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Re: groff-1.23.0.rc4 - no ./configure?

From: Oliver Corff
Subject: Re: groff-1.23.0.rc4 - no ./configure?
Date: Tue, 25 Apr 2023 08:15:06 +0200
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:102.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/102.5.0

Hi Carlos,

thank you for directing me to the documentation buried in the two
INSTALL.* files.

May I suggest that the information along the way of obtaining the
tarball may be augmented?

My steps were:

1. I went to

There the text reads: The development version is available from groff's
git repository <>. Read the
INSTALL.extra and INSTALL.REPO files within for build requirements and

Which reconfirms your point, but

2. I went to the repository:

It says: Browse Sources Repository

3. I saw a list of tar.gz files, with the lates development version on
top. So I downloaded that and unpacked it locally.

4. Only then I saw the two INSTALL.* files and the instructions, but
executing ./bootstrap just resulted in

5. fatal: not a git repository (or any parent up to mount point /)

You may consider me being naive --- why do I stumble at things which are
"taken for granted"?

Is it possible to insert a phrase somewhere either in or in that these tarballs cannot be
used as is, but must be treated differently?

And, is it possible to put the information that these unpacked archives
cannot be used directly at the top of the INSTALL files?

Looking at a list of source tarballs and *thinking* they can be
downloaded, unpacked, configured and compiled is just enough off target.
It seems I miss the necessary threshold knowledge here.

Best regards,


On 24/04/2023 23:54, Carlos wrote:
On Mon, Apr 24, 2023 at 10:40:23PM +0200, Oliver Corff wrote:
Dear all,

I went to  today to download
the rc4 tarball groff-1.23.0.rc4.tar.gz and unpacked the archive.

How do I configure the makefile? I fail to see a ./configure script.

Thank you,

Best regards,


Dr. Oliver Corff

Hello Oliver. The following is directly from INSTALL.REPO

Once dependencies are met of course.

Bootstrapping from a Git checkout

Invoke the bootstrap script.

     $ ./bootstrap

What bootstrapping does

The foregoing procedure will do two things:

   - clone the gnulib repository as a Git submodule in 'gnulib', add the
     needed gnulib source files in 'lib' as well as required gnulib m4
     macros in 'gnulib_m4'; and

   - invoke 'autoreconf', which will call the GNU Autotools ('aclocal',
     'autoconf', 'automake') in the right order to create the following

     -- INSTALL (a symlink to gnulib's INSTALL file)
     -- aclocal.m4
     -- autom4te.cache/
     -- build-aux/ (which contains all the helper scripts)
     -- configure
     -- src/include/config.hin

'aclocal.m4' is a generated file; groff's m4 macros are included via the
'acinclude.m4' file.


You can now invoke the 'configure' script.  It produces the
'config.status' script, which generates the Makefile.  Then call 'make'
to build the groff project.  You can do these from the source tree.

     $ ./configure
     $ make # run with -j option if desired

You can alternatively build groff outside of its source tree, which is
cleaner, leaving fewer files to confuse 'git status' if you aim to
undertake development.

     $ mkdir build
     $ cd build
     $ ../configure
     $ make # run with -j option if desired

A separate build tree need not be a subdirectory of the source.


Several dozen sanity checks can be performed within the build tree.

     $ make check # run with -j option if desired


When the build is finished you can install the groff build artifacts.

     $ make install install-doc # run with 'sudo' if necessary

Dr. Oliver Corff
Wittelsbacherstr. 5A
10707 Berlin
Tel.: +49-30-85727260

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