dh_update_autotools_config - Linux


dh_update_autotools_config automatically updates the configuration scripts and Makefile.am for Debian packages that have autotools as a build dependency, merging in Debian-specific patches and changes.


dh_update_autotools_config [debhelper options]


  • -r, –reinstall: Reinstall all original sources that were included in the Debian package. For example, this is required if you have made changes to configure.in.
  • -u, –update: Update only the Debian-specific patches and changes.
  • -d, –auto-dh: Update the Debian changelog and call dpkg-genchanges at the end.
  • -l, –logfile : Log all actions in the specified file.
  • –missing-auto: *: Specify action to take when dh_update_autotools_config cannot find the relevant autoconf files. Defaults to "warn".
  • -v, –verbose: Enable verbose output.
  • -h, –help: Display help and exit.


Basic usage:


Update and automatically generate changelog and changes file:

dh_update_autotools_config -d

Ignore missing files:

dh_update_autotools_config --missing-auto* ignore

Common Issues

  • Conflict with upstream updates: If the upstream project updates their autotools files, you may need to manually merge the changes into Debian-specific patches.
  • Incorrect configuration: Ensure that the autotools dependencies are installed and configured correctly.


  • autoconf, automake, libtool
  • dh_auto_configure, dh_auto_build

Related Commands

  • autoconf: Create configure scripts for autotools-based software.
  • automake: Automate Makefile generation for autotools-based software.