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A.2 Downloading GNU Autotools

The GNU Autotools are distributed as part of the GNU project, under the terms of the GNU General Public License. Each tool is packaged in a compressed archive that you can retrieve from sources such as Internet FTP archives and CD-ROM distributions. While you may use any source that is convenient to you, it is best to use one of the recognized GNU mirror sites. A current list of mirror sites is listed at

The directory layout of the GNU archives has recently been improved to make it easier to locate particular packages. The new scheme places package archive files under a subdirectory whose name reflects the base name of the package. For example, GNU Autoconf 2.13 can be found at:


The filenames corresponding to the latest versions of GNU Autotools, at the time of writing, are:


These packages are stored as tar archives and compressed with the gzip compression utility. Once you have obtained all of these packages, you should unpack them using the following commands:

gunzip TOOL-VERSION.tar.gz
tar xfv TOOL-VERSION.tar

GNU tar archives are created with a directory name prefixed to all of the files in the archive. This means that files will be tidily unpacked into an appropriately named subdirectory, rather than being written all over your current working directory.

This document was generated by Gary V. Vaughan on February, 8 2006 using texi2html