The Autodist is a source distribution management system that allows powerful mechanisms to define what is included in and excluded from a distribution, and what license the distribution is released under. It is also used to create the actual distribution source packages. Autodist allows distribution management in file, directory and file content level. Different distributions may include different portions of files, for example, excluding certain features from certain distributions. It is always guaranteed that anything not defined for the distribution, is removed automatically (files, file content, directories), thus ensuring that nothing is accidentally included in the distribution.
Autodist is closely related to the Autoconf and Automake tools, and complements the features Autoconf and Automake provides. It is especially targeted into circumstances where multiple distributions are created from one source tree. The Autoconf and Automake environment is mainly designed for one application per one source tree situations. Autodist provides mechanisms to create all kinds of distributions that can be created from one source tree. To be able to use Autodist, the Autoconf and Automake must be installed into the system.
The motivation behind Autodist stems from need to be able to create multiple distributions from one large source tree in a precise and controllable manner. The Autoconf and Automake provides mere basic control what is included in and excluded from distributions and how the distributions are created. They also do not provide mechanism to define different licensing conditions for different distributions, or changing the license automatically for different user or customer purposes. Many large software projects, companies and corporations have commonly been using Autoconf and Automake tools, but have had the need to create their own ad-hoc mechanisms to control distribution creation. The Autodist attempts to provide a tool that any size software project or company can effectively use to manage their distributions.
Autodist is not a binary packaging system. It is specificly used to create source distributions. A binary packaging system, however can be hooked to the distribution creation process, if needed.
Read the INSTALL file on how to install the Autodist. Refer info pages for Autodist documentation by giving 'info autodist'. Mail suggestions and/or patches to firstname.lastname@example.org, and bugs to email@example.com. Please, always include the Autodist version number to your email. Give 'autodist --version' to get version.
Autodist was originally written for the SILC Project (Secure Internet Live Conferencing), which needed controlled mechanism to create several distinct distributions from one source tree.