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Re: DESTDIR vs `make install exec_prefix='

From: Ralf Wildenhues
Subject: Re: DESTDIR vs `make install exec_prefix='
Date: Sat, 18 Apr 2009 22:05:47 +0200
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.18 (2008-05-17)

Hi Russ,

* Russ Allbery wrote on Sat, Apr 18, 2009 at 09:50:24PM CEST:
> Ralf Wildenhues <address@hidden> writes:
> > [ dropping bug-coreutils ]
> Dropping down to just the automake list.


> > [1] I'm asking because Automake 1.11 will reliably not install files if
> > their respective installation directory is empty.  This is not yet
> > functional in Automake 1.10.2.  The test for emptiness in 1.11 will not
> > consider $(DESTDIR) of course, only $(bindir) etc.
> I must have misunderstood this, since it sounds like it would potentially
> break any system where each binary package is installed into a separate
> tree.  For example, stow packages are routinely installed with:
>     ./configure --prefix=/usr/local
>     make
>     make install prefix=/usr/local/stow/package-version
> DESTDIR cannot easily be used here because the stow layout should have
> simple bin, etc, lib, etc. directories directly under that directory, not
> with an extra /usr/local in the way.

I think you have misunderstood what I meant.  (I cannot tell you whether
you misunderstood Alfred, because I haven't understood him.)

What I meant was this:
  ./configure --prefix=/usr/local
  make install exec_prefix=

with Automake 1.10.2, most likely ends up with an error at installation
time, or with "install" overwriting files in the build tree or so.  And

  ./configure --prefix=/usr/local
  make install exec_prefix= DESTDIR=/tmp/dest

most likely copies executable files into the /tmp/dest directory, which
doesn't seem desirable either.  So, for both of these cases, Automake
1.11 will not install executable files at all.

This change in funtionality only affects cases where an installation
directory has been set to the empty string.  It should not affect your
use case for stow at all.

Hope that clears this up.


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