A GNU tool for automatically configuring source code
GNU's Autoconf is a tool for configuring source code and Makefiles. Using Autoconf, programmers can create portable and configurable packages, since the person building the package is allowed to specify various configuration options.
You should install Autoconf if you are developing software and would like to create shell scripts that configure your source code packages. If you are installing Autoconf, you will also need to install the GNU m4 package.
Note that the Autoconf package is not required for the end-user who may be configuring software with an Autoconf-generated script; Autoconf is only required for the generation of the scripts, not their use.