Last update: March 21, 2023 19:30 UTC (001a25414)
These are generic *nix installation instructions.
For Windows/NT, please see the Windows NT Hints.
Table of Contents
configure shell script attempts to guess correct values for various system-dependent variables used during compilation. It uses those values to create a
Makefile in each directory of the package. It may also create one or more
.h files containing system-dependent definitions. Finally, it creates a shell script
config.status that you can run in the future to recreate the current configuration, a file
config.cache that saves the results of its tests to speed up reconfiguring, and a file
config.log containing compiler output (useful mainly for debugging
If you need to do unusual things to compile the package, please try to figure out how
configure could check whether to do them, and mail diffs or instructions to the address given in the
README so they can be considered for the next release. If at some point
config.cache contains results you don’t want to keep, you may remove or edit it.
configure.in is used to create
configure by a program called
autoconf. You only need
configure.in if you want to change it or regenerate
configure using a newer version of
The simplest way to compile this package is:
cd to the directory containing the package’s source code and type
./configure to configure the package for your system. If you’re using
csh on an old version of System V, you might need to type
sh ./configure instead to prevent
csh from trying to execute
configure takes a while. While running, it prints some messages telling which features it is checking for.
make to compile the package.
make check to run any self-tests that come with the package.
make install to install the programs and any data files and documentation.
You can remove the program binaries and object files from the source code directory by typing
make clean. To also remove the files that
configure created (so you can compile the package for a different kind of computer), type
make distclean. There is also a
make maintainer-clean target, but that is intended mainly for the package’s developers. If you use it, you may have to get all sorts of other programs in order to regenerate files that came with the distribution.
Compilers and Options
Some systems require unusual options for compilation or linking that the
configure script does not know about. You can give
configure initial values for variables by setting them in the environment. Using a Bourne-compatible shell, you can do that on the command line like
CC=c89 CFLAGS=-O2 LIBS=-lposix ./configure
Or on systems that have the
env program, you can do it like this:
env CPPFLAGS=-I/usr/local/include LDFLAGS=-s ./configure
Compiling For Multiple Architectures
You can compile the package for more than one kind of computer at the same time, by placing the object files for each architecture in their own directory. To do this, you must use a version of
make that supports the
VPATH variable, such as GNU
cd to the directory where you want the object files and executables to go and run the
configure automatically checks for the source code in the directory that
configure is in and in
If you have to use a
make that does not support the
VPATH variable, you have to compile the package for one architecture at a time in the source code directory. After you have installed the package for one architecture, use
make distclean before reconfiguring for another architecture.
make install will install the package’s files in
/usr/local/man, etc. You can specify an installation prefix other than
/usr/local by giving
configure the option
You can specify separate installation prefixes for architecture-specific files and architecture-independent files. If you give
configure the option
--exec-prefix=PATH, the package will use PATH as the prefix for installing programs and libraries. Documentation and other data files will still use the regular prefix.
If the package supports it, you can cause programs to be installed with an extra prefix or suffix on their names by giving
configure the option
Some packages pay attention to
--enable-FEATURE options to
configure, where FEATURE indicates an optional part of the package. They may also pay attention to
--with-PACKAGE options, where PACKAGE is something like
x (for the X Window System). The
README should mention any
--with- options that the package recognizes.
For packages that use the X Window System,
configure can usually find the X include and library files automatically, but if it doesn’t, you can use the
--x-libraries=DIR to specify their locations.
Specifying the System Type
There may be some features
configure can not figure out automatically, but needs to determine by the type of host the package will run on. Usually
configure can figure that out, but if it prints a message saying it can not guess the host type, give it the
--host=TYPE option. TYPE can either be a short name for the system type, such as
sun4, or a canonical name with three fields:
See the file
config.sub for the possible values of each field. If
config.sub isn’t included in this package, then this package doesn’t need to know the host type.
If you are building compiler tools for cross-compiling, you can also use the
--target=TYPE option to select the type of system they will produce code for and the
--build=TYPE option to select the type of system on which you are compiling the package.
If you want to set default values for
configure scripts to share, you can create a site shell script called
config.site that gives default values for variables like
configure looks for
PREFIX/share/config.site if it exists, then
PREFIX/etc/config.site if it exists. Or, you can set the
CONFIG_SITE environment variable to the location of the site script.
A warning: not all
configure scripts look for a site script.
configure recognizes the following options to control how it operates.
- Use and save the results of the tests in FILE instead of
./config.cache. Set FILE to
/dev/null to disable caching, for debugging
- Print a summary of the options to
configure, and exit.
- Do not print messages saying which checks are being made.
- Look for the package’s source code in directory DIR. Usually
configure can determine that directory automatically.
- Print the version of Autoconf used to generate the
configure script, and exit.
configure also accepts some other, not widely useful, options.