To create all the Makefile.ins for a package, run the
automake program in the top level directory, with no
automake will automatically find each
appropriate Makefile.am (by scanning configure.ac;
see configure) and generate the corresponding Makefile.in.
automake has a rather simplistic view of what
constitutes a package; it assumes that a package has only one
configure.ac, at the top. If your package has multiple
configure.acs, then you must run
automake in each
directory holding a configure.ac. (Alternatively, you may rely
autoreconf, which is able to recurse your
package tree and run
automake where appropriate.)
You can optionally give
automake an argument; .am is
appended to the argument and the result is used as the name of the
input file. This feature is generally only used to automatically
rebuild an out-of-date Makefile.in. Note that
automake must always be run from the topmost directory of a
project, even if being used to regenerate the Makefile.in in
some subdirectory. This is necessary because
scan configure.ac, and because
automake uses the
knowledge that a Makefile.in is in a subdirectory to change its
behavior in some cases.
Automake will run
autoconf to scan configure.ac and
its dependencies (i.e., aclocal.m4 and any included file),
autoconf must be in your
PATH. If there is
AUTOCONF variable in your environment it will be used
autoconf; this allows you to select a particular
version of Autoconf. By the way, don’t misunderstand this paragraph:
autoconf to scan your
configure.ac; this won’t build configure and you still
have to run
autoconf yourself for this purpose.
automake accepts the following options:
Automake requires certain common files to exist in certain situations;
for instance, config.guess is required if configure.ac invokes
AC_CANONICAL_HOST. Automake is distributed with several of these
files (see Auxiliary Programs); this option will cause the missing
ones to be automatically added to the package, whenever possible. In
general if Automake tells you a file is missing, try using this option.
By default Automake tries to make a symbolic link pointing to its own
copy of the missing file; this can be changed with --copy.
Many of the potentially-missing files are common scripts whose
location may be specified via the
AC_CONFIG_AUX_DIR’s setting affects whether a
file is considered missing, and where the missing file is added
In some strictness modes, additional files are installed, see Gnits for more information.
Look for Automake data files in directory dir instead of in the installation directory. This is typically used for debugging.
The environment variable
AUTOMAKE_LIBDIR provides another way to
set the directory containing Automake data files. However
--libdir takes precedence over it.
Print the path of the installation directory containing Automake-provided scripts and data files (e.g., texinfo.texi and install-sh).
When used with --add-missing, causes installed files to be copied. The default is to make a symbolic link.
When used with --add-missing, causes standard files to be reinstalled even if they already exist in the source tree. This involves removing the file from the source tree before creating the new symlink (or, with --copy, copying the new file).
Set the global strictness to foreign. For more information, see Strictness.
Set the global strictness to gnits. For more information, see Strictness.
Set the global strictness to gnu. For more information, see Strictness. This is the default strictness.
Print a summary of the command line options and exit.
This disables the dependency tracking feature in generated Makefiles; see Dependencies.
This enables the dependency tracking feature. This feature is enabled by default. This option is provided for historical reasons only and probably should not be used.
automake creates all Makefile.ins mentioned in
configure.ac. This option causes it to only update those
Makefile.ins that are out of date with respect to one of their
Put the generated Makefile.in in the directory dir. Ordinarily each Makefile.in is created in the directory of the corresponding Makefile.am. This option is deprecated and will be removed in a future release.
Cause Automake to print information about which files are being read or created.
Print the version number of Automake and exit.
Output warnings about a category of potential problems with the package. category can be any of:
Constructs compromising the ability to cross-compile the package.
Minor deviations from the GNU Coding Standards (see The GNU Coding Standards).
Obsolete features or constructions.
Redefinitions of Automake rules or variables.
Portability issues (e.g., use of
make features that are
known to be not portable).
Recursive, or nested, Make variable expansions (
These are not universally supported, but are more portable than the
other non-portable constructs diagnosed by -Wportability.
These warnings are turned on by -Wportability but can then be
turned off specifically by -Wno-portability-recursive.
Extra portability issues, related to rarely-used tools such as
Questionable syntax, unused variables, typos, etc.
Unsupported or incomplete features.
Turn on all the above categories of warnings.
Turn off all the above categories of warnings.
Treat warnings as errors.
A category can be turned off by prefixing its name with ‘no-’. For instance, -Wno-syntax will hide the warnings about unused variables.
Warnings in the ‘gnu’, ‘obsolete’, ‘portability’, ‘syntax’, and ‘unsupported’ categories are turned on by default. The ‘gnu’ and ‘portability’ categories are turned off in --foreign strictness.
Turning off ‘portability’ will also turn off ‘extra-portability’, and similarly turning on ‘extra-portability’ will also turn on ‘portability’. However, turning on ‘portability’ or turning off ‘extra-portability’ will not affect the other category.
Unknown warning categories supplied as an argument to -W will themselves produce a warning, in the ‘unsupported’ category. This warning is never treated as an error.
The environment variable
WARNINGS can contain a comma separated
list of categories to enable. -W settings on the command line
take precedence; for instance, -Wnone also turns off any
warning categories enabled by
Unknown warning categories named in
WARNINGS are silently ignored.
If the environment variable
AUTOMAKE_JOBS contains a positive
number, it is taken as the maximum number of Perl threads to use in
automake for generating multiple Makefile.in files
concurrently. This is an experimental feature.