Alien::Build::Plugin::Build::Autoconf - Autoconf plugin for Alien::Build


version 2.80


 use alienfile;
 plugin 'Build::Autoconf';


This plugin provides some tools for building projects that use autoconf. The main thing this provides is a configure helper, documented below and the default build stage, which is:

 '%{configure} --disable-shared',
 '%{make} install',

On Windows, this plugin also pulls in the Alien::Build::Plugin::Build::MSYS which is required for autoconf style projects on windows.

The other thing that this plugin does is that it does a double staged DESTDIR install. The author has found this improves the overall reliability of Alien modules that are based on autoconf packages.

This plugin supports out-of-source builds (known in autoconf terms as "VPATH" builds) via the meta property out_of_source.

NOTE: by itself, this plugin is only intended for use on packages that include a configure script. For packages that expect you to use Autotools to generate a configure script before building, you can use Alien::Autotools to generate the configure script and use this plugin to run it. For more details see the documentation for Alien::Autotools.



Adds --with-pic option when running configure. If supported by your package, it will generate position independent code on platforms that support it. This is required to XS modules, and generally what you want.

autoconf normally ignores options that it does not understand, so it is usually a safe and reasonable default to include it. A small number of projects look like they use autoconf, but are really an autoconf style interface with a different implementation. They may fail if you try to provide it with options such as --with-pic that they do not recognize. Such packages are the rationale for this property.


The version of Alien::MSYS required if it is deemed necessary. If Alien::MSYS isn't needed (if running under Unix, or MSYS2, for example) this will do nothing.


The content for the generated




The correct incantation to start an autoconf style configure script on your platform. Some reasonable default flags will be provided.



For a share install, this plugin needs to alter the behavior of autotools using site.config. It does this by generating a site.config file on the fly, and setting the SITE_CONFIG environment variable. In the event that you already have your own SITE_CONFIG set, that file will be sourced from the generated one, so your local defaults should still be honored, unless it is one that needs to be changed for a share install.

In particular, the lib directory must be overridden, because on some platforms dynamic libraries will otherwise be placed in directories that Alien::Build doesn't normally look in. Since the alienized package will be installed in a share directory, and not a system directory, that should be fine.


If defined, this file will be also be sourced in the generated site.config. This allows you to have local defaults for alien share installs only.


Alien::Build::Plugin::Build::MSYS, Alien::Build::Plugin, Alien::Build, Alien::Base, Alien


Author: Graham Ollis <>


Diab Jerius (DJERIUS)

Roy Storey (KIWIROY)

Ilya Pavlov

David Mertens (run4flat)

Mark Nunberg (mordy, mnunberg)

Christian Walde (Mithaldu)

Brian Wightman (MidLifeXis)

Zaki Mughal (zmughal)

mohawk (mohawk2, ETJ)

Vikas N Kumar (vikasnkumar)

Flavio Poletti (polettix)

Salvador Fandiño (salva)

Gianni Ceccarelli (dakkar)

Pavel Shaydo (zwon, trinitum)

Kang-min Liu (劉康民, gugod)

Nicholas Shipp (nshp)

Juan Julián Merelo Guervós (JJ)

Joel Berger (JBERGER)

Petr Písař (ppisar)

Lance Wicks (LANCEW)

Ahmad Fatoum (a3f, ATHREEF)

José Joaquín Atria (JJATRIA)

Duke Leto (LETO)

Shoichi Kaji (SKAJI)

Shawn Laffan (SLAFFAN)

Paul Evans (leonerd, PEVANS)

Håkon Hægland (hakonhagland, HAKONH)

nick nauwelaerts (INPHOBIA)

Florian Weimer


This software is copyright (c) 2011-2022 by Graham Ollis.

This is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as the Perl 5 programming language system itself.