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autoconf hangs due to autom4te.cache and NFS problem on AIX

From: Chris Pickett
Subject: autoconf hangs due to autom4te.cache and NFS problem on AIX
Date: Sat, 23 Feb 2008 00:56:36 -0500
User-agent: Thunderbird (Macintosh/20071210)


[[Please reply-all, I'm not subscribed.]]

I just found a solution to a problem, and it took me a while to do so when Googling so I thought I would try and change for others that may encounter it by posting here.

Autoconf 2.61 started hanging recently for me on AIX 5.2. I don't really know what changed in the system, it could just be that some clocks are slightly off... who knows what's going on.

Anyway, I decided when fixing to upgrade to the latest versions of the autotools, and automake's configure hung when checking whether autoconf works. It was stuck doing this:

/bin/perl -w /path/to/bin/autom4te --language=autoconf --output=/dev/null

I don't really know what happened, it just hung, wouldn't respond to Ctrl-C, and I had to kill it.

I noticed that I couldn't delete my autom4te.cache directory:

conftest $ ll autom4te.cache/
total 0
-rw-r--r-- 1 pickett xxx 0 Feb 23 00:27 .nfsCC131

because of that .nfs file. I don't really know how nfs works internally, but if I delete that file manually it just comes back.

The solution is documented in the autom4te manual:

   As an example, to disable Autoconf caches (`autom4te.cache')
globally, include the following lines in `~/.autom4te.cfg':

## ------------------ ##
## User Preferences.  ##
## ------------------ ##

begin-language: "Autoconf-without-aclocal-m4"
args: --no-cache
end-language: "Autoconf-without-aclocal-m4"

By the way, I had similar problems with not being able to delete files with Subversion, as you can see here:

so I don't really think it's Autoconf's "fault", but if you could find a way to make it fail gracefully that would be neat, I suppose. (I'll test a tarball if you like.) That's not the point of this message though, as stated...


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