cons has been decommissioned, since it was not kept up to date, and
the free software package scons has effectively replaced it.
What is CONS?
Do you use Makefiles for your project? Have you ever done a "make clean;
make all" just because you didn't know if the files you changed would be
rebuilt correctly? Or perhaps you work on several machines accessing an
NFS server, and if their clocks aren't in sync, make won't know to rebuild
things? Well, welcome to a new and better way to control the building of
CONS is a replacement for MAKE. It is not compatible with make, but it has
a number of powerful capabilities not found in other software construction
systems, including make. It is distributed under the
GNU General Public
CONS is implemented in Perl. You don't need to know Perl to use CONS,
although you can use it more powerfully if you do.
To use CONS, you will need Perl 5.003
or better and the Perl
module, available from CPAN
CONS is known to work on a variety of platforms. It's in production use on
versions of AIX, FreeBSD, HPUX, IRIX, Linux, Solaris, SunOS, and Windows NT.
Where can I get CONS?
The latest stable version of CONS is 2.2.0.
The latest development version of CONS is 2.3.0.
For a description of the changes in these releases, please read the release
notes and change logs, below.
Each version of Cons has two related packages:
the cons package,
which contains Cons itself and its documentation,
and the cons-test package,
which contains a full set of portable Cons regression tests
and a script for executing them.
If you're just interested in running Cons,
you only need the cons package.
The cons-test package is for people
who are planning to add new features to Cons and want to make sure they
don't break existing functionality, or who want to verify that Cons
works correctly on their system.
(Note that the cons-test package
no longer contains a copy of the Cons script itself;
you must now install both packages
if you're planning on working with the test suite.)
For verification purposes, MD5 checksums exist for each package.
Other Web Mirrors
CONS is also available as read-only source from our CVS repository subversions.gnu.org.
To download the sources for browsing, do the following.
$ cvs -d :pserver:firstname.lastname@example.org:/cvs login
Password: [just hit enter]
You only need to login once, as CVS will save your password in
~/.cvspass. After that, you can do any CVS operation, such as:
$ cvs -d :pserver:email@example.com:/cvs checkout cons
For a list of CPAN mirrors, see Yahoo's
- Cons and cons-test are part of the FreeBSD Ports Collection.
- Cons and cons-test are distributed for Linux as RPM (RedHat) and DEB (Debian) Packages
Information about CONS
The official CONS Reference Manual is now embedded in the CONS program
itself, and can be read using perldoc.
An FAQ for Cons is available.
If you're new to CONS,
take a look to see if your questions are already addressed there.
A mailing list, firstname.lastname@example.org, has
If you wish to subscribe, do one of two things:
Please send all comments, requests, complaints, etc. to the mailing list.
The CONS mailing list is archived at
CONS has an appindex
entry at the freshmeat.net
Open Source project directory.
An article about CONS appeared in
The Perl Journal, issue #9, Spring 1998.
CONS was originally created by Bob Sidebotham. It is currently being
maintained by Rajesh Vaidheeswarran. This
web page is being maintained by The GNU Project. If you wish to contact
any of these people regarding CONS, please send your message to the
cons-discuss mailing list.
If you are interested in mirroring CONS on your web site, please do one of
- Check the file Mirrors in the CONS CVS source tree and follow
The CONS community would like to thank The Free Software Foundation for graciously hosting
this CONS mirror.
Last updated: Tue May 29 2001.
Send comments and suggestions to the cons-discuss mailing list.
Website-specific comments may be sent to email@example.com