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Compiling Error :: configure.ac:22: error / macro: AC_PROG_LIBTOOL ??

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Router: Asus GT-AC2900
VM: Oracle VirtualBox 6.1.18
OS: Ubuntu 20.10 (Groovy), 64 bit
CPU: Intel Core i7-3770 CPU @ 3.40GHz × 2

A n00b Windows-4-Life user here attempting to compile the asuswrt-merlin.ng source code for the Asus GT-AC2900 router. I'm following the instructions here. The guide mentions using Ubuntu 12.04, which i tried but failed miserably, so am doing a fresh install of Ubuntu 20.10. The install went much better after adding steps to get past other compiling issues. Cuz, naturally.

After installing a fresh copy of Ubuntu 20.10 into VirtualBox 6.1.18, i allowed the OS to fully update itself and install any recommended software. I then opened Terminal to begin:

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade
sudo apt install build-essential
sudo apt install cmake
sudo apt install libgnutls28-dev
sudo apt install libtool-bin cmake libproxy-dev uuid-dev liblzo2-dev autoconf automake bash bison bzip2 diffutils file flex m4 g++ gawk groff-base libncurses-dev libtool libslang2 make patch perl pkg-config shtool subversion tar texinfo zlib1g zlib1g-dev git-core gettext libexpat1-dev libssl-dev cvs gperf unzip python libxml-parser-perl gcc-multilib gconf-editor libxml2-dev g++-multilib gitk libncurses5 mtd-utils libncurses5-dev libvorbis-dev git autopoint autogen sed build-essential intltool libelf1:i386 libglib2.0-dev xutils-dev lib32z1-dev lib32stdc++6 xsltproc gtk-doc-tools

gcc -v
cmake -version

cd ~
git clone https://github.com/RMerl/asuswrt-merlin.ng.git
git clone https://github.com/RMerl/am-toolchains.git

sudo ln -s ~/asuswrt-merlin.ng /media/ASUSWRT/asuswrt-merlin.ng
sudo ln -s ~/am-toolchains/brcm-arm-hnd /opt/toolchains
sudo ln -sf bash /bin/sh
sudo mkdir -p /media/ASUSWRT/

cd ~
wget https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/automake/automake-1.15.tar.gz
tar -xzvf automake-1.15.tar.gz
cd automake-1.15
./configure  --prefix=/opt/aclocal-1.15
sudo mkdir -p /opt
sudo make install

echo "export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=$LD_LIBRARY:/opt/toolchains/crosstools-arm-gcc-5.3-linux-4.1-glibc-2.22-binutils-2.25/usr/lib" >> ~/.profile
echo "export TOOLCHAIN_BASE=/opt/toolchains" >> ~/.profile
echo "PATH=\$PATH:/opt/toolchains/crosstools-arm-gcc-5.3-linux-4.1-glibc-2.22-binutils-2.25/usr/bin" >> ~/.profile
echo "PATH=\$PATH:/opt/toolchains/crosstools-aarch64-gcc-5.3-linux-4.1-glibc-2.22-binutils-2.25/usr/bin" >> ~/.profile
echo "PATH=\$PATH:/opt/aclocal-1.15/bin" >> ~/.profile

** RESTART Ubuntu then reopen Terminal

cd ~/asuswrt-merlin.ng/release/src-rt-5.02hnd
make gt-ac2900

^^ Just to get it to start compiling!! :p RMerlin, i feel for you.

So after all that I'm still getting the following error message:

configure.ac:22: error: possibly undefined macro: AC_PROG_LIBTOOL
If this token and others are legitimate, please use m4_pattern_allow. See the Autoconf documentation.
autoreconf: /usr/bin/autoconf failed with exit status: 1

libtool is installed
pkg-config is installed

Thanks for any tips.
Last edited:
You can probably learn from Adamm’s script:

However, to burst your bubble (but hopefully not your enthusiasm), the 386 code will not properly compile for mere mortals because all the Trend Micro bwdpi stuff is hobbled due to previous abuses. See Merlin’s posts in the thread above.

Used amcfwm. It took about 3.5 hrs to compile. I applaud the creator. For the record my settings were for AC86U build since i did not see an option for my exact router GT-AC2900. An interesting experience.
Last edited:
Curious, should the newly compiled firmware file have the exact same sha256sum hash as the merlin release?
No. Even multiple rebuilds on the same computer will have different checksums. Some files will contain datestamps, for instance, which changes the whole checksum.

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