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3 Invoking gnulib-tool

The gnulib-tool command is the recommended way to import Gnulib modules. It is possible to borrow Gnulib modules in a package without using gnulib-tool, relying only on the meta-information stored in the modules/* files, but with a growing number of modules this becomes tedious. gnulib-tool simplifies the management of source files, Makefile.ams and configure.ac in packages incorporating Gnulib modules.

gnulib-tool is not installed in a standard directory that is contained in the PATH variable. It needs to be run directly in the directory that contains the Gnulib source code. You can do this either by specifying the absolute filename of gnulib-tool, or you can also use a symbolic link from a place inside your PATH to the gnulib-tool file of your preferred and most up-to-date Gnulib checkout, like this:

     $ ln -s $HOME/gnu/src/gnulib.git/gnulib-tool $HOME/bin/gnulib-tool

Run ‘gnulib-tool --help’ for information. To get familiar with gnulib-tool without affecting your sources, you can also try some commands with the option ‘--dry-run’; then gnulib-tool will only report which actions it would perform in a real run without changing anything.