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Re: how to break out of the libtool rathole ?

From: Gary V. Vaughan
Subject: Re: how to break out of the libtool rathole ?
Date: Thu, 18 Jul 2013 18:24:04 +0700

On Jul 17, 2013, at 11:54 PM, Dennis Clarke <address@hidden> wrote:
> It seems that libtool needs libtool in order to build libtool.

libtool the script is built locally before it is used to build libltdl, though 
there is some fiddling involved in calling autoreconf correctly so that it 
doesn't get confused about not having an installed libtool available, or try to 
use an different version of libtool from the search PATH in preference to the 
one in the current build tree.

> A circular dependency on itself, is just plain EVIL.

You mean, like autoconf, or even gcc?  It's a standard computer science process 
called bootstrapping, and not at all evil.  To set things up to bootstrap a git 
checkout of libtool (as opposed to a release tarball, which carries all the 
generated files already) we provide a handy script called bootstrap.  You can't 
just blindly call autoreconf and expect it to know that it has to behave 
specially while it's building one of the tools it tries to call, which explains 
some of the other problems you're encountering.

Back to the last libtool-2.4.2 release tarball my environment is a little 
different to yours, though I set things up to match as closely as I could for 
each of your many emails in this thread (I note that you've called configure 
with different shell tools among other things in each case - on Solaris in 
particular which has well known problems with sh, make, sed, tar and others, I 
recommend putting links to a known good set of utilities in, say, /opt/fsw and 
adding that to the front of your PATH to save picking up any of Sun's brain 
damaged utilities by mistake).  In all cases I was able to get a functioning 
build that did not fail any of the supplied self tests.

The only other things I can think of that might be tripping you up are:

  1. Your extraction process is screwing up the timestamps (I couldn't find 
'sx' online, the tool you use in one of your reports), I just used GNU tar, 
because Sun's tar doesn't cope will with some tar files that gtar produces - 
and pretty much everything you download from was packed with GNU tar.
  2. Your filesystem is screwing up timestamps - are you building on a network 
mount?  Try extracting to and building on a local disk, say /tmp.
  3. You're using Sun's make (although since you are calling gmake, I suspect 
not) - I know Solaris 2.5.1 shipped a very brain damaged make, and don't know 
whether Sun improved it enough to work with Automake generated makefiles before 
releasing Solaris 8, but in general vendor makes tend to be more or less bad 
with respect to GNU make, so I long ago took to using GNU make everywhere.  If 
all else fails try upgrading to a release of GNU make at least as new as the 
autotools you want to install.  One final caveat, if you don't have MAKE=gmake 
in the environment, even GNU make gets confused and uses the system make for 
subprocesses.  After a successful configure, try 'gmake MAKE=gmake' to prevent 
that happening.

Hope that helps,
Gary V. Vaughan (gary AT gnu DOT org)

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