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Compiling using the 'autoconf' configure script UNIX
When running the autoconf configure script, it will likely fail to identify the host type using its config.guess info. The error message it will produce is the following:
configure: error: can not guess host type; you must specify one
To get past this error, run the script with the host argument:
./configure -host powerpc-apple-bsd
This should allow the configuration script to complete, and when cc (the one that Apple ships, based on gcc) runs, it should compile.
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I'm pretty sure its powerpc-apple-macos
Authored by: appleweek on Apr 14, '01 04:36:58PM
I don't think its powerpc-apple-bsd. i read the developer docs (, and their usually call it:


, just my 2cents

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I'm pretty sure its powerpc-apple-macos
Authored by: sehrgut on Jan 02, '07 08:36:54PM
powerpc-apple-macos is the canonical build triplet.
powerpc-apple-darwin also works.
For older packages, powerpc-apple-bsd is necessary, since they may not recognize the *-darwin or *-macos operating system identifiers. (One package that requires this that I build on quite a few different machines is the GNU "style and diction" package (

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use config.guess
Authored by: Anonymous on Apr 14, '01 04:46:37PM

Apples solution to this is to use their config.guess and config.sub scripts.

just copy /usr/libexec/config.* to the directory you are running configure from, the configure should get past this problem.

by the way..config.guess gives the host type: powerpc-apple-darwin1.3



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use config.guess
Authored by: bugmenot on Aug 14, '07 02:58:01PM
In 10.4, these files are at /usr/share/libtool/config.*.

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Compiling using the 'autoconf' configure script
Authored by: alys on May 08, '04 11:47:11PM

Some of the information in this hint and earlier replies might be outdated now. Here's something I found in section 8.2.2 of the book "Mac OS X Panther for Unix Geeks" by Brian Jepson, Ernest E. Rothman (

The configure script is designed to be used with two files [config.guess and config.sub] related to the host type, usually residing in the same directory as the configure script... You may run across source code distributions containing older config.* files that don't work with Mac OS X... You can replace the config.guess and config.sub files with the Apple-supplied, like-named versions... Simply issue the following commands from within the sources directory:
cp /usr/share/automake-1.6/config.sub .
cp /usr/share/automake-1.6/config.guess .

Note that there's a space followed by a full stop at the end of both those commands. You will probably need to prefix the commands with sudo.

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Compiling using the 'autoconf' configure script
Authored by: bugmenot on Jul 21, '07 12:53:15AM
You don't need to use sudo, and it's recommended that you don't. You usually only need sudo to write to system directories, not to read from them.
Also, on 10.4, the files are in /usr/share/libtool/ .

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