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Some packages, notably GNU GCC and GNU gdb, have a build environment originally written at Cygnus Support (subsequently renamed Cygnus Solutions, and then later purchased by Red Hat). Packages with this ancestry are sometimes referred to as "Cygnus" trees.
A Cygnus tree has slightly different rules for how a
`Makefile.in' is to be constructed. Passing `--cygnus' to
automake will cause any generated `Makefile.in' to
comply with Cygnus rules.
Here are the precise effects of `--cygnus':
PATH. These tools are
checktarget doesn't depend on
GNU maintainers are advised to use `gnu' strictness in preference to the special Cygnus mode. Some day, perhaps, the differences between Cygnus trees and GNU trees will disappear (for instance, as GCC is made more standards compliant). At that time the special Cygnus mode will be removed.
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