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4 Invoking libtool

The libtool program has the following synopsis:

     libtool [option]... [mode-arg]...

and accepts the following options:

--config
Display libtool configuration variables and exit.
--debug
Dump a trace of shell script execution to standard output. This produces a lot of output, so you may wish to pipe it to less (or more) or redirect to a file.
-n
--dry-run
Don't create, modify, or delete any files, just show what commands would be executed by libtool.
--features
Display basic configuration options. This provides a way for packages to determine whether shared or static libraries will be built.
--finish
Same as --mode=finish.
-h
Display short help message.
--help
Display a help message and exit. If --mode=mode is specified, then detailed help for mode is displayed.
--help-all
Display help for the general options as well as detailed help for each operation mode, and exit.
--mode=mode
Use mode as the operation mode. When using libtool from the command line, you can give just mode (or a unique abbreviation of it) as the first argument as a shorthand for the full --mode=mode. For example, the following are equivalent:
          $ libtool --mode=execute --dry-run gdb prog.exe
          $ libtool        execute --dry-run gdb prog.exe
          $ libtool        exe     --dry-run gdb prog.exe
          $ libtool        e       --dry-run gdb prog.exe

mode must be set to one of the following:

compile
Compile a source file into a libtool object.
execute
Automatically set the library path so that another program can use uninstalled libtool-generated programs or libraries.
link
Create a library or an executable.
install
Install libraries or executables.
finish
Complete the installation of libtool libraries on the system.
uninstall
Delete installed libraries or executables.
clean
Delete uninstalled libraries or executables.

--tag=tag
Use configuration variables from tag tag (see Tags).
--preserve-dup-deps
Do not remove duplicate dependencies in libraries. When building packages with static libraries, the libraries may depend circularly on each other (shared libs can too, but for those it doesn't matter), so there are situations, where -la -lb -la is required, and the second -la may not be stripped or the link will fail. In cases where these duplications are required, this option will preserve them, only stripping the libraries that libtool knows it can safely.
--quiet
--silent
Do not print out any progress or informational messages.
-v
--verbose
Print out progress and informational messages (enabled by default), as well as additional messages not ordinary seen by default.
--no-quiet
--no-silent
Print out the progress and informational messages that are seen by default. This option has no effect on whether the additional messages seen in --verbose mode are shown.
--no-verbose
Do not print out any additional informational messages beyond those ordinarily seen by default. This option has no effect on whether the ordinary progress and informational messages enabled by --no-quiet are shown.

Thus, there are now three different message levels (not counting --debug), depending on whether the normal messages and/or the additional verbose messages are displayed. Note that there is no mechanism to diplay verbose messages, without also displaying normal messages.

default
Normal messages are displayed, verbose messages are not displayed. In addition to being the default mode, it can be forcibly achieved by using both option --no-verbose and either option --no-silent or option --no-quiet.
silent
Neither normal messages nor verbose messages are displayed. This mode can be achieved using either option --silent or option --quiet.
verbose
Both normal messages and verbose messages are displayed. This mode can be achieved using either option -v or option --verbose.

--version
Print libtool version information and exit.

The current libtool implementation is done with a shell script that needs to be invoked by the shell which configure chose for configuring libtool (see The Autoconf Manual). This shell is set in the she-bang (‘#!’) line of the libtool script. Using a different shell may cause undefined behavior.

The mode-args are a variable number of arguments, depending on the selected operation mode. In general, each mode-arg is interpreted by programs libtool invokes, rather than libtool itself.