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8.17 Vala Support

Automake provides initial support for Vala ( This requires valac version 0.7.0 or later, and currently requires the user to use GNU make.

foo_SOURCES = foo.vala bar.vala zardoc.c

Any .vala file listed in a _SOURCES variable will be compiled into C code by the Vala compiler. The generated .c files are distributed. The end user does not need to have a Vala compiler installed.

Automake ships with an Autoconf macro called AM_PROG_VALAC that will locate the Vala compiler and optionally check its version number.

Macro: AM_PROG_VALAC ([minimum-version], [action-if-found],

[action-if-not-found]) Search for a Vala compiler in PATH. If it is found, the variable VALAC is set to point to it (see below for more details). This macro takes three optional arguments. The first argument, if present, is the minimum version of the Vala compiler required to compile this package. If a compiler is found and satisfies minimum-version, then action-if-found is run (this defaults to do nothing). Otherwise, action-if-not-found is run. If action-if-not-found is not specified, the default value is to print a warning in case no compiler is found, or if a too-old version of the compiler is found.

There are a few variables that are used when compiling Vala sources:


Absolute path to the Vala compiler, or simply ‘valac’ if no suitable compiler Vala could be found at configure runtime.


Additional arguments for the Vala compiler.


The maintainer’s variant of VALAFLAGS.

libfoo_la_SOURCES = foo.vala

Note that currently, you cannot use per-target *_VALAFLAGS (see Renamed Objects) to produce different C files from one Vala source file.

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