16.1 Basic Installation
Briefly, the shell commands ‘./configure; make; make install’
should configure, build, and install this package. The following
more-detailed instructions are generic; see the README file for
instructions specific to this package.
More recommendations for GNU packages can be found in
The configure shell script attempts to guess correct values
for various system-dependent variables used during compilation. It uses
those values to create a Makefile in each directory of the
package. It may also create one or more .h files containing
system-dependent definitions. Finally, it creates a shell script
config.status that you can run in the future to recreate the
current configuration, and a file config.log containing compiler
output (useful mainly for debugging configure).
It can also use an optional file (typically called config.cache
and enabled with --cache-file=config.cache or simply
-C) that saves the results of its tests to speed up
reconfiguring. Caching is disabled by default to prevent problems with
accidental use of stale cache files.
If you need to do unusual things to compile the package, please try to
figure out how configure could check whether to do them, and
mail diffs or instructions to the address given in the README so
they can be considered for the next release. If you are using the
cache, and at some point config.cache contains results you don't
want to keep, you may remove or edit it.
The file configure.ac (or configure.in) is used to create
configure by a program called autoconf. You need
configure.ac if you want to change it or regenerate
configure using a newer version of autoconf.
The simplest way to compile this package is:
- cd to the directory containing the package's source code and type
‘./configure’ to configure the package for your system.
Running configure might take a while. While running, it prints some
messages telling which features it is checking for.
- Type ‘make’ to compile the package.
- Optionally, type ‘make check’ to run any self-tests that come with
the package, generally using the just-built uninstalled binaries.
- Type ‘make install’ to install the programs and any data files and
documentation. When installing into a prefix owned by root, it is
recommended that the package be configured and built as a regular user,
and only the ‘make install’ phase executed with root privileges.
- Optionally, type ‘make installcheck’ to repeat any self-tests, but
this time using the binaries in their final installed location. This
target does not install anything. Running this target as a regular
user, particularly if the prior ‘make install’ required root
privileges, verifies that the installation completed correctly.
- You can remove the program binaries and object files from the source
code directory by typing ‘make clean’. To also remove the files
that configure created (so you can compile the package for a
different kind of computer), type ‘make distclean’. There is also
a ‘make maintainer-clean’ target, but that is intended mainly for
the package's developers. If you use it, you may have to get all sorts
of other programs in order to regenerate files that came with the
- Often, you can also type ‘make uninstall’ to remove the installed
files again. In practice, not all packages have tested that
uninstallation works correctly, even though it is required by the
GNU Coding Standards.
- Some packages, particularly those that use Automake, provide ‘make
distcheck’, which can by used by developers to test that all other
targets like ‘make install’ and ‘make uninstall’ work
correctly. This target is generally not run by end users.