unique-file-in-source-dir is some file that is in the package's source directory; configure checks for this file's existence to make sure that the directory that it is told contains the source code in fact does. Occasionally people accidentally specify the wrong directory with --srcdir; this is a safety check. See configure Invocation, for more information.
Packages that do manual configuration or use the install program
might need to tell configure where to find some other shell
scripts by calling
AC_CONFIG_AUX_DIR, though the default places
it looks are correct for most cases.
Use the auxiliary build tools (e.g., install-sh, config.sub, config.guess, Cygnus configure, Automake and Libtool scripts, etc.) that are in directory dir. These are auxiliary files used in configuration. dir can be either absolute or relative to srcdir. The default is srcdir or srcdir/.. or srcdir/../.., whichever is the first that contains install-sh. The other files are not checked for, so that using
AC_PROG_INSTALLdoes not automatically require distributing the other auxiliary files. It checks for install.sh also, but that name is obsolete because some make have a rule that creates install from it if there is no makefile.
The auxiliary directory is commonly named build-aux. If you need portability to DOS variants, do not name the auxiliary directory aux. See File System Conventions.
Declares that file is expected in the directory defined above. In Autoconf proper, this macro does nothing: its sole purpose is to be traced by third-party tools to produce a list of expected auxiliary files. For instance it is called by macros like
AC_PROG_INSTALL(see Particular Programs) or
AC_CANONICAL_BUILD(see Canonicalizing) to register the auxiliary files they need.
Similarly, packages that use aclocal should declare where
local macros can be found using
Specify dir as the location of additional local Autoconf macros. This macro is intended for use by future versions of commands like autoreconf that trace macro calls. It should be called directly from configure.ac so that tools that install macros for aclocal can find the macros' declarations.
Note that if you use aclocal from Automake to generate aclocal.m4, you must also set
ACLOCAL_AMFLAGS = -Idir in your top-level Makefile.am. Due to a limitation in the Autoconf implementation of autoreconf, these include directives currently must be set on a single line in Makefile.am, without any backslash-newlines.