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Re: Latest M4 fails M4 checks

From: Jeffrey Walton
Subject: Re: Latest M4 fails M4 checks
Date: Wed, 26 May 2021 06:00:04 -0400

On Wed, Apr 21, 2021 at 2:15 AM Paul Eggert <> wrote:
> In <>
> on 4/20/21 4:21 AM, Jeffrey Walton wrote:
> > Maybe it's time to provide an updated M4. A 6 year old version of M4
> > that crashes is useless.
> It's long past time for a new GNU m4 to be published. I'm not surprised
> that GNU m4 won't run on the latest macOS, as macOS has changed so much
> recently. Worse, GNU m4 won't build even on the latest GNU/Linux. (That
> is, although the GNU m4 code on Savannah in branch-1.4 will build under
> GNU/Linux, the latest release GNU m4 1.4.18 won't build.)
> Today I took the time to port GNU m4 branch-1.4 to macOS 11.2.3, so the
> next GNU m4 release should run on that macOS version. Please try the
> results of my efforts. You can get them from Savannah
> <> on branch-1.4 and build from
> Git, or you can try the following tarball which I just now generated
> from the latest commit e9a56f3e94454077e68f1eb3d583f745e6cef12e:
> I just now used this tarball on macOS 11.2.3 (arm64), ran './configure;
> make check' and all tests passed. It'd be helpful to know whether it
> runs on your macOS version too, if it's different from mine.

I could not find the release tarball. It looks like the link is stale.

I'm trying to use Git master. Its having trouble:

Cloning into 'm4-master'...
remote: Counting objects: 18740, done.
remote: Compressing objects: 100% (3286/3286), done.
remote: Total 18740 (delta 15198), reused 18740 (delta 15198)
Receiving objects: 100% (18740/18740), 7.22 MiB | 14.32 MiB/s, done.
Resolving deltas: 100% (15198/15198), done.
Switched to a new branch 'branch-1.4'
bootstrap:   error: Prerequisite 'help2man' not found. Please install it, or
bootstrap:          'export HELP2MAN=/path/to/help2man'.
bootstrap:   error:   'makeinfo' version == 4.8 is too old
bootstrap:            'makeinfo' version >= 4.13 is required
bootstrap:   error: Prerequisite 'autoconf' not found. Please install it, or
bootstrap:          'export AUTOCONF=/path/to/autoconf'.
bootstrap:   error: Prerequisite 'automake' not found. Please install it, or
bootstrap:          'export AUTOMAKE=/path/to/automake'.
bootstrap:   error: HACKING explains how to obtain these prerequisite programs:
bootstrap:          Program    Min_version Homepage
bootstrap:          -----------------------------------------------------------
bootstrap:          help2man   1.29
bootstrap:          makeinfo   4.13
bootstrap:          xz         - 
bootstrap:          autoconf   2.64
bootstrap:          automake   1.11.6
bootstrap:          autopoint  0.19.2
bootstrap:          -----------------------------------------------------------
Failed to generate M4 build files

This machine does not have the prereqs on it. I don't have an Apple
Developer account to install them.

We need M4 to be a stand alone package that just works. Once M4 is
installed, I can install Autoconf and then Automake.


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