mainAutoconf - Support: sr #110212, Transform pkgdatadir using...


sr #110212: Transform pkgdatadir using program-prefix and -suffix

Submitter:  Ross Burton <rossburton>
Submitted:  Thu 19 Mar 2020 04:14:56 PM UTC
Priority:  * 2 - Eventually Severity:  1 - Wish
Status:  Postponed Privacy:  Public
Assigned to:  None Open/Closed:  Open
Operating System:  None
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Wed 28 Jul 2021 08:29:30 PM UTC, comment #4: 

Here's a workaround:

  1. Edit In the AC_INIT() call, change the first argument to the name you want to use for the subdirectory
  2. Run autoconf (perhaps indirectly, if the package provides an script or the like)
  3. Run configure with --program-prefix, --program-suffix, and/or --program-transform-name, as desired
  4. Once the build is finished, do a test install into a scratch location using DESTDIR=/where/ever, and look it over to make sure all the pathnames that needed to be changed, were in fact changed.

For my particular case (installing gpg1 in parallel with my distro's gpg2), I appended "1" in both places:
  1. Made this change to

  2. Called configure --program-suffix=1

My choice of a "1" suffix was informed by:

  • the python convention, where the suffix is just the major version -- python2 vs python3
  • a desire for consistency with the name of gpg's file (which is hard-coded as such in; AFAICT, autoconf, configure, and make just pass it through unmodified)

Note that this workaround caused some libexec files to be double-transformed, e.g.:
                         ^             ^
It probably also stuck that "1" in in various bits of documentation, etc.

But I was willing to live with those wrinkles.

Eric Siegerman <erics39>
Wed 28 Jul 2021 07:58:57 PM UTC, comment #3: 

> Such a change first needs to be incorporated into the GNU Coding Standards.

Does it?  The relevant paragraph (from the July 1, 2021 version), says:

> The definition of ‘datadir’ is the same for all packages, so you should install your data in a subdirectory thereof. Most packages install their data under $(datadir)/package-name/.

To me, "Most packages install..." reads more like a recommendation than a firm requirement -- and at that, an even weaker recommendation than the "should install" in the first sentence.

Under that reading, modifying the ${datadir} subdirectory's name would not be a violation of the standard as it's currently written.

Eric Siegerman <erics39>
Fri 10 Jul 2020 08:53:46 PM UTC, comment #2: 

Savannah doesn't have a good way of tagging bugs that are blocked on some external change, so I'm marking this one "postponed."

Regardless, Ross, if you want to push this forward, you should bring it up on the bug-standards mailing list <>.

Zack Weinberg <zackw>
Group administrator
Thu 19 Mar 2020 04:27:24 PM UTC, comment #1: 

Such a change first needs to be incorporated into the GNU Coding Standards.

Eric Blake <ericb>
Group administrator
Thu 19 Mar 2020 04:14:56 PM UTC, original submission:  

The main reason people will build autoconf with --program-prefix or --program-suffix is most likely that they want to support multiple versions of autoconf at the same time.

For example, binutils requires 2.69 exactly, but if 2.70 is released then people will want to use that before binutils has switched and released.

Using --program-suffix=2.69 means that the binaries are installed as /usr/bin/autoconf2.69, but pkgdatadir is still just /usr/share/autoconf.  Everyone who wants parallel installable autoconf then has to fix this somehow (either overwriting pkgdatadir, or fixing the paths after installation).

I suggest overwriting pkgdatadir to respect $program_prefix and $program_suffix.

Ross Burton <rossburton>


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    Follow 4 latest changes.

    Date Changed by Updated Field Previous Value => Replaced by
    2023-12-08 zackw Priority1 - Blocked 2 - Eventually
        Severity3 - Normal 1 - Wish
    2020-07-10 zackw StatusNone Postponed
    2020-07-10 zackw Priority5 - Unprioritized 1 - Blocked

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