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Re: Setting environment variable for make dist

From: Bas Vodde
Subject: Re: Setting environment variable for make dist
Date: Mon, 18 May 2015 16:10:48 +0800

Hi Nick,

Thanks for that.

I thought about it a bit and guess that this would *always* define the 
COPYFILE_DISABLE=1. That is, not just in “make dist” but also in other targets, 

I think that isn’t what I want as I don’t want to go too much against the 
filesystem defaults, to avoid potential troubles :)

Or am I missing something?

Shouldn’t this be solved inside autotools itself? I guess it is something valid 
for every Mac user who creates a distribution on Mac…. and I guess it is 
exactly these kind of OS differences autotools is trying to resolve?



> On 14 May 2015, at 9:24 pm, Nick Bowler <address@hidden> wrote:
> Hello,
> On 2015-05-10 12:57 +0000, Bas Vodde wrote:
>> I'm trying to change my projects so that it sets the
>> COPYFILE_DISABLE=1 environment variable to influence the make dist
>> target.
>> Background: The COPYFILE_DISABLE=1 avoids having a second top-level
>> directory in your package when packaging on MacOSX.
>> So far, my attempt was to set the variable in the file
>> and use AC_SUBST on it, but that didn't seem to work.
> Right.  AC_SUBST([COPYFILE_DISABLE]) ordinarily does two things:
>  - config.status will substitute @COPYFILE_DISABLE@ in output files
>  - it causes Automake to put a line like this:
>    into the files it generates.
> Unfortunately this alone is not sufficient, because make variables are
> not generally exported into the environment (which is what you actually
> want to happen).
> But I think there is a solution: we can (ab)use the fact that 'make dist'
> internally performs a recursive make invocation.  This gives us the chance
> to add things to the make command line, using AM_MAKEFLAGS.  So putting
> into should work I think (not tested), because variables
> defined on the make command line *are* exported into the environment.
> You will still need the AC_SUBST to define COPYFILE_DISABLE in the
> first place.
> Regards,
> -- 
> Nick Bowler, Elliptic Technologies (

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