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Re: config.sub and config.guess | .diff.gz bloat

On Nov 5, 2003, at 4:53 PM, Zenaan Harkness wrote:
debhelper puts the following into the "clean" rule in debian/rules:

ifneq "$(wildcard /usr/share/misc/config.sub)" ""
	cp -f /usr/share/misc/config.sub config.sub
ifneq "$(wildcard /usr/share/misc/config.guess)" ""
	cp -f /usr/share/misc/config.guess config.guess

Three questions:
- why are these two files copied in?
- are they necessary for the build of the program I am packaging?
- they make my .diff.gz file twice their otherwise size; can I delete
that entry from my rules file altogether, or otherwise remove them from
the output?


My understanding is that these lines ensure that autoconf-based packages can be easily ported to architectures that are newer than the software (specifically, newer than the version of autoconf used by the upstream maintainer when releasing software). If I recall correctly, this was a particular problem for hppa and ia64, for which many packages failed to build with old versions of these files (see, for example bugs.debian.org/103340, which is just the first thing I found with google).

I suppose (but am not an authority) that an arch: i386 package could safely do away with these lines. Any package that does not use run configure would not need these lines either. Further, these lines would need to be corrected if config.sub and config.guess existed in a different place in upstream source.


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