User:Timothee Flutre/Notebook/Postdoc/2012/11/27

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How to make a GNU package?

  • To understand why using Autotools is a good idea, see these slides by Ludovic Court├Ęs.
  • A very good tutorial by Martin Mann is available here.
  • Make sure that you have an updated version of the Autotools on your system.
  • find a name for the package, for instance "mypkg"
mkdir mypkg; cd mypkg
  • create some initial files:
touch AUTHORS BUGS ChangeLog NEWS README
  • retrieve the license, for instance GPLv3:
wget -O COPYING http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-3.0.txt
  • create the directory which will contain the source code, and populate it:
mkdir src
touch src/mytemplate.cpp
touch configure.ac # and edit it
  • create the second necessary file, and fill it with SUBDIRS:
touch Makefile.am # and edit it
  • get the missing files via the Autotools, such as INSTALL:
autoreconf --install # use autoreconf --force the next times
#if needed, use: 'automake --add-missing' and 'libtoolize --force'
  • write tests, possibly using CppUnit, and update AC_CONFIG_FILES:
mkdir test; cd test/
touch test/Makefile.am
  • write some documentation in Texinfo:
 mkdir doc; cd doc/
 wget -O fdl.texi http://cvs.savannah.gnu.org/viewvc/*checkout*/gnustandards/fdl.texi?root=gnustandards&content-type=text%2Fplain
 touch manual_mypkg.texi # and edit it
 make pdf

./configure # can be followed by --prefix=$HOME, LDFLAGS=-L/usr/local/lib, 'CXXFLAGS=-O0 -g', etc
make # can be followed by LDFLAGS="-L/usr/local/lib -static" as well as CXXFLAGS="-DDEBUG -Wall"
make check # to automatically execute the tests
  • make your package available to anyone:
make install
make distcheck # can be followed by DISTCHECK_CONFIGURE_FLAGS=LDFLAGS=-L/usr/local/lib for instance
tar tzvf mypkg-0.1.tar.gz # to check what is in the release
  • version your code, for instance with Git (read the book!):
git init
git add AUTHORS COPYING ChangeLog INSTALL Makefile.am NEWS README TODO build-aux/* configure.ac 
git add src/Makefile.am src/hello.cpp
git add doc/Makefile.am doc/manual_hello.texi doc/fdl.texi
git add tests/Makefile.am tests/test1.bash
git commit -m "first commit"
# and edit .git/info/exclude or .gitignore, tag your release, etc

And check that you have all required files in your repo:

cd ~/tmp; git clone ~/<path_to_original_repo>/hello
autoreconf --force
./configure
make
make check
make install
make distcheck
  • share your code, for instance on GitHub (read the help!)
  • Tips:
    • if your package uses libtool, you need to use gdb like this: $ libtool --mode=execute gdb --args myprogram -i input.txt


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