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The effect of --gnu and --gnits

The --gnu option (or gnu in the AUTOMAKE_OPTIONS variable) causes automake to check the following:

Note that this option will be extended in the future to do even more checking; it is advisable to be familiar with the precise requirements of the GNU standards. Also, --gnu can require certain non-standard GNU programs to exist for use by various maintainer-only targets; for instance in the future pathchk might be required for make dist.

The --gnits option does everything that --gnu does, and checks the following as well: