If a software package has optional compile-time features, the user can
configure command line options to specify whether to
compile them. The options have one of these forms:
These options allow users to choose which optional features to build and install. --enable-feature options should never make a feature behave differently or cause one feature to replace another. They should only cause parts of the program to be built rather than left out.
The user can give an argument by following the feature name with ‘=’ and the argument. Giving an argument of ‘no’ requests that the feature not be made available. A feature with an argument looks like --enable-debug=stabs. If no argument is given, it defaults to ‘yes’. --disable-feature is equivalent to --enable-feature=no.
configure scripts complain about
--enable-package options that they do not support.
See Option Checking, for details, and for how to override the
For each optional feature, configure.ac should call
AC_ARG_ENABLE to detect whether the
configure user asked
to include it. Whether each feature is included or not by default, and
which arguments are valid, is up to you.
If the user gave
configure the option
--enable-feature or --disable-feature, run
shell commands action-if-given. If neither option was given, run
shell commands action-if-not-given. The name feature
indicates an optional user-level facility. It should consist only of
alphanumeric characters, dashes, plus signs, and dots.
The option’s argument is available to the shell commands
action-if-given in the shell variable
enableval, which is
actually just the value of the shell variable named
enable_feature, with any non-alphanumeric characters in
feature changed into ‘_’. You may use that variable instead,
if you wish. The help-string argument is like that of
AC_ARG_WITH (see External Software).
Note that action-if-not-given is not expanded until the point that
AC_ARG_ENABLE was expanded. If you need the value of
enable_feature set to a default value by the time argument
parsing is completed, use
m4_divert_text to the
diversion (see m4_divert_text) (if done as an argument to
AC_ARG_ENABLE, also provide non-diverted text to avoid a shell
You should format your help-string with the macro
AS_HELP_STRING (see Pretty Help Strings).
See the examples suggested with the definition of
(see External Software) to get an idea of possible applications of