I'm trying to install a Debian package from source (via git). I downloaded the package, changed to the package’s directory and ran ./configure command but it returned bash: ./configure: No such file or directory. What can be the problem? A configure.ac file is located in the program folder.

sudo make install
  • What Package are you trying to install??
    – eyoung100
    Oct 2, 2014 at 23:17
  • @eyoung100 binwalk
    – Lexx Luxx
    Oct 2, 2014 at 23:26
  • See Install Binwalk Without Graphing. Of course if you need the graphing dont skip make deps. If it helps, just upvote me, and I'll know it was you :)
    – eyoung100
    Oct 3, 2014 at 1:52

2 Answers 2


If the file is called configure.ac,

do $> autoconf

Depends: M4, Automake

If you're not sure what to do,

try $> cat readme

They must mean that you use "autoconf" to generate an executable "configure" file.

So the order is:

$> autoconf
$> ./configure
$> make
$> make install
  • You mean use autoconf before ./configure?
    – Lexx Luxx
    Oct 2, 2014 at 23:39
  • 2
    You use autoconf instead of make when you have a .ac file. It replaces ./configure. Oct 2, 2014 at 23:48
  • so, ./configure and make commands both skipped, only autoconf, then make install?
    – Lexx Luxx
    Oct 2, 2014 at 23:54
  • 1
    It's autoconf, then ./configure, then make, then make install. Doesn't your package have a READ-ME? It's $> autoconf $> ./configure $> automake... I think that's how it goes. It's been a while since I've installed an autoconf package. Oct 2, 2014 at 23:55
  • Interesting. Manual says installation "follows the typical configure/make process" I've specified above. Autoconf is not not mentioned.
    – Lexx Luxx
    Oct 3, 2014 at 0:06

The failsafe for generating a configure script is autoreconf -i, which not only takes care of calling autoconf itself, but also a host of other tools that may be needed.

  • 1
    autoreconf: configure.ac' or configure.in' is required.
    – Dr.jacky
    Jul 26, 2015 at 4:40
  • 2
    @Mr.Hyde Well, obviously it only works for projects that use autoconf.
    – o11c
    Jul 26, 2015 at 16:01
  • @user3338098 If you've installed your distro's "all important build tools" package (Debian/Ubuntu apt-get install build-essential), it should include that already I think?
    – o11c
    Oct 17, 2018 at 0:57
  • I, for one, can attest that autoreconf -i is the correct solution.
    – daparic
    Mar 1, 2019 at 20:39
  • Worked just great for me.
    – mkey
    Nov 19, 2023 at 20:11

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