macOS - Autoconf, Automake and Libtool

By Jack Szwergold • September 14, 2015

macOS is a flavor of Unix (Darwin) based on BSD and as such does not contain many commonly available GNU Linux tools in it’s default install.

So if you are planning on compiling any modern GNU projects you’re going to have to install a few core GNU related tools: Autoconf, Automake and Libtool. This tutorial explains how to do that.

Installing Autoconf via official source code archive.

First grab a compressed archive from an official Autoconf source site:

curl -O -L http://ftpmirror.gnu.org/autoconf/autoconf-2.69.tar.gz

Next, decompress the archive like this:

tar -xzf autoconf-2.*.tar.gz

Now go into the decompressed directory:

cd autoconf-2.*

Run this configure command:

./configure

Once the configure process completes, run make:

make

Finally install it by running sudo make install:

sudo make install

And once it’s installed, run the command with --version to do a simple check to see it’s working:

autoconf --version

Response should be something like this:

autoconf 2.69

Uninstall if you need to:

sudo make uninstall

Installing Automake via official source code archive.

First grab a compressed archive from an official Automake source site:

curl -O -L http://ftpmirror.gnu.org/automake/automake-1.15.tar.gz

Next, decompress the archive like this:

tar -xzf automake-1.15.tar.gz

Now go into the decompressed directory:

cd automake-*

Run this configure command:

./configure

Once the configure process completes, run make:

make

Finally install it by running sudo make install:

sudo make install

And once it’s installed, run the command with --version to do a simple check to see it’s working:

automake --version

Response should be something like this:

automake 1.15

Uninstall if you need to:

sudo make uninstall

Installing Libtool via official source code archive.

First grab a compressed archive from an official Libtool source site:

curl -O -L http://ftpmirror.gnu.org/libtool/libtool-2.4.6.tar.gz

Next, decompress the archive like this:

tar -xzf libtool-2.4.6.tar.gz

Now go into the decompressed directory:

cd libtool-*

Run this configure command:

./configure

Once the configure process completes, run make:

make

Finally install it by running sudo make install:

sudo make install

And once it’s installed, run the command with --version to do a simple check to see it’s working:

libtool --version

Response should be something like this:

libtool (GNU libtool) 2.4.6

Uninstall if you need to:

sudo make uninstall