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Produces shell scripts which automatically configure source code

Extensible package of m4 macros that produce portable shell scripts to automatically configure software source code packages. These scripts can adapt the packages to many kinds of UNIX-like systems with minimal manual user intervention. Autoconf requires GNU M4. You must install GNU M4 1.4.5 or later before configuring Autoconf, so that Autoconf's configure script can find it. The configuration scripts produced by Autoconf are self-contained, so their users do not need to have Autoconf or GNU M4 installed.


User manual available in HTML, PDF, Info, ASCII, TeX dvi, PostScript, TeXinfo from

Related Projects

  • Automake
  • Buildtool
  • FireMake
  • Libtool
  • Make
  • Mfg
  • Pkg-config
  • PMK
  • Rpsl
  • Gcal


LicenseVerified byVerified onNotes
License:GPLv2 with exceptionKelly Hopkins24 September 2010
License:GPLv3orlater with exceptionKelly Hopkins24 September 2010
License:GPLv2orlaterKelly Hopkins24 September 2010

Leaders and contributors

Eric Blake Developer
Karl Berry Developer
Autoconf Committee Maintainer

Resources and communication

AudienceResource typeURI
Bug TrackingMailing List Info/Archive
Debian (Ref)
Savannah (Ref)
DeveloperVCS Repository Webview

Software prerequisites

Required to buildGNU M4 1.4.6 (1.4.13 recommended)
Weak prerequisitePerl
Required to useGNU M4 1.4.6 (1.4.13 recommended)

This entry (in part or in whole) was last reviewed on 19 February 2018.


Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.3 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the page “GNU Free Documentation License”.

The copyright and license notices on this page only apply to the text on this page. Any software or copyright-licenses or other similar notices described in this text has its own copyright notice and license, which can usually be found in the distribution or license text itself.