./configure variations

Scott angrykeyboarder at angrykeyboarder.com
Sat Nov 12 20:53:04 UTC 2005

Matt Galvin wrote:
> On 11/7/05, alex <radsky at ncia.net> wrote:
>>I occasionally have a problem with installing some untarred files in
>>that ./configure doesn't  work with all of them.  ./configure, by
>>itself,  works fine with some untarred files but occasionlly it seems
>>that something has to be added to ./configure before running 'make' and
>>'make install'
> In most cases the software you are looking for is probably already
> availible in Ubuntu without having to compile anything. At any rate,
> that is not your question...

True, but I'm willing to bet that Alex had to resort to compiling from
source because this was one of the frequent, yet rare cases where Ubuntu
didn't have what he was looking for.....

It happens to me all the time.  It's one reason I decided to give
Ubuntu's Daddy (Debian) a try.

>>Does anyone know of any documentation that really explains those special
>>cases where
>>./configure needs a little help?
> ./configure is a script that you run which sets up various software
> compile time options. These options usually dictate which components
> will get compiled and where they should be installed.
> Usually with most source code you can just ./configure and by default
> the default options will be compiled and installed into /usr/local.

You'd be amazed at how often this isn't the case.

Download the source code for a theme from http://www.kde-look.org and
see what I mean.

That is just one example, there are plenty of others.  I've downloaded
source from there and from sourceforge.net and just from individual web
sites and 3/4 of the time ./configure gives me an error message.

> you, for example you want to change this install location you set
> --prefix=/some/path. There are some common options such as --prefix,
> --mandir, etc... that are a defacto standards but every application is
> different and every developer is different so it is hard to find
> general documentation since each ./configure script is different. The
> only stead fast commonality is that ./configure configures compile
> time options in a standard format, i.e, --option=value. And this is
> not even *always* true.

Does "prefix=" always precede a path? If so, how do you know what path
to put there?

I'm telling you, the information found in"INSTALL" is usually worth s***
if it's found at al in these tarballs.

© 2005 angrykeyboarder & Elmer Fudd. All Wights Wesewved

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