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Showing posts from December, 2014

Working in a separate prefix

I've been surprised in the past to discover that even some seasoned engineers didn't know how to use the autotools prefix feature. A sign they've been lucky enough and didn't have to deal with Autotools too much. Here's my attempt to provide some introduction to ./configure --prefix.

Working with or in "a separate prefix" is working with libraries and binaries (well, anything produced by 'make install' in an autotooled project really) installed in a different directory than the system-wide ones (/usr or even /usr/local that can become quite messy). It is the preferred way to hack on a full stack without polluting your base distribution and has several advantages:
One can hack on the whole stack without the fear of not being able to run your desktop environment you're working with if something goes wrong,More often than not, one needs a relatively recent library that your distribution doesn't ship with (say a recent libdrm). When working wit…