Associated with each program is a collection of variables that can be used to modify how that program is built. There is a similar list of such variables for each library. The canonical name of the program (or library) is used as a base for naming these variables.
In the list below, we use the name “maude” to refer to the program or library. In your Makefile.am you would replace this with the canonical name of your program. This list also refers to “maude” as a program, but in general the same rules apply for both static and dynamic libraries; the documentation below notes situations where programs and libraries differ.
This variable, if it exists, lists all the source files that are
compiled to build the program. These files are added to the
distribution by default. When building the program, Automake will cause
each source file to be compiled to a single .o file (or
.lo when using libtool). Normally these object files are named
after the source file, but other factors can change this. If a file in
_SOURCES variable has an unrecognized extension, Automake
will do one of two things with it. If a suffix rule exists for turning
files with the unrecognized extension into .o files, then
automake will treat this file as it will any other source file
(see Support for Other Languages). Otherwise, the file will be
ignored as though it were a header file.
nodist_ can be used to control
whether files listed in a
_SOURCES variable are distributed.
dist_ is redundant, as sources are distributed by default, but it
can be specified for clarity if desired.
It is possible to have both
nodist_ variants of
_SOURCES variable at once; this lets you easily
distribute some files and not others, for instance:
nodist_maude_SOURCES = nodist.c dist_maude_SOURCES = dist-me.c
By default the output file (on Unix systems, the .o file) will
be put into the current build directory. However, if the option
subdir-objects is in effect in the current directory then the
.o file will be put into the subdirectory named after the
source file. For instance, with subdir-objects enabled,
sub/dir/file.c will be compiled to sub/dir/file.o. Some
projects prefer or require this mode of operation. You can specify
AUTOMAKE_OPTIONS (see Changing Automake’s Behavior).
When subdir-objects is specified, and source files which lie
outside the current directory tree are nevertheless specified, as in
foo_SOURCES = ../lib/other.c, Automake will still remove
../lib/other.o, in fact, ../lib/*.o (e.g., at
clean, even though it is arguably wrong for one subdirectory to
clean in a sibling. This may or may not be changed in the future.
Automake needs to know the list of files you intend to compile
statically. For one thing, this is the only way Automake has of
knowing what sort of language support a given Makefile.in
requires. (There are other, more obscure reasons for
this limitation as well.) This means that, for example, you can’t put a
configure substitution like ‘@my_sources@’ into a ‘_SOURCES’
variable. If you intend to conditionally compile source files and use
configure to substitute the appropriate object names into, e.g.,
_LDADD (see below), then you should list the corresponding source
files in the
This variable also supports
nodist_EXTRA_maude_SOURCES would list extra
sources that may need to be built, but should not be distributed.
A static library is created by default by invoking ‘$(AR)
$(ARFLAGS)’ followed by the name of the library and then the objects
being put into the library. You can override this by setting the
_AR variable. This is usually used with C++; some C++
compilers require a special invocation in order to instantiate all the
templates that should go into a library. For instance, the SGI C++
compiler likes this variable set like so:
libmaude_a_AR = $(CXX) -ar -o
Extra objects can be added to a library using the
variable. For instance, this should be used for objects determined by
configure (see Building a library).
In the case of libtool libraries,
maude_LIBADD can also refer
to other libtool libraries.
Extra objects (*.$(OBJEXT)) and libraries (*.a,
*.la) can be added to a program by listing them in the
_LDADD variable. For instance, this should be used for objects
configure (see Linking the program).
_LIBADD are inappropriate for passing
program-specific linker flags (except for -l, -L,
-dlopen and -dlpreopen). Use the
for this purpose.
For instance, if your configure.ac uses
could link your program against the X libraries like so:
maude_LDADD = $(X_PRE_LIBS) $(X_LIBS) $(X_EXTRA_LIBS)
We recommend that you use -l and -L only when
referring to third-party libraries, and give the explicit file names
of any library built by your package. Doing so will ensure that
maude_DEPENDENCIES (see below) is correctly defined by default.
This variable is used to pass extra flags to the link step of a program
or a shared library. It overrides the
even if it is defined only in a false branch of a conditional; in
other words, if
prog_LDFLAGS is defined at all,
AM_LDFLAGS will not be used.
This variable is used to pass extra options to
It overrides the
These options are output before
option, so they should not be mode-specific options (those belong to
the compiler or linker flags). See
It is also occasionally useful to have a target (program or library)
depend on some other file that is not in fact part of that target.
This can be done using the
_DEPENDENCIES variable. Each
target depends on the contents of such a variable, but no further
interpretation is done.
Since these dependencies are associated with the link rule used to
create the programs they should normally list files used by the link
command. That is *.$(OBJEXT), *.a, or *.la files
for programs; *.lo and *.la files for Libtool libraries;
and *.$(OBJEXT) files for static libraries. In rare cases you
may need to add other kinds of files such as linker scripts, but
listing a source file in
_DEPENDENCIES is wrong. If
some source file needs to be built before all the components of a
program are built, consider using the
(see Built Sources).
_DEPENDENCIES is not supplied, it is computed by Automake.
The automatically-assigned value is the contents of
_LIBADD, with most configure substitutions, -l, -L,
-dlopen and -dlpreopen options removed. The configure
substitutions that are left in are only ‘$(LIBOBJS)’ and
‘$(ALLOCA)’; these are left because it is known that they will not
cause an invalid value for
_DEPENDENCIES to be generated.
_DEPENDENCIES is more likely used to perform conditional
compilation using an
AC_SUBST variable that contains a list of
objects. See Conditional compilation of sources, and Libtool Libraries with Conditional Sources.
EXTRA_*_DEPENDENCIES variable may be useful for cases where
you merely want to augment the
_DEPENDENCIES variable rather than replacing it.
You can override the linker on a per-program basis. By default the
linker is chosen according to the languages used by the program. For
instance, a program that includes C++ source code would use the C++
compiler to link. The
_LINK variable must hold the name of a
command that can be passed all the .o file names and libraries
to link against as arguments. Note that the name of the underlying
program is not passed to
_LINK; typically one uses
maude_LINK = $(CCLD) -magic -o $@
_LINK variable is not supplied, it may still be generated
and used by Automake due to the use of per-target link flags such as
_LIBTOOLFLAGS, in cases where
If the variable
AM_V_*_LINK exists, it is used to output a
status line in silent mode; otherwise,
AM_V_GEN is used.
Automake allows you to set compilation flags on a per-program (or per-library) basis. A single source file can be included in several programs, and it will potentially be compiled with different flags for each program. This works for any language directly supported by Automake. These per-target compilation flags are ‘_CCASFLAGS’, ‘_CFLAGS’, ‘_CPPFLAGS’, ‘_CXXFLAGS’, ‘_FFLAGS’, ‘_GCJFLAGS’, ‘_LFLAGS’, ‘_OBJCFLAGS’, ‘_OBJCXXFLAGS’, ‘_RFLAGS’, ‘_UPCFLAGS’, and ‘_YFLAGS’.
When using a per-target compilation flag, Automake will choose a
different name for the intermediate object files. Ordinarily a file
like sample.c will be compiled to produce sample.o.
However, if the program’s
_CFLAGS variable is set, then the
object file will be named, for instance, maude-sample.o. (See
also Why are object files sometimes renamed?.)
In compilations with per-target flags, the ordinary ‘AM_’ form of
the flags variable is not automatically included in the
compilation (however, the user form of the variable is included).
So for instance, if you want the hypothetical maude compilations
to also use the value of
AM_CFLAGS, you would need to write:
maude_CFLAGS = … your flags … $(AM_CFLAGS)
See Flag Variables Ordering, for more discussion about the interaction between user variables, ‘AM_’ shadow variables, and per-target variables.
On some platforms the allowable file names are very short. In order to support these systems and per-target compilation flags at the same time, Automake allows you to set a “short name” that will influence how intermediate object files are named. For instance, in the following example,
bin_PROGRAMS = maude maude_CPPFLAGS = -DSOMEFLAG maude_SHORTNAME = m maude_SOURCES = sample.c …
the object file would be named m-sample.o rather than maude-sample.o.
This facility is rarely needed in practice, and we recommend avoiding it until you find it is required.