[aur-general] introduction and questions

Andrei Thorp garoth at gmail.com
Tue Jul 7 09:41:49 EDT 2009

Excerpts from Magnus Therning's message of Tue Jul 07 01:31:42 -0400 2009:
> edogawaconan wrote:
> [..]
> > use install instead of mkdir/cp
> Even better, to help non-Arch users, use auto-tools (or some other 
> build/install/distribution tool with Vala support) for building and installing.
> automake[1]
> waf[2]

To explain this a bit more, generally, it's not the software packager's
job to make stuff install per se. Most software that you get comes with
commands like "make" and "make install" -- these are used for compiling
the software and having it install, respectively.

The way you do this is by creating build scripts of some sort for your
package. The most common way is to use autotools, as mentioned before.
This is the standard "make" system made by GNU, and it's pretty much
oriented around shell scripts.

Then, the packager uses the fairly standard variable to make, DESTDIR,
to tell the package to install into a folder rather than to / by
default. This folder is then packaged up by makepkg and can be extracted
over / to "install" the software to the correct place.

Personally, I find that the old autotools are kind of... old. They work
fine and are easy to do for small projects that don't need to do much
work during build/install (like yours), but newer systems like SCons and
CMake are being used more and more frequently in larger systems like

I think you get the idea generally, but here is a very simple example
Makefile (the script used by make) to give you an idea. Note that make
requires the use of tabs instead of spaces in indentation:


	@ echo -ne "\e[32;1m==>\e[0m Building."
	valac foobar.vala

	@ echo -e "\e[32;1m==>\e[0m Installing files."
	install -d ${DESTDIR}/usr/bin
	install -m0555 foobar ${DESTDIR}/usr/bin

	@ echo -e "\e[32;1m==>\e[0m Uninstall files."
	rm ${DESTDIR}/usr/bin/foobar || true



Some notes on this:
 - the sections are the categories for make (ie. make uninstall)
 - @ in front of the line tells make to not print this line. Usually,
   make outputs what command it's running as it runs it.
 - The funky characters in the echos are cli colour codes for
 - the first section is the default -- so just "make" instead of "make
   all" is fine.
 - The clean instruction isn't used in this example, but it's generally
   used to clean up executables and stuff. Debian requires this
   instruction by default...

Good luck!
Andrei Thorp, Developer: Xandros Corp. (http://www.xandros.com)

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