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11.1.1 Extra Configure Options

What follows is a list that describes the more commonly used options that are automatically added to configure, by virtue of using `AC_PROG_LIBTOOL' in your `'. The Libtool Manual distributed with Libtool releases always contains the most up to date information about libtool options:

More often invoked as `--disable-shared' or equivalently `--enable-shared=no' these switches determine whether libtool should build shared and/or static libraries in this package. If the installer is short of disk space, they might like to build entirely without static archives. To do this they would use:

$ ./configure --disable-static

Sometimes it is desirable to configure several related packages with the same command line. From a scheduled build script or where subpackages with their own configure scripts are present, for example. The `--enable-shared' and `--enable-static' switches also accept a list of package names, causing the option to be applied to packages whose name is listed, and the opposite to be applied to those not listed.

By specifying:

$ ./configure --enable-static=libsnprintfv,autoopts

libtool would pass `--enable-static' to only the packages named libsnprintfv and autoopts in the current tree. Any other packages configured would effectively be passed `--disable-static'. Note that this doesn't necessarily mean that the packages must honour these options. Enabling static libraries for a package which consists of only dynamic modules makes no sense, and the package author would probably have decided to ignore such requests, See section 11.1.2 Extra Macros for Libtool.

On some machines, libtool has to relink executables when they are installed, See section 10.7 Installing an Executable. Normally, when an end user builds your package, they will probably type:

$ ./configure
$ make
$ make install

libtool will build executables suitable for copying into their respective installation destinations, obviating the need for relinking them on those hosts which would have required it. Whenever libtool links an executable which uses shared libraries, it also creates a wrapper script which ensures that the environment is correct for loading the correct libraries, See section 10.5 Executing Uninstalled Binaries. On those hosts which require it, the wrapper script will also relink the executable in the build tree if you attempt to run it from there before installation.

Sometimes this behaviour is not what you want, particularly if you are developing the package and not installing between test compilations. By passing `--disable-fast-install', the default behaviour is reversed; executables will be built so that they can be run from the build tree without relinking, but during installation they may be relinked.

You can pass a list of executables as the argument to `--enable-fast-install' to determine which set of executables will not be relinked at installation time (on the hosts that require it). By specifying:

$ ./configure --enable-fast-install=autogen

The autogen executable will be linked for fast installation (without being relinked), and any other executables in the build tree will be linked for fast execution from their build location. This is useful if the remaining executables are for testing only, and will never be installed.

Most machines do not require that executables be relinked in this way, and in these cases libtool will link each executable once only, no matter whether `--disable-fast-install' is used.


This option is used to inform libtool that the C compiler is using GNU ld as its linker. It is more often used in the opposite sense when both gcc and GNU ld are installed, but gcc was built to use the native linker. libtool will probe the system for GNU ld, and assume that it is used by gcc if found, unless `--without-gnu-ld' is passed to configure.


In normal operation, libtool will build two objects for every source file in a package, one PIC(19) and one non-PIC. With gcc and some other compilers, libtool can specify a different output location for the PIC object:

$ libtool gcc -c shell.c
gcc -c -pic -DPIC shell.c -o .libs/shell.lo
gcc -c foo.c -o shell.o >/dev/null 2>&1

When using a compiler that doesn't accept both `-o' and `-c' in the same command, libtool must compile first the PIC and then the non-PIC object to the same destination file and then move the PIC object before compiling the non-PIC object. This would be a problem for parallel builds, since one file might overwrite the other. libtool uses a simple shell locking mechanism to avoid this eventuality.

If you find yourself building in an environment that has such a compiler, and not using parallel make, then the locking mechanism can be safely turned off by using `--disable-libtool-lock' to gain a little extra speed in the overall compilation.

In normal operation, Libtool will build shared libraries from PIC objects and static archives from non-PIC objects, except where one or the other is not provided by the target host. By specifying `--with-pic' you are asking libtool to build static archives from PIC objects, and similarly by specifying `--without-pic' you are asking libtool to build shared libraries from non-PIC objects.

libtool will only honour this flag where it will produce a working library, otherwise it reverts to the default.

This document was generated by Gary V. Vaughan on February, 8 2006 using texi2html