Building with configure (*nix including GNU/Linux)

If you are going to build Universal-ctags on a popular GNU/Linux distribution, you can install the tools and libraries that Universal-ctags requires (or may use) as packages. See GNU/Linux distributions about the packages.

Like most Autotools-based projects, you need to do:

$ ./
$ ./configure --prefix=/where/you/want # defaults to /usr/local
$ make
$ make install # may require extra privileges depending on where to install

After installation the ctags executable will be in $prefix/bin/. runs autoreconf internally. If you use a (binary oriented) GNU/Linux distribution, autoreconf may be part of the autoconf package. In addition you may have to install automake and/or pkg-config, too.

GNU/Linux distributions

Before running ./, install some packages.

On Debian-based systems (including Ubuntu), do:

$ sudo apt install \
    gcc make \
    pkg-config autoconf automake \
    python3-docutils \
    libseccomp-dev \
    libjansson-dev \
    libyaml-dev \

On Fedora systems, do:

$ sudo dnf install \
    gcc make \
    pkgconfig autoconf automake \
    python3-docutils \
    libseccomp-devel \
    jansson-devel \
    libyaml-devel \

Changing the executable’s name

On some systems, like certain BSDs, there is already a ‘ctags’ program in the base system, so it is somewhat inconvenient to have the same name for Universal-ctags. During the configure stage you can now change the name of the created executable.

To add a prefix ‘ex’ which will result in ‘ctags’ being renamed to ‘exctags’:

$ ./configure --program-prefix=ex

To completely change the program’s name run the following:

$ ./configure --program-transform-name='s/ctags/my_ctags/; s/etags/myemacs_tags/'

Please remember there is also an ‘etags’ installed alongside ‘ctags’ which you may also want to rename as shown above.