I wanted to practice programming under Linux with C++ and a Makefile-based buildsystem using autotools provided by virtually every Linux distribution. What are autotools? See GNU build system for more details on that. In short, autotools are a free software suite of tools:

  • autoconf (for detecting system-specific configuration details)
  • automake (for painless generation of Makefiles which have a lot of features)
  • libtool (for painless creation of shared libraries on different platforms)

and many, many more.

For this article, I will mainly concentrate on autoconf and automake. As I am more of the “learning by following an example” guy than being the creative guy writing my own example along documentation, I searched for more information on how to use autotools. Kudos go to the very good info-docs for

Along the example project, all used macros (there are plenty of them!) and switches are explained line by line which makes following through the example very easy. There is too much information in the documentation of both autoconf and automake to give a whole coverage here, but rest assured that there will be more posts about it if I discover interesting new features :)

Have a nice day!