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Re: how to use multiple automake's at the same time?

From: Guido Draheim
Subject: Re: how to use multiple automake's at the same time?
Date: Wed, 04 Dec 2002 12:18:41 +0100
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv:1.1) Gecko/20020826

Keep the system installation. No need to deinstall any auto*tool in /usr.
Righty, install autotools-* main package, then install a number of its
helpers autotools-for-* (you need to --force it, sorry for that :-/ ).
That's about installation.

Now go to the project directories, and edit the toplevel
Most will contain a first line saying "AUTOMAKE_OPTIONS =". The script
needs a similar line (somewhere near the top of the file), however
saying "AUTOTOOL_VERSION =". Use the scheme denoted below. That's
about preparing projects for my autotools script.

If you run "autotools" without arguments, it will try to auto-reconf
the projects autotools-files - you'll see a visual feedback of the
processing. That updates your project to the specific set of autotool
versions denoted in the

In most cases you should now be fine with just configure/make the
project, autotools are designed to be needed on the developer's
host only, and not the build host. That's why you can update your
projects with a pre-build step running `autotools` script everywhere,
and then be okay.

If in doubt, just prefix your commands with the autotools scripts - it
is designed to `exec` any commands it receives as arguments (i.e., when
it is not called without arguments (which will auto-reconf then)) - a
common example where I need to do so is `autotools make dist` since
that `make dist` on am.1.5 has the weird behaviour to call autoheader
and bark at me for a version mismatch in auto-tools.

btw, the autotools-for-* are built with a --prefix=/usr/share/auto/**,
and you could modify that - the main autotools-* package will install
the helper scripts in /usr/share/auto/. Here's what I have over there:

$ ls /usr/share/auto/
2.13-1.3.5-1.4     2.13-1.4.2-1.5     2.52-1.4.2-1.5
2.13-1.4-1.4       2.52-1.4-1.4       2.52-1.4.2-1.6
2.13-1.4-1.5       2.52-1.4-1.4-p5    2.53-1.4.2-1.5
2.13-1.4.2-1.4     2.52-1.4.2-1.4     2.53-1.4.2-1.6
2.13-1.4.2-1.4-p5  2.52-1.4.2-1.4-p5

So, if you are fine with writing rpm spec files, you can easily update
to the latest assembly of autotools packages, or to just those that you
whish to use. -- have fun, guido

p.s. to the auto*tool people: you're right, it isn't a sophisticated
example of autotooling/autoreconfiguring projects, it' simple, it
was only developed to a degree that it just works, and so it does, for
a looooooong time ;-) ... alternatives are welcome (in other words,
I don't want to have this pile around any longer than barely necessary).

Lukas Österreicher wrote:
Thanx for your help.

I'm unclear though still on how to use it. I've never created automake scripts
myself, just downloaded sources which use them. I dont even really know which
packages there are and how they work together. (Surely i guess i should RTFM,
but i don't know where to find the right thing that explains all, so i'm open 
if i'm told
what to read.).

As I understood I have to install autotools-0.4.0-3sfnet.i586.rpm
and one of the other rpms which contain (do they?) all the auto* packages
in two versions. On Redhat 7.2 autoconf 2.13 and automake 1.4p5-2 (what
version is this effectively?) is installed so i guess to have also automake
1.5* (which to use?) installed i deinstall autoconf and automake which are
installed and install your pachage - i guess

What I before tried is to upgrade from 1.4 to 1.5 and there were many unresolved
conflicts - and surely there are conflicts too when installing them at the same 
How were they solved in your packages?

Thanx in Advance,

I've hacked a script that does the trick for me - as I want to use different
combinations of autoconf libtool and automake. The toplevel makefile has
a magic var-set line, so the start of my usually looks like:

AUTOTOOL_VERSION = autoconf-2.52 libtool-1.4.2 automake-1.5

Then I call a script "autotools" that looks into the and modifies
the $PATH accordingly, not much unlike the description about "stow", the
combinations are compiled with separate $prefix paths. The helper script and
all the combinations are ready-made as rpm files, just pick them up and

You can find everything in the download section of
in the "autotools" section - here's the direct link:

They are a bit dated, I did not have time to rebuild the rpms with the
newest breed of autoconf and automake generations. And actually, I'm
currently waiting for Mandrake to fix a severe bug in bash before doing
interesting things (sorry to alexandre, the bug affects the ac-archive
rpms making quite definitly, so no good time to roll a new release).

cheers, guido

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