These transformations are useful with programs that can be part of a cross-compilation development environment. For example, a cross-assembler running on a Sun 4 configured with `--target=i960-vxworks' is normally installed as `i960-vxworks-as', rather than `as', which could be confused with a native Sun 4 assembler.
You can force a program name to begin with `g', if you don't want
GNU programs installed on your system to shadow other programs with the
same name. For example, if you configure GNU
`--program-prefix=g', then when you run `make install' it is
installed as `/usr/local/bin/gdiff'.
As a more sophisticated example, you could use
--program-transform-name='s/^/g/; s/^gg/g/; s/^gless/less/'
to prepend `g' to most of the program names in a source tree,
excepting those like
gdb that already have one and those like
lesskey that aren't GNU programs. (That is
assuming that you have a source tree containing those programs that is
set up to use this feature.)
One way to install multiple versions of some programs simultaneously is to append a version number to the name of one or both. For example, if you want to keep Autoconf version 1 around for awhile, you can configure Autoconf version 2 using `--program-suffix=2' to install the programs as `/usr/local/bin/autoconf2', `/usr/local/bin/autoheader2', etc.
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