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This manual (9 September 2008) is for GNU Autoconf (version 2.63), a package for creating scripts to configure source code packages using templates and an M4 macro package.

Copyright © 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 Free Software Foundation, Inc.

Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, with the Front-Cover texts being “A GNU Manual,” and with the Back-Cover Texts as in (a) below. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled “GNU Free Documentation License.”

(a) The FSF's Back-Cover Text is: “You have the freedom to copy and modify this GNU manual. Buying copies from the FSF supports it in developing GNU and promoting software freedom.”

--- The Detailed Node Listing ---

The GNU Build System

Making configure Scripts


Initialization and Output Files

Substitutions in Makefiles

Configuration Header Files

Existing Tests

Common Behavior

Alternative Programs

Library Functions

Header Files




Compilers and Preprocessors

Writing Tests

Writing Test Programs

Results of Tests

Caching Results

Programming in M4

M4 Quotation

Using autom4te

Programming in M4sugar

Writing Autoconf Macros

Dependencies Between Macros

Portable Shell Programming

Portable Make Programming

VPATH and Make

Portable C and C++ Programming

Manual Configuration

Site Configuration

Transforming Program Names When Installing

Running configure Scripts

Obsolete Constructs

Upgrading From Version 1

Upgrading From Version 2.13

Generating Test Suites with Autotest

Using an Autotest Test Suite

Frequent Autoconf Questions, with answers

History of Autoconf