the server shell brings considerable risk. If you were to pass user input to a script that contained, say, the classic "‘`rm -rf /`’", you might have a problem. This configuration option will cause shell template commands to simply return the command string as the result. No mistakes. Much safer. Strongly recommended. The default is to have server shell scripting enabled.

Disabling the shell will have some build side effects, too.


Turning on AutoGen debugging enables very detailed inspection of the input definitions and monitoring shell script processing. These options are not particularly useful to anyone not directly involved in maintaining AutoGen. If you do choose to enable AutoGen debugging, be aware that the usage page was generated without these options, so when the build process reaches the documentation rebuild, there will be a failure. ‘cd’ into the ‘agen5’ build directory, ‘make’ the ‘autogen.texi’ file and all will be well thereafter.


These three work together to specify how to compile with and link to a particular POSIX regular expression library. The value for ‘--with-regex-header=value’ must be the name of the relevant header file. The AutoGen sources will attempt to include that source with a #include <value> C preprocessing statement. The path from the ‘--with-header-path=path’ will be added to CPPFLAGS as ‘-Ipath’. The lib-specs from ‘--with-regex-lib=lib-specs’ will be added to LDFLAGS without any adornment.

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This document was generated by Bruce Korb on August 21, 2015 using texi2html 1.82.