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an API-driven pkg-config replacement
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.travis.yml First generate the configure script
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bsdstubs.c bsdstubs: add strtok_r() from musl if unavailable on a platform (closes
bsdstubs.h bsdstubs: add strtok_r() from musl if unavailable on a platform (closes
cache.c cache: handle pkg being NULL on pkg_cache_add()/pkg_cache_remove()
config.guess Add config.sub and config.guess.
config.sub Add config.sub and config.guess. pkgconf 0.9.11.
dependency.c dependency: reset parser state on new package atom
fileio.c fileio: Skip the whole line after a non quoted comment
fragment.c fragment, pkg: handle --static correctly in some more esoteric scenarios
getopt_long.c getopt: document what is different about our getopt verses normal net…
getopt_long.h pkg_getopt_long: fix implicit conversion warnings with variables over…
install-sh make install-sh executable
iter.h queue: refactor to use pkg_list_t framework
main.c main: add --list-package-names
pkg.c fragment, pkg: handle --static correctly in some more esoteric scenarios
pkg.h fragment, pkg: handle --static correctly in some more esoteric scenarios
pkg.m4 Include PKG_CHECK_VAR macro for reading variables in .pc files
pkgconf.1 Follow mdoc(7) convention on ordering sections
queue.c dependency: refactor to use pkg_list_t framework
stdinc.h pkg_getopt_long: use uint64_t for options bitfield
tuple.c tuple: fix swallowing $ (closes #67)


pkgconf provides compiler and linker configuration for development frameworks.

general summary

pkgconf is a program which helps to configure compiler and linker flags for development frameworks.

It is similar to pkg-config, but was written from scratch in the summer of 2011 to replace pkg-config, which for a while needed itself to build itself (they have since included a 'stripped down copy of glib 2.0') Since then we have worked on improving pkg-config for embedded use.

If you're wondering what pkg-config is useful for, you might find the tutorial/guide docs for legacy pkg-config useful.


Implementations of pkg-config, such as pkgconf, are typically used with the PKG_CHECK_MODULES autoconf macro. As far as we know, pkgconf is compatible with all known variations of this macro. pkgconf detects at runtime whether or not it was started as 'pkg-config', and if so, attempts to set program options such that its behaviour is similar.

In terms of the autoconf macro, it is possible to specify the PKG_CONFIG environment variable, so that you can test pkgconf without overwriting your pkg-config binary. Some other build systems may also respect the PKG_CONFIG environment variable.

To set the enviornment variable on the bourne shell and clones (i.e. bash), you can run:

$ export PKG_CONFIG=/usr/bin/pkgconf

technical design (why pkgconf is better for distros)

pkgconf builds an acyclic directed dependency graph. This allows for the user to more conservatively link their binaries -- which may be helpful in some environments, such as when prelink(1) is being used. As a result of building a directed dependency graph designed for the specific problem domain provided by the user, more accurate dependencies can be determined. pkg-config, on the other hand builds a database of all known pkg-config files on the system before attempting to resolve dependencies, which is a considerably slower and less efficient design.

pkgconf also does not bundle any third-party libraries or depend on any third-party libraries, making it a great tool for embedded systems and distributions with security concerns.


pkgconf is basically compiled the same way any other autotools-based project is compiled:

$ ./configure
$ make
$ sudo make install

If you are installing pkgconf into a custom prefix, such as /opt/pkgconf, you will likely want to define the default system includedir and libdir for your toolchain. To do this, use the --with-system-includedir and --with-system-libdir configure flags like so:

$ ./configure \
     --prefix=/opt/pkgconf \
     --with-system-libdir=/lib:/usr/lib \
$ make
$ sudo make install

If you want pkgconf to be used when you invoke pkg-config, you should install a symlink for this. We do not do this for you, as we believe it is better for vendors to make this determination themselves.

$ ln -sf /usr/bin/pkgconf /usr/bin/pkg-config

release tarballs

Release tarballs are available at

reporting bugs


Also you can contact us at #pkgconf at

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