4.4.3 Running configure

Configuration options

Note: make sure that you are in the ‘build/’ subdirectory of your source tree.

The ../configure command (generated by ../autogen.sh) provides many options for configuring make. To see them all, run

../configure --help

Checking build dependencies

Note: make sure that you are in the ‘build/’ subdirectory of your source tree.

When ../configure is run without any arguments, it checks whether your system has everything required for compilation.


If any build dependency is missing, ../configure returns with

ERROR: Please install required programs:  foo

The following message is issued if you are missing programs that are only needed for building the documentation.

WARNING: Please consider installing optional programs:  bar

If you intend to build the documentation locally, you need to install or update these programs accordingly.

Note: ../configure may fail to issue warnings for certain documentation build requirements that are not met. If you experience problems when building the documentation, you may need to do a manual check; see Requirements for building documentation.

Configuring target directories

Note: make sure that you are in the ‘build/’ subdirectory of your source tree.

If you intend to use your local build to install a local copy of the program, you probably want to configure the installation directory. Here are the relevant lines taken from the output of ../configure --help:

By default, make install will install all the files in ‘/usr/local/bin’, ‘/usr/local/lib’ etc. You can specify an installation prefix other than ‘/usr/local’ using ‘--prefix’, for instance ‘--prefix=$HOME’.

A typical installation prefix is ‘$HOME/usr’.

../configure --prefix=$HOME/usr

Note that if you plan to install a local build on a system where you do not have root privileges, you need to do something like this anyway – make install only succeeds if the installation prefix points to a directory where you have write permission (such as your home directory). The installation directory is automatically created if necessary.

The location of the lilypond command installed by this process is ‘prefix/bin/lilypond’; you may want to add ‘prefix/bin/’ to your $PATH if it is not already included.

It is also possible to specify separate installation directories for different types of program files. See the full output of ../configure --help for more information.

See Problems, if you encounter any problems.

LilyPond — Contributor’s Guide v2.23.82 (development-branch).