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The basic approach to creating a tar distribution is to run
The generated tar file is named package - version .tar.gz, and will unpack into a directory named package - version . These two rules are mandated by the GNU Coding Standards, and are just good ideas in any case, because it is convenient for the end user to have the version information easily accessible while building a package. It removes any doubt when she goes back to an old tree after some time away from it. Unpacking into a fresh directory is always a good idea -- in the old days some packages would unpack into the current directory, requiring an annoying clean-up job for the unwary system administrator.
The unpacked archive is completely portable, to the extent of Automake's ability to enforce this. That is, all the generated files (e.g., `configure' ) are newer than their inputs (e.g., `configure.in' ), and the distributed `Makefile.in' files should work with any version of
By default Automake creates a `.tar.gz' file. It notices if you are using GNU
People do sometimes want to make other sorts of distributions. Automake allows this through the use of options.