bash configure fails on missing VS tools dir

Nir Lisker nlisker at
Wed Jan 3 15:33:45 UTC 2018

Hello Erik,

I installed autoconf 2.69-3 through cygwin (indeed it was listed as 2.5).
However, running "bash" still gives:

You need autoconf installed to be able to regenerate the configure script
Error: Cannot find autoconf

If I run "bash configure" I get

Configure source code has been updated, checking time stamps

And that's it. I checked and it contains only
comments and no script.

In I tried adding a print to help with debugging:

AUTOCONF="`which autoconf 2> /dev/null | grep -v '^no autoconf in'`"

which prints


Apologies for the mess. How do I continue?

- Nir

On Wed, Jan 3, 2018 at 4:54 PM, Erik Joelsson <erik.joelsson at>

> Hello Nir,
> On 2018-01-03 15:34, Nir Lisker wrote:
> Thanks for the detailed reply.
> Iv'e changed the logic in toolchain_windows.m4 and got this message:
> Configure source code has been updated, checking time stamps
> Warning: The configure source files is newer than the generated files.
> Cannot locate autoconf, unable to correct situation.
> Please install autoconf and run 'bash' to update the generated
> files.
> Error: Cannot continue
> I downloaded autoconf 2.69. How do I point to it? There is no installation.
> If you downloaded the src distro, then you need to compile and install it
> with something like
> $ ./configure
> $ make
> $ make install
> On Windows it's probably easier to just get it through cygwin. Note that
> the cygwin installer probably still lists autoconf as an old version in the
> name, but last I checked it was 2.69 that they actually provided. On Linux,
> just use your favorite package installation tool (apt, yum etc).
> As long as it's on the path, will pick it up. Configure will
> also detect that you changed an .m4 file and run for you
> automatically, which is what happened to you above.
> /Erik
> On Wed, Jan 3, 2018 at 3:24 PM, Erik Joelsson <erik.joelsson at>
> wrote:
>> Hello Nir,
>> On 2018-01-03 13:05, Nir Lisker wrote:
>>> When trying to build JDK 11 on Windows 10 with VS Express 2013 Update 4
>>> (as
>>> stated in the docs - the highest supported version) the build fails:
>> AFAIK, this should work, though I have only ever used VS 2013
>> Professional.
>>> bash configure  --with-tools-dir='C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual
>>> Studio 12.0\VC\bin'
>> If VS is properly installed in the default location, there should be no
>> need to specify --with-tools-dir. Configure will look in the default
>> location automatically.
>>> ...
>>> configure: Found Visual Studio installation at /cygdrive/c/Program Files
>>> (x86)/Microsoft Visual Studio 12.0/ using --with-tools-dir
>>> configure: Warning: vc/bin/amd64/vcvars64.bat is missing, this is
>>> probably
>>> Visual Studio Express. Ignoring
>>> configure: Found Visual Studio installation at /cygdrive/c/Program Files
>>> (x86)/ using --with-tools-dir
>>> configure: Warning: vc/bin/amd64/vcvars64.bat is missing, this is
>>> probably
>>> Visual Studio Express. Ignoring
>>> configure: The path given by --with-tools-dir does not contain a valid
>>> configure: Visual Studio installation. Please point to the VC/bin or
>>> VC/bin/amd64
>>> configure: directory within the Visual Studio installation
>>> configure: error: Cannot locate a valid Visual Studio installation
>>> configure exiting with result code 1
>>> /Microsoft Visual Studio 12.0/VC/bin/ does not contain an /amd64 folder,
>>> instead it has /x86_amd64. Also, vcvars64.bat is located directly under
>>> /VC/bin.
>> This is strange. Looking at the configure source, we assume that the VS
>> installation should contain "vc/bin/amd64/vcvars64.bat". If that file isn't
>> found, configure doesn't recognize the VS installation. Unfortunately I
>> don't have an Express installation to look at, but my old professional
>> installation has that file. In VC/bin I only have vcvars32.bat.
>> I'm pretty sure this layout was how the express edition used to look as
>> well. Otherwise Magnus wouldn't have written the build doc claiming it
>> would work.
>> This means the file layout for Visual Studio 2013 has changed, or that
>> it's different on Windows 10 (our builds are on older versions of Windows
>> still).
>> If you would like to try to fix this, the logic that needs updating is in
>> make/autoconf/toolchain_windows.m4, in the macro
>>> Iv'e made another attempt using /Microsoft Visual Studio 11.0/VC/bin/
>>> which
>>> resulted in the same error. This folder also has vcvars64.bat directly
>>> under it. It also contains an /amd64 folder with a couple of dlls inside.
>>> Since I'm specifying the path to the /VC/bin dir I don't understand why
>>> it's still complaining. What am I doing wrong?
>> Because of how different the versions of Visual Studio are, configure
>> will not automatically assume or try a different version than the default
>> without being told to. If you want to try 2012, you need to tell configure
>> using --with-toolchain-version=2012. No need to specify tools dir as long
>> as it's installed in the default location.
>>> On a related note, is it possible to update the build requirements to
>>> work
>>> with VS 2017? OpenJFX already uses this version.
>> This will likely happen in JDK 11 time frame. Note though that changing
>> compilers is usually a pretty big effort so it will take a while.
>> /Erik
>>> - Nir

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