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autoreconf uses aclocal even when not needed

From: Max Horn
Subject: autoreconf uses aclocal even when not needed
Date: Wed, 22 Mar 2017 11:15:31 +0100

Hi there,

so I have this project where I use autoconf and libtool, but *not* automake. 
Turns out that autoreconf insists on using tools from automake anyway, namely 
by invoking "aclocal" which is part of automake.

This is what I get:

$ autoreconf -vif --no-recursive -I cnf/m4 .
autoreconf: Entering directory `.'
autoreconf: configure.ac: not using Gettext
autoreconf: running: aclocal -I cnf/m4  --output=aclocal.m4t
Can't exec "aclocal": No such file or directory at 
/sw/share/autoconf/Autom4te/FileUtils.pm line 326.
autoreconf: failed to run aclocal: No such file or directory

I can "fix" this by installing automake, but this is deeply unsatisfactory. Is 
there a better solution?

Note that my configure.ac uses
and so aclocal.m4 ends up looking like this (after stripping out legal headers):

m4_ifndef([AC_CONFIG_MACRO_DIRS], [m4_defun([_AM_CONFIG_MACRO_DIRS], 

Creating such a list of includes (from a naive view point, of course) seems 
like it should be "trivial" to do, and not require a complex tool like aclocal. 
But perhaps / likely I am missing something?

Or perhaps aclocal should be migrated from automake to autoconf? (Perhaps under 
a different name, to simplify the transition?)


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