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2.2 Use Cases for the GNU Build System

In this section we explore several use cases for the GNU Build System. You can replay all of these examples on the amhello-1.0.tar.gz package distributed with Automake. If Automake is installed on your system, you should find a copy of this file in prefix/share/doc/automake/amhello-1.0.tar.gz, where prefix is the installation prefix specified during configuration (prefix defaults to /usr/local, however if Automake was installed by some GNU/Linux distribution it most likely has been set to /usr). If you do not have a copy of Automake installed, you can find a copy of this file inside the doc/ directory of the Automake package.

Some of the following use cases present features that are in fact extensions to the GNU Build System. Read: they are not specified by the GNU Coding Standards, but they are nonetheless part of the build system created by the Autotools. To keep things simple, we do not point out the difference. Our objective is to show you many of the features that the build system created by the Autotools will offer to you.