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Building Software


This note is something I always forget when it comes up and I always find it difficult and time-consuming to recover from the manual and documentation. Let’s hope the next time I’ll need it, it would be much easier for me to spot it!

It has to do with a feature of GNU Automake, one of the tools used in the GNU Building System, a toolchain for building software under the normal Open-Source practices. This feature is called DESTDIR and it allows somebody to checkout a software installation without actually installing the software.

Here is an example of the usual build procedure I follow:

cd src                 # enter program's source directory
pushd /tmp/build       # go into a temporary build directory
~1/configure --help    # first, check available config options
make DESTDIR=/tmp/inst install
make install

Now, you can find in the /tmp/inst directory all the files from the package that are going to be installed, preserving even the directory hierarchy of the installation.

From → Programming

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