Link Search Menu Expand Document

autotools Cheat Sheet

Building sources using autotools

Standard bootstrap: First try maintainer supplied


Second try:

autoreconf -i

Building Tarballs

make dist            # .tar.gz
make dist-bzip2      # .tar.bz2
make dist-lzma       # .tar.lzma
make dist-xz         # .tar.xz

# Extract with
tar zxf archive.tar.gz
tar jxf archive.tar.bz2
tar Jxf archive.tar.lzma
tar Jxf archive.tar.xz


With autotools gettext is the tool of choice…

After changing the sources: Update .pot and all .po files with

cd po && make update-po

Statistics: Show translation statistics

for pofile in *.po; do echo -n "$pofile "; msgfmt --statistic $pofile; done

autotools Installation

On Debian

apt-get install devscripts build-essential

Rebuilding from Debian sources

  • Rebuild Debian package (without apt-source)

    mkdir build && cd build
    # Download xxxx.debian.tar.gz from package page
    # Download xxxx.orig.tar.gz from package page (or upstream homepage)
    # Download xxxx.dsc from package page
    # Extract/patch package files
    dpkg-source -x <name>.dsc
    # Install missing deps reported by
    # Build using one of the following
    cd <package source dir>
    debuild -us -uc
    dpkg-buildpackage -us -uc
  • Rebuild Debian package (with apt-source)

    mkdir build && cd build
    apt-get source <name>
    apt-get build-dep <name>
    # And build
  • Patch a Debian package by hand

    # Extract .deb
    dpkg-deb -R <package name> tmp
    # Or if -R switch is not yet available
    dpkg-deb -x <package name> tmp
    dpkg-deb -e <package name> tmp/DEBIAN
    # Rebuild with
    dpkg-deb -b tmp <package name>
  • Debhelper: How to solve when backporting

    dh: Sorry, but 8 is the highest compatibility level supported by this debhelper.

    Change the required version in

    echo 8 >debian/compat


  • configure - Passing extra CFLAGS, LDFLAGS, …

    ./configure "CFLAGS=-Wall -Wextra -I/opt/mylib/include" "LDFLAGS=-Lmy"
  • Find out module names for PKG_CHECK_MODULES:

    ls /usr/lib/pkg-config
  • Debian Package Hardening for C/C++
  • AppData specification: Standard for end user SW description markup.
  • AppData - Validation:

    appdata-validate /usr/share/appdata/myapplication.appdata.xml