I recently created an autoconf enabled application on MacOS. When I wanted to recreate the configure script („autoreconf“) on a FreeBSD Box it failed miserably. Turns out that you have to jump through some hoops to get a reasonable preformance out of autoconf. First you have to get some decent autoconf installation. Don’t rely on that stuff installed as dependencies by other ports:

(cd /usr/ports/devel/gnu-autovonf/ ; sudo make package)
(cd /usr/ports/devel/gnu-automake/ ; sudo make package)
(cd /usr/ports/devel/gnu-libtool/  ; sudo make package)

No ensure, that you use the newly installed autoconf (e.g. with bash):

export PATH=/usr/local/gnu-autotools/bin:$PATH

Now you should be all set:

$ autoreconf -v -i
autoreconf: Entering directory `.'
autoreconf: configure.ac: not using Gettext
autoreconf: running: aclocal 
autoreconf: configure.ac: tracing
autoreconf: running: libtoolize --copy
libtoolize: `config.guess' exists: use `--force' to overwrite
libtoolize: `config.sub' exists: use `--force' to overwrite
libtoolize: `ltmain.sh' exists: use `--force' to overwrite
autoreconf: running: /usr/local/gnu-autotools/bin/autoconf
autoreconf: running: /usr/local/gnu-autotools/bin/autoheader
autoreconf: running: automake --add-missing --copy --no-force
autoreconf: Leaving directory `.'

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