Consistent autoconf version

Martin Buchholz martinrb at
Mon Aug 26 16:34:45 UTC 2013

It's traditional to ship the generated configure, although some projects
have waffled and only ship configure in their "release tarballs".  If you
don't ship configure, you are forcing everyone to install yet more build
tools, and you introduce bugs based on the autoconf version of the builder.
 I recommend including configure in the SCM, standardizing the version of
autoconf used to generate configure and enforcing that somehow.

On Mon, Aug 26, 2013 at 9:06 AM, David DeHaven <david.dehaven at>wrote:

> >> Hi,
> >>
> >> Sorry if this has come up before, but I cannot find anything in the
> archives.
> >>
> >> Is it possible to agree an autoconf version to use to generate the
> checked in
> >>
> >> I recently had to merge, and regenerate this file, and found versions
> that were generated with 2.67, 2.68, and 2.69. Using such different
> versions makes it nearly impossible to see the relevant diffs in
> While using the same version greatly, but not
> completely, simplifies the number of changes.
> >>
> >> Is there any reason why not to agree a specific version?
> >
> > My understanding was it is difficult to use a non-standard version on
> some (most?) platforms. Most people would probably balk at having to use
> any version other than that installed by default on their system.
> Alternatively, if we want a specific version we could mandate that the
> checked in be pushed by a project owner with access
> to the "official" version. To my knowledge there's only been one buggy (due
> to buggy autoconf which generated it) been checked
> in. The diffs are annoying but in theory you're not really supposed to read
>, instead you should be reviewing the autoconf inputs
> which generate it.
> If autoconf is a prerequisite for building, why not just leave
> as a generated file rather than in SCM? I understand
> it lengthens the build time a bit, but unless you're tweaking the build
> system you only need to run configure sparingly.
> -DrD-

More information about the build-dev mailing list