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14.3 Upgrading a Package to a Newer Automake Version

The usual way to regenerate the files that Automake maintains in a package is

autoreconf -vfi

or less conveniently:

aclocal # with any option needed (such a -I m4)
automake --add-missing --force-missing

The use of --force-missing ensures that auxiliary tools will be overridden by new versions (see automake Invocation).

It is important to regenerate all of these files each time Automake is upgraded, even between bug fixes releases. For instance, it is not unusual for a bug fix to involve changes to both the rules generated in and the supporting M4 macros copied to aclocal.m4.

Presently automake is able to diagnose situations where aclocal.m4 has been generated with another version of aclocal. However it never checks whether auxiliary scripts are up-to-date. In other words, automake will tell you when aclocal needs to be rerun, but it will never diagnose a missing --force-missing.

Before upgrading to a new major release, it is a good idea to read the file NEWS. This file lists all changes between releases: new features, obsolete constructs, known incompatibilities, and workarounds.