Debugging the distcheck target

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Here are common issues that can arise when you first run make distcheck

A file or directory does not exist

You run the build (e.g., make check) and everything's fine, but distcheck fails because a file or directory was not present. In the code, look for places where you used the autotools variable @srcddir@ (or @top_srcdir@ or @abs_srcdir@ or @sbd_top_Srcdir@) to refer a file or directory that is generated. In a regular build (e.g., check) that will work fin since the src and build directories are one and the same. With distcheck, not so much since the build (the generated file) are in a different directory from the source. To fix this, use @builddir@ (or the obvious variant).