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I want to install autoconf, automake, m4, etc… from the source on a Mac OS X 10.7.2 machine running Xcode 4.2.1. The problem is anything that I try and install I have to rely on autoconf. Therefore, I am trying to install autoconf I get:

configure.ac:30: require Automake 1.11, but have 1.10

I try to install automake, the bootstrap reports:

configure.ac:20: error: Autoconf version 2.68 or higher is required
configure.ac:20: the top level
autom4te: /usr/bin/gm4 failed with exit status: 63
aclocal.tmp: error: autom4te failed with exit status: 63

Currently installed autoconf version: autoconf (GNU Autoconf) 2.61

Currently installed automake version: automake (GNU automake) 1.10

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3 Answers 3

up vote 1 down vote accepted

I was able to run the following instructions on Mac OS X 10.7.3 with success: “install the latest autoconf and automake on mac os 10.6”

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If you install autoconf from the git repository, you will need automake. However, if you instead download a distribution tarball for autoconf, you will not have that dependency. You should always install from a distribution tarball, and not from a vcs. In other words, if you want to install autoconf from source, just install it from source! But realize that "install from source" means "install from a distribution tarball"; it does not mean "install from git".

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I realize this question is about 3+ years old, but the accepted answer is a link only answer and that link is now dead. And the other answer is technically correct, but it still does not explain the actual hands-on process required to install the GNU versions of autoconf, automake and libtool in Mac OS X.

First, Xcode—since at least version 4.3 I believe—no longer includes the GNU versions of autoconf, automake and libtool. This doesn’t mean you can’t install GNU tools on your own. And here is how.

I’ve used this process on Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard), 10.7 (Lion), 10.8 (Mountain Lion) and 10.9 (Mavericks) without issue.

Install Xcode and Xcode command line tools.

The first prerequisite is to have Xcode installed along with the Xcode command line tools as well. Chances are if you need autoconf, automake and libtool installed, you already have Xcode and the command line tools installed, but just pointing that out for those who don’t have that setup yet.

Now, onto the show! Just note that version numbers of downloads are based on what is current and works well as of the time of this post. Adjust to other versions if you need to:


Install autoconf 2.69.

Set the working directory to your home directory:

cd

Get the source code and decompress it:

curl -O -L http://ftpmirror.gnu.org/autoconf/autoconf-2.69.tar.gz
tar -xzf autoconf-2.69.tar.gz

Go into the uncompressed source code directory:

cd autoconf-*

Run the configure script on the source code:

./configure

Now run make to compile it:

make

Now install it:

sudo make install

Check the newly installed autoconf version to confirm all went well:

autoconf --version

Response should be something like this:

autoconf 2.69


Install automake 1.15.

Set the working directory to your home directory:

cd

Get the source code and decompress it:

curl -O -L http://ftpmirror.gnu.org/automake/automake-1.15.tar.gz
tar -xzf automake-1.15.tar.gz

Go into the uncompressed source code directory:

cd automake-*

Run the configure script on the source code:

./configure

Now run make to compile it:

make

Now install it:

sudo make install

Check the newly installed automake version to confirm all went well:

automake --version

Response should be something like this:

automake 1.15


Install libtool 2.4.6.

Set the working directory to your home directory:

cd

Get the source code and decompress it:

curl -OL http://ftpmirror.gnu.org/libtool/libtool-2.4.6.tar.gz
tar -xzf libtool-2.4.6.tar.gz

Go into the uncompressed source code directory:

cd libtool-*

Run the configure script on the source code:

./configure

Now run make to compile it:

make

Now install it:

sudo make install

Check the newly installed libtool version—via the man page—to confirm all went well:

man libtool

On the first page of the man page there should be something like this:

libtool - manual page for libtool 2.4.6

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