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I'm trying to build the stable (release) version of Firefox 51.0.2 on Linux Mint 18.1.

I'm getting an odd error message and haven't been able to find any information on what it means. ./mach build fails with the error, ERROR: old-configure failed.

The only answer I found online was that this can happen when there is no mozconfig file, but I have one in place. I have also verified that the user being used to do the build has read and write permissions to the whole source tree.

A few lines before the error, there's the line:

js/src> /bin/sh: 1: ./config.status: Permission denied

But I couldn't find that file and again, all the permissions on the directories should allow reading and writing.

Can someone please tell me why this error occurs?

The last few lines of output from the build command are:

 0:16.41 js/src> creating ./config.data
 0:16.41 js/src> Creating config.status
 0:16.41 js/src> /bin/sh: 1: ./config.status: Permission denied
 0:16.41 
 0:19.48 DEBUG: <truncated - see config.log for full output>
 0:19.48 DEBUG: configure:17869: checking GLIB_LIBS
 0:19.48 DEBUG: configure:17924: checking for freetype2 >= 6.1.0
 0:19.49 DEBUG: configure:17931: checking FT2_CFLAGS
 0:19.49 DEBUG: configure:17936: checking FT2_LIBS
 0:19.49 DEBUG: configure:17973: checking for FT_Bitmap_Size.y_ppem
 0:19.49 DEBUG: configure:17988: /usr/bin/gcc -std=gnu99 -c  -fno-strict-aliasing -fno-math-errno -pthread -pipe -I/usr/include/freetype2  conftest.c 1>&5
 0:19.49 DEBUG: configure:18017: checking for FT_GlyphSlot_Embolden
 0:19.49 DEBUG: configure:18049: /usr/bin/gcc -std=gnu99 -o conftest  -fno-strict-aliasing -fno-math-errno -pthread -pipe -I/usr/include/freetype2  -lpthread  -Wl,-z,noexecstack -Wl,-z,text -Wl,--build-id -B Builds/51/src/release/obj-x86_64-pc-linux-gnu/build/unix/gold conftest.c -ldl  -lfreetype 1>&5
 0:19.49 DEBUG: configure:18017: checking for FT_Load_Sfnt_Table
 0:19.49 DEBUG: configure:18049: /usr/bin/gcc -std=gnu99 -o conftest  -fno-strict-aliasing -fno-math-errno -pthread -pipe -I/usr/include/freetype2  -lpthread  -Wl,-z,noexecstack -Wl,-z,text -Wl,--build-id -B Builds/51/src/release/obj-x86_64-pc-linux-gnu/build/unix/gold conftest.c -ldl  -lfreetype 1>&5
 0:19.49 DEBUG: configure:18087: checking for fontconfig/fcfreetype.h
 0:19.49 DEBUG: configure:18100: /usr/bin/gcc -std=gnu99 -c  -fno-strict-aliasing -fno-math-errno -pthread -pipe  -I/usr/include/freetype2  conftest.c 1>&5
 0:19.49 DEBUG: configure:18151: checking for fontconfig >= 2.7.0
 0:19.49 DEBUG: configure:18158: checking _FONTCONFIG_CFLAGS
 0:19.49 DEBUG: configure:18163: checking _FONTCONFIG_LIBS
 0:19.49 DEBUG: configure:19472: checking for posix_fadvise
 0:19.49 DEBUG: configure:19504: /usr/bin/gcc -std=gnu99 -o conftest -Wall -Wempty-body -Wignored-qualifiers -Wpointer-arith -Wsign-compare -Wtype-limits -Wunreachable-code -Wno-error=maybe-uninitialized -Wno-error=deprecated-declarations -Wno-error=array-bounds -fno-strict-aliasing -fno-math-errno -pthread -pipe  -lpthread  -Wl,-z,noexecstack -Wl,-z,text -Wl,--build-id -B Builds/51/src/release/obj-x86_64-pc-linux-gnu/build/unix/gold conftest.c -ldl  1>&5
 0:19.49 DEBUG: configure:19472: checking for posix_fallocate
 0:19.49 DEBUG: configure:19504: /usr/bin/gcc -std=gnu99 -o conftest -Wall -Wempty-body -Wignored-qualifiers -Wpointer-arith -Wsign-compare -Wtype-limits -Wunreachable-code -Wno-error=maybe-uninitialized -Wno-error=deprecated-declarations -Wno-error=array-bounds -fno-strict-aliasing -fno-math-errno -pthread -pipe  -lpthread  -Wl,-z,noexecstack -Wl,-z,text -Wl,--build-id -B Builds/51/src/release/obj-x86_64-pc-linux-gnu/build/unix/gold conftest.c -ldl  1>&5
 0:19.49 DEBUG: configure:19555: /usr/bin/gcc -std=gnu99 -c -Wall -Wempty-body -Wignored-qualifiers -Wpointer-arith -Wsign-compare -Wtype-limits -Wunreachable-code -Wno-error=maybe-uninitialized -Wno-error=deprecated-declarations -Wno-error=array-bounds -fno-strict-aliasing -fno-math-errno -pthread -pipe   conftest.c 1>&5
 0:19.49 ERROR: old-configure failed
 0:19.51 *** Fix above errors and then restart with\
 0:19.51                "/usr/bin/make -f client.mk build"
 0:19.51 client.mk:373: recipe for target 'configure' failed
 0:19.51 make: *** [configure] Error 1
0

Due to this bug, if the path to your build directory is too long (over 103 characters), configure fails to find config.status. The workaround is to put the source in a short path, like home/you/firefox and build it there.

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