Is there a way to set configuration options for packages or Makefiles being run while apt-get is installing software?

I'm currently installing freetds-dev by running apt-get install freetds-dev tdsodbc

For the freetds-dev package I'd like to set the --with-open-ssl=OPEN_SSL_DIR option during the configuration step. It seems like common enough of a need that the standard install tools would provide hooks for it...but it doesn't look like it from the man pages and google.

Am I stuck writing the full install/uninstall script manually rather than just sudo apt-get? Or is there a way around it?


In general, this is not possible. Developers use different tools, languages, installation scripts. Some packages use autoconf, some don't. Some take options, some need a modification of a Makefile or of a shell or perl script.

You can download the source package (apt-get source package), modify it, compile and install the modified version. It is quite simple. Say, package name is freetds.

  1. Get the stuff necessary to build the package.

    apt-get build-dep freetds
  2. Get the package source

    apt-get source freetds
  3. Now a directory called freetds-0.91 has been created. Enter the directory and do necessary modifications.

  4. Recompile the package.

    cd freetds-0.91
    dpkg-buildpackage -rfakeroot -uc -b
  5. Install the new package using dpkg. The new package name will be something like freetds-dev_0.91-3_[architecture].deb, for example freetds-dev_0.91-3_amd64.deb.

    cd ..
    sudo dpkg -i freetds-0.91-3_amd64.deb

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