using pkg-config for dynamic release packaging

Thomas Stover thomas at
Thu Mar 19 12:33:54 PDT 2009

Hi, new to the list. pkg-config helps my life out a ton. I've been 
working on adding some installer creation features to a build system 
(you know like rpm, deb, setup.exe, etc), and I had a thought. Let's say 
you had a program or a library that you wanted to build a package for, 
and you new that this component required another piece, 'X', that uses 
pkg-config. Wouldn't it be nifty if you could do something like 
"pkg-config --runtimedependencies X" or something like that to assist in 
building either a file list or lists of "required" packages. Has this 
come up before? Is there something kind of like this already? I did 
consider making some new .pc files with names like x-install-needs.pc or 
something, and reinterpreting the --libs and --cflags for other 
purposes. One trick in making a reusable solution is that some 
environments would really need a list of required packages, while others 
actual files. Maybe two flags?

More information about the pkg-config mailing list