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How Linux Works by Brian Ward

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Other Systems

If a package does not use GNU autoconf for platform-specific configuration, you should expect that the package uses one of these three systems:

  • A customizable Makefile and/or config.h. At one time, administrators had to configure nearly all third-party Unix software by editing Makefiles. GNU autoconf has made this practice nearly extinct, but you still may come across custom configuration in older packages or very Linux-specific packages.

  • Imakefiles. Many X Window System applications use imake to create Makefiles from Imakefiles.

  • "Anybody's guess." Some developers just have to be different.

In addition, many packages, including those using the three types listed above, now rely on the pkg-config program for compiler and linker options. ...

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