Automake and libtool for Samba

Michael Sweet mike at
Tue Nov 21 04:35:57 GMT 2000

Matt Peterson wrote:
> ...
> ones that dislike libtool, autoconf and automake are usually those that
> do not understand them.

I understand them quite well; it's just the invasive way libtool works
that I have problems with...

> ...
> Unless you routinely run production applications from the directory they
> were built from this should not be a problem.  Libtool copies libraries
> into the appropriate upon make install

Hmm, do you ever try to *test* the software you write before you install
it?  Impossible with libtool built libraries and execs...

> ...
> Again, this is probably due to user error rather than a deficiency in
> the tool.  Libtool is configurable.  I've never used it on Irix, but it
> seems to work well when properly used every where else.  Can you offer
> an example of when library binding was done incorrectly?  libtool does
> not do the bindings, your linker does!  If libtool is calling your
> linker incorrectly, fix it!

I have, and submitted patches, but alas they never make it in!

I've had consistent problems with GIMP and SANE under IRIX.  The problem
is easy to correct in libtool, but then again it is even easier if you
don't use it...  Basically, in a lot of cases libtool doesn't know about
the compiler options that are needed to tell the linker where to find
DSOs, or (more commonly) it tries to be "smart" and uses an unpublished
vendor interface that changes between compiler releases.

> ...
> Would you rather try to complicate the single samba makefile further by
> adding special sections for each OS that differs in the way it links
> shared libraries?   Sounds to me like your giving libtool a bad rap

Um, the differences are quite small and can be encapsulated with two
definitions from your configure script.  That's right, only 2!

Amazingly this only accounts for about 20 lines of autoconf tests,
and results in extremely easy to read and debug makefiles.

> because it is *different* from what you're used to -- not because it is
> bad.   Also, libtool is not automake.  Nothing has been argued that has
> anything to do with automake -- is it still evil too or is it also just
> different from what you're used to?

Actually, automake's default rules force you to use libtool (or at least
the version I have does...)  In addition, the crap that automake adds to
the makefiles it generates makes them extremely difficult to debug, and
oh by the way you have to use GNU make then, too...

Thus far autoconf by itself has satisfied 100% of my needs for all of
our open source projects.

> Finally, take a look at
>  The use of Libtool is
> listed as a Core enhancement of the new Apache 2.0 build system.  Apache
> probably attracts more users, developers, and diverse systems than even
> Samba -- yet they feel comfortable about using libtool...

I wish them luck; somehow I don't think that using libtool will make
building apache any easier or more reliable...

Michael Sweet, Easy Software Products                  mike at
Printing Software for UNIX             

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