You can put rules like the following in the top-level Makefile.in for a package to automatically update the configuration information when you change the configuration files. This example includes all of the optional files, such as aclocal.m4 and those related to configuration header files. Omit from the Makefile.in rules for any of these files that your package does not use.
The ‘$(srcdir)/’ prefix is included because of limitations in the
The stamp- files are necessary because the timestamps of config.h.in and config.h are not changed if remaking them does not change their contents. This feature avoids unnecessary recompilation. You should include the file stamp-h.in in your package's distribution, so that make considers config.h.in up to date. Don't use touch (see Limitations of Usual Tools); instead, use echo (using date would cause needless differences, hence CVS conflicts, etc.).
$(srcdir)/configure: configure.ac aclocal.m4 cd '$(srcdir)' && autoconf # autoheader might not change config.h.in, so touch a stamp file. $(srcdir)/config.h.in: stamp-h.in $(srcdir)/stamp-h.in: configure.ac aclocal.m4 cd '$(srcdir)' && autoheader echo timestamp > '$(srcdir)/stamp-h.in' config.h: stamp-h stamp-h: config.h.in config.status ./config.status Makefile: Makefile.in config.status ./config.status config.status: configure ./config.status --recheck
(Be careful if you copy these lines directly into your makefile, as you need to convert the indented lines to start with the tab character.)
In addition, you should use
AC_CONFIG_FILES([stamp-h], [echo timestamp > stamp-h])
so config.status ensures that config.h is considered up to
date. See Output, for more information about
See config.status Invocation, for more examples of handling configuration-related dependencies.