C++ Autotools (GNU)



The Autotools are a group of programs that create a GNU Build System for a given software package. It is a suite of tools that work together to produce various build resources, such as a Makefile (to be used with GNU Make). Thus, Autotools can be considered a de facto build system generator.

Some notable Autotools programs include:

  • Autoconf
  • Automake (not to be confused with make)

In general, Autotools is meant to generate the Unix-compatible script and Makefile to allow the following command to build (as well as install) most packages (in the simple case):

./configure && make && make install

As such, Autotools also has a relationship with certain package managers, especially those that are attached to operating systems that conform to the POSIX Standard(s).