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RE: Location of "file" is hard coded

From: John Frankish
Subject: RE: Location of "file" is hard coded
Date: Wed, 2 Sep 2015 18:51:05 +0400

> > Hi,
> > 
> > I'm not sure if this is the correct place to report this, but the 
> > configure scripts produced by autoconf/automake assume "file" is 
> > located at /usr/bin/file and report it missing otherwise.
> Running this command in both autoconf.git and automake.git produces no hits:
> git grep bin/file
> so I'm failing to see where you are finding a hard-coded invocation.
> Which package are you trying to compile?

I see it in almost every package I compile, in this case I took the first one I 
NetworkManager-1.0.4, which gives:

checking for archiver @FILE support... @
checking for strip... strip [which is in /usr/local/bin]
checking for ranlib... ranlib [which is in /usr/local/bin]
checking command to parse /usr/local/bin/nm -B output from gcc object... ok
checking for sysroot... no
./configure: ./configure.lineno: line 1: /usr/bin/file: not found [but it is in 
checking for mt... no
checking if : is a manifest tool... no
checking for dlfcn.h... yes

> Can you provide more details about the exact error message you are seeing?
> Is it happening during ./configure (likely a bug in your package's 
> configure.ac)
> or during make (likely a bug in your package's Makefile.am)?

Ah - since the error is so prevalent, I had assumed the error was in 
autoconf/automake - sorry...
The error appears in 10's (and maybe even 100's) of packages (I recently 
compiled gnome-3.16.x from scratch).

> > 
> > I have file at /usr/local/bin/file - shouldn't the configure script 
> > search $PATH to find "file"?
> It's probably something that needs to be fixed in the particular package
> you are trying to compile, as I can't find where autoconf or automake 
> hardcodes
> such a use.  In fact GNU Coding Standards do not include 'file' in the list 
> of ubiquitous
> programs, so it is unlikely that autoconf or automake would blindly use it
> (conditional use, after first probing that it exists on PATH,
> and with a sane fallback when it does not exist, is okay).

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