configure script is a script that will configure the software that it was distributed with for compilation (if applicable) and installation.
These scripts are often (as in this case) created by GNU
autoconf (a tool used by developers specifically for creating portable
configure scripts), which means that it will have at least a minimum of a certain set of options. One of these options is
$ ./configure --help
`configure' configures this package to adapt to many kinds of systems.
Usage: ./configure [OPTION]... [VAR=VALUE]...
To assign environment variables (e.g., CC, CFLAGS...), specify them as
VAR=VALUE. See below for descriptions of some of the useful variables.
Defaults for the options are specified in brackets.
-h, --help display this help and exit
--help=short display options specific to this package
--help=recursive display the short help of all the included packages
-V, --version display version information and exit
-q, --quiet, --silent do not print `checking...' messages
--cache-file=FILE cache test results in FILE [disabled]
-C, --config-cache alias for `--cache-file=config.cache'
-n, --no-create do not create output files
--srcdir=DIR find the sources in DIR [configure dir or `..']
There is no manual for
configure as it's specific to the software package that it was distributed with, and some of the available options may depend on the software that it configures (so it can't be a system-wide tool with its own manual). In particular, there are often
--without-xxx options to configure projects with or without some library
xxx, and likewise
--disable-xxx options to enable or disable certain features (not in this
shtool distribution though, it seems).
There is often (as in this case) both a
README and an
INSTALL text file distributed with the source code. These files will describe the software and how to configure it and install it. The
INSTALL document will often tell you how the authors envisage the installation should happen, and you can refer to the
configure --help output for how to customise this to your own needs.