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3.5 Using autoreconf to Update configure Scripts

If you have a lot of Autoconf-generated configure scripts, the autoreconf program can save you some work. It runs autoconf (and autoheader, where appropriate) repeatedly to remake the Autoconf configure scripts and configuration header templates in the directory tree rooted at the current directory. By default, it only remakes those files that are older than their `configure.ac' or (if present) `aclocal.m4'. Since autoheader does not change the timestamp of its output file if the file wouldn't be changing, this is not necessarily the minimum amount of work. If you install a new version of Autoconf, you can make autoreconf remake all of the files by giving it the `--force' option.

If you give autoreconf the `--autoconf-dir=dir' or `--localdir=dir' options, it passes them down to autoconf and autoheader (with relative paths adjusted properly).

autoreconf does not support having, in the same directory tree, both directories that are parts of a larger package (sharing `aclocal.m4' and `acconfig.h') and directories that are independent packages (each with their own `aclocal.m4' and `acconfig.h'). It assumes that they are all part of the same package if you use `--localdir', or that each directory is a separate package if you don't use it. This restriction may be removed in the future.

See section 4.7.4 Automatic Remaking, for `Makefile' rules to automatically remake configure scripts when their source files change. That method handles the timestamps of configuration header templates properly, but does not pass `--autoconf-dir=dir' or `--localdir=dir'.

autoreconf accepts the following options:

Print a summary of the command line options and exit.

Print the version number of Autoconf and exit.

Print the name of each directory where autoreconf runs autoconf (and autoheader, if appropriate).

Don't remove the temporary files.

Remake even `configure' scripts and configuration headers that are newer than their input files (`configure.ac' and, if present, `aclocal.m4').

Copy missing auxiliary files. This option is similar to the option --add-missing in automake.

Instead of copying missing auxiliary files, install symbolic links.

`-l dir'
Have autoconf and autoheader look for the package files `aclocal.m4' and (autoheader only) `acconfig.h' (but not `file.top' and `file.bot') in directory dir instead of in the directory containing each `configure.ac'.

`-A dir'
Override the location where the installed Autoconf data files are looked for. You can also set the AC_MACRODIR environment variable to a directory; this option overrides the environment variable.

This option is rarely needed and dangerous; it is only used when one plays with different versions of Autoconf simultaneously.

`-M dir'
Specify location of additional macro files (`m4' by default).

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