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This is my first time trying to compile and install anything on a linux machine. I got the latest version of via git and read the instructions which state:

2. Build and install

Exmpp uses the Autotools. Therefore the process is quite common:

$ ./configure
$ make
$ sudo make install

after type ./configure I get the error

Cannot find install-sh,, or shtool in ac-aux

Google was of little to no help. Not sure at all what I'm supposed to do. Any help would be much appreciated

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I got it to create the configure script using the following tools:

$ libtoolize --force
$ aclocal
$ autoheader
$ automake --force-missing --add-missing
$ autoconf
$ ./configure

I don't have all the dependencies so I can't test it right now, but this is generally how you would create a configure script from an ac file.

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The instructions in the README were probably blindly copied from somewhere else. I have to admit that I don't understand every detail of the autoconf toolchain; it's basically a collection of macros that are generated and used to create your configure script (which, in turn, sets the stage for the compilation and installation process). I never had to fine-tune these things, so I'm not an expert, but there are some fairly extensive explanations here – sebastian_k Feb 23 '11 at 7:05
Note to programmers: please stop using the automake toolchain. Please. – Qix Oct 2 '15 at 9:41
@Qix, could you, please, explain us why? – Sergei Feb 21 at 20:01
@Sergei it's messy, slow, and breaks constantly. It clutters up defines and is incredibly magic. Its way of handling dependencies (or lack thereof) gives cryptic error messages, and the files it produces are unreadable at best and nightmarishly broken at worst. – Qix Feb 22 at 19:53
@Sergei CMake is the most viable at this point in time in my opinion. I'm sure there will be something better in the (near) future. – Qix Feb 26 at 1:04

Well, I tried sebastian_k's answer and it didn't work for me (./configure crashed midway through with an extremely weird error).

What did, however work for me was copying the instructions used in this build log I found

The short version(so you don't have to wade through it yourself is):

$ autoreconf -vif
$ ./configure --prefix=/usr/lib/erlang/lib
$ make
$ sudo make install
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+1. autoreconf -i is the correct answer (the v and f are usually optional) – Nemo May 8 '15 at 18:46

sudo apt-get install automake autoconf

its works sucessfully

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Please do the following to fix this problem,

sudo apt-get install libtool
sudo apt-get install shtool
sudo apt-get install autogen

Then do the installation

sh --prefix=prefered_install_path
make install 
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I had a similar problem when i tried to ./configure a source code and got the same error as posted. Finally resolved my issues by entering the code:

sudo apt-get install autotools-dev
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Error: Unable to locate package autotools. – Mauricio Scheffer Apr 20 '14 at 1:30
Same here. Error: Unable to locate package autotools. Downvoted. Sorry. – PJunior Jul 18 '15 at 20:20

I've had this problem, and found it was due to the following line in


The line wasn't bad per se, however it needed to be moved closer to the top of the file.

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