Set the strictness as appropriate. See Strictness. The gnits option also implies options readme-alpha and check-news.
Cause ‘make dist’ to fail unless the current version number appears in the first few lines of the NEWS file.
dejagnu-specific rules to be generated. See DejaGnu Tests.
dist. Use of this option
is deprecated, as the ‘shar’ format is obsolescent and
problematic. Support for it will be removed altogether in
dist. Use of this option
is deprecated, as the ‘compress’ program is obsolete.
Support for it will be removed altogether in Automake 2.0.
Abort if file names longer than 99 characters are found during
‘make dist’. Such long file names are generally considered not to
be portable in tarballs. See the tar-v7 and tar-ustar
options below. This option should be used in the top-level
Makefile.am or as an argument of
configure.ac; it will be ignored otherwise. It will also be
ignored in sub-packages of nested packages (see Subpackages).
Instruct Automake to place the generated .info files in the
builddir rather than in the
srcdir. Note that this
might make VPATH builds with some non-GNU make implementations more
This option is meaningful only when passed as an argument to
AM_INIT_AUTOMAKE. It will prevent the
VERSION variables from being
AC_DEFINEd. But notice
that they will remain defined as shell variables in the generated
configure, and as make variables in the generated
Makefile; this is deliberate, and required for backward
This is similar to using --ignore-deps on the command line, but is useful for those situations where you don’t have the necessary bits to make automatic dependency tracking work (see Dependencies). In this case the effect is to effectively disable automatic dependency tracking.
Don’t emit any code related to
dist target. This is useful
when a package has its own method for making distributions.
Do not hook
If your Makefile.am defines a rule for target
will override a rule for a target named ‘foo$(EXEEXT)’. This is
EXEEXT is found to be empty. However, by
automake will generate an error for this use. The
no-exeext option will disable this error. This is intended for
use only where it is known in advance that the package will not be
ported to Windows, or any other operating system using extensions on
The generated Makefile.in will not cause info pages to be built
or installed by default. However,
targets will still be available. This option is disallowed at
gnu strictness and above.
The generated Makefile.in will not cause man pages to be
installed by default. However, an
install-man target will still
be available for optional installation. This option is disallowed at
gnu strictness and above.
This option can be used to disable the standard -I options that are ordinarily automatically provided by Automake.
Don’t require texinfo.tex, even if there are texinfo files in this directory.
Enable the older serial test suite harness for
TESTS (see Serial Test Harness, for more information).
Enable test suite harness for
TESTS that can run tests in parallel
(see Parallel Test Harness, for more information). This option is
only kept for backward-compatibility, since the parallel test harness is
the default now.
If this release is an alpha release, and the file README-alpha exists, then it will be added to the distribution. If this option is given, version numbers are expected to follow one of two forms. The first form is ‘major.minor.alpha’, where each element is a number; the final period and number should be left off for non-alpha releases. The second form is ‘major.minoralpha’, where alpha is a letter; it should be omitted for non-alpha releases.
installcheck rule check that installed scripts and
programs support the --help and --version options.
This also provides a basic check that the program’s
run-time dependencies are satisfied after installation.
In a few situations, programs (or scripts) have to be exempted from this
test. For instance,
false (from GNU coreutils) is never
successful, even for --help or --version. You can list
such programs in the variable
Programs (not scripts) listed in this variable should be suffixed by
‘$(EXEEXT)’ for the sake of Windows or OS/2. For instance, suppose we
build false as a program but true.sh as a script, and that
neither of them support --help or --version:
AUTOMAKE_OPTIONS = std-options bin_PROGRAMS = false ... bin_SCRIPTS = true.sh ... AM_INSTALLCHECK_STD_OPTIONS_EXEMPT = false$(EXEEXT) true.sh
If this option is specified, then objects are placed into the subdirectory of the build directory corresponding to the subdirectory of the source file. For instance, if the source file is subdir/file.cxx, then the output file would be subdir/file.o.
These three mutually exclusive options select the tar format to use when generating tarballs with ‘make dist’. (The tar file created is then compressed according to the set of no-dist-gzip, dist-bzip2, dist-lzip, dist-xz, dist-zstd and dist-tarZ options in use.)
These options must be passed as arguments to
(see Macros) because they can require additional configure checks.
Automake will complain if it sees such options in an
tar-v7 selects the old V7 tar format. This is the historical default. This antiquated format is understood by all tar implementations and supports file names with up to 99 characters. When given longer file names some tar implementations will diagnose the problem while others will generate broken tarballs or use non-portable extensions. Furthermore, the V7 format cannot store empty directories. When using this format, consider using the filename-length-max=99 option to catch file names too long.
tar-ustar selects the ustar format defined by POSIX
1003.1-1988. This format is old enough to be portable:
As of 2018, it is supported by the native
tar command on
GNU, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, AIX, HP-UX, and Solaris, at least.
It fully supports empty directories. It can store file names with up
to 256 characters, provided that the file name can be split at
directory separator in two parts, first of them being at most 155
bytes long. So, in most cases the maximum file name length will be
shorter than 256 characters.
tar-pax selects the new pax interchange format defined by POSIX
1003.1-2001. It does not limit the length of file names. However,
this format is very young and should probably be restricted to
packages that target only very modern platforms.
As of 2018, this format is supported by the native
tar command only
on GNU, FreeBSD, and OpenBSD systems; it is not supported by the native
tar command on NetBSD, AIX, HP-UX, or Solaris.
There are moves to
change the pax format in an upward-compatible way, so this option may
refer to a more recent version in the future.
See Controlling the Archive Format in GNU Tar, for further discussion about tar formats.
configure knows several ways to construct these formats. It
will not abort if it cannot find a tool up to the task (so that the
package can still be built), but ‘make dist’ will fail.
A version number (e.g., ‘0.30’) can be specified. If Automake is not the same version or newer than the version specified, creation of the Makefile.in will be suppressed.
These options behave exactly like their command-line counterpart (see automake Invocation). This allows you to enable or disable some warning categories on a per-file basis. You can also setup some warnings for your entire project; for instance, try ‘AM_INIT_AUTOMAKE([-Wall])’ in your configure.ac.
Unrecognized options are diagnosed by
If you want an option to apply to all the files in the tree, you can use
AM_INIT_AUTOMAKE macro in configure.ac.