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Manual Reference Pages  -  AUTOM4TE-2.69 (1)


autom4te - Generate files and scripts thanks to M4




autom4te [OPTION]... [FILES]


Run GNU M4 on the FILES, avoiding useless runs. Output the traces if tracing, the frozen file if freezing, otherwise the expansion of the FILES.

If some of the FILES are named ‘FILE.m4f’ they are considered to be M4 frozen files of all the previous files (which are therefore not loaded). If ‘FILE.m4f’ is not found, then ‘FILE.m4’ will be used, together with all the previous files.

Some files may be optional, i.e., will only be processed if found in the include path, but then must end in ‘.m4?’; the question mark is not part of the actual file name.

    Operation modes:

-h, --help print this help, then exit
-V, --version
  print version number, then exit
-v, --verbose
  verbosely report processing
-d, --debug
  don’t remove temporary files
-o, --output=FILE
  save output in FILE (defaults to ‘-’, stdout)
-f, --force
  don’t rely on cached values
-W, --warnings=CATEGORY
  report the warnings falling in CATEGORY
-l, --language=LANG
  specify the set of M4 macros to use
-C, --cache=DIRECTORY
  preserve results for future runs in DIRECTORY
  disable the cache
-m, --mode=OCTAL
  change the non trace output file mode (0666)
-M, --melt don’t use M4 frozen files

    Languages include:

  create Autoconf configure scripts
  create Autotest test suites
‘M4sh’ create M4sh shell scripts
  create M4sugar output

    Warning categories include:

  cross compilation issues
‘gnu’ GNU coding standards (default in gnu and gnits modes)
  obsolete features or constructions
  user redefinitions of Automake rules or variables
  portability issues (default in gnu and gnits modes)
  dubious syntactic constructs (default)
  unsupported or incomplete features (default)
‘all’ all the warnings
  turn off warnings in CATEGORY
‘none’ turn off all the warnings
  treat warnings as errors
The environment variables ‘M4’ and ‘WARNINGS’ are honored.

    Library directories:

-B, --prepend-include=DIR
  prepend directory DIR to search path
-I, --include=DIR
  append directory DIR to search path


-t, --trace=MACRO[:FORMAT]
  report the MACRO invocations
-p, --preselect=MACRO
  prepare to trace MACRO in a future run


-F, --freeze
  produce an M4 frozen state file for FILES

    FORMAT defaults to ‘$f:$l:$n:$%’, and can use the following escapes:

$$ literal $
$f file where macro was called
$l line where macro was called
$d nesting depth of macro call
$n name of the macro
$NUM argument NUM, unquoted and with newlines
$SEP@ all arguments, with newlines, quoted, and separated by SEP
$SEP* all arguments, with newlines, unquoted, and separated by SEP
$SEP% all arguments, without newlines, unquoted, and separated by SEP
SEP can be empty for the default (comma for @ and *, colon for %), a single character for that character, or {STRING} to use a string.


Written by Akim Demaille.


Report bugs to <>.
GNU Autoconf home page: <>.
General help using GNU software: <>.


Copyright © 2012 Free Software Foundation, Inc. License GPLv3+/Autoconf: GNU GPL version 3 or later <>, <>
This is free software: you are free to change and redistribute it. There is NO WARRANTY, to the extent permitted by law.


autoconf-2.69(1), automake-2.69(1), autoreconf-2.69(1), autoupdate-2.69(1), autoheader-2.69(1), autoscan-2.69(1), config.guess-2.69(1), config.sub-2.69(1), ifnames-2.69(1), libtool(1).

The full documentation for autom4te is maintained as a Texinfo manual. If the info and autom4te programs are properly installed at your site, the command
info autom4te
should give you access to the complete manual.

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GNU Autoconf 2.69 AUTOM4TE (1) March 2016

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