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What does --with-pic really mean?

From: Kent Boortz
Subject: What does --with-pic really mean?
Date: Sun, 28 Oct 2007 23:34:13 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.110003 (No Gnus v0.3) Emacs/21.2 (darwin)

autoconf   2.59
automake   1.9.6
libtoolize 1.5.22


I use --with-pic for builds created with autoconf/automake assuming
that everything in the build will be compiled with the PIC flag. But
examining the logs some compile lines lacks the PIC flag. The configure
flag seems not to mean what it says when you do "./configure --help"

  --with-pic  try to use only PIC/non-PIC objects [default=use both]

>From reading the generated configure script, it seems to me that the
flag --with-pic only affects libraries under "libtool control", i.e.
the help text is a bit misleading. The flag is in fact originating
from "libtool.m4". So unless your libraries are "libtool convenience
libraries", the compile lines will not have any PIC flags at all.

Reading the generated make files the reason seems to be that "normal"
libraries are built from "*.o" files where the "*.o" files are the
intermediate targets, not using libtool at all. But libtool
convenience libraries are built from ".libs/*.o" files created where
"*.lo" are the intermediate targets, and libtool was used. And no
libtool usage, no reaction on the --with-pic.

Maybe I somehow can tell the build to compile all objects using the
libtool command?

Or is it the case that I have to convert all libraries to LT-libraries
to use --with-pic, or is there some other way?

Thankful for any advice,


Kent Boortz, Senior Production Engineer
Office: +46 18 174400 ext. 4450 (VoIP)
Office: +46 19 182931
Mobile: +46 70 2791171

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