Couple questions from a newbie

SamBC sambc at
Tue Jul 25 05:07:49 PDT 2000

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Justin Judd
> Let me see if I understand the build process correctly. When you run
> configure, the script checks a bunch of host-specific things (like cpu,
> libc version, etc) and uses the information it gains to create
> Makefiles. The only thing the configure script does is create Makefiles,
> right?

It also usually generate a config.h with certain compiled-in variables, and
this usually controls what headers are included for different libraries, and
sometimes (although I was always taught it was bad practice) compiles-in
some variables like paths

> Then you run make, which compiles the source and creates a bunch of
> executables, libraries, and possibly other stuff.
> Then you run make install, which copies all the files that are required by
> the package to the appropriate directories, correct?

Yep, good so far.

> Since nothing is compiled until the make stage, it seems that it is
> pointless to set the --prefix option in the configure stage if you are
> just going to override it in the make stage. Does configure do something
> with the option, other than just pass it on to the Makefiles?

As I said, it passes some info into config.h (& sometimes some other header

Many packages want the compiled-in prefix on the configure script, and the
'where to put it' prefix at the 'make install' stage.

> I could have sworn I tried setting tooldir=/usr and I still got that
> directory, but I'll try again tonight. If I still end up with it, I'll
> just delete it.
Trust me, it is useful to have those directories. You never know when you
might want to cross-compile... and I think some makefiles use it.

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