icmstart(1) A startup script for icmbuild program maintenance


icmstart [Options] top-dir [program|library]


The icmstart script is a generic script that can be used to start program maintenance using icmake(1) and icmbuild(1). Icmstart creates an initial directory top-dir and installs the files CLASSES, VERSION and icmconf below top-dir. A second argument `program' or `library' may be specified as the default mode of operation of the icmbuild(1) script.

Skeleton files for the main directory and subdirectories, by default listed in the file /etc/icmake/icmstart.rc, may be installed as well (cf. icmstart.rc(7)).

After changing to the directory created by icmstart the icmbuild(1) script may be used for program maintenance.


Icmstart may be called with the following options, which (if specified) must be the first arguments of icmstart:

  • -b
    Basic installation: the files VERSION, usage.cc and version.cc are not installed, and the #define USE_VERSION entry in icmconf is commented out.
  • -c confpath
    Use the configuration files (icmstart.rc, AUTHOR, YEARS and VERSION) if found in `confpath' rather than in ~/.icmake and/or /etc/icmake/. Once a file is found it is used allowing partial overrides of the default files provided by icmake(1).
  • -d
    Do not execute any commands, but show the commands that would have been executed on the standard output.
  • -I
    Do not install files.
  • -r Unconditionally replace existing files. If -r is not provided icmstart will ask the user to confirm that an existing file must be overwritten. If a skeleton specification refers to a directory, the full directory and its subdirectories will be replaced.
  • -s skeleton-path
    By default skeleton files are listed in the skeleton resource file /usr/share/icmake/icmstart.rc. Alternatively, the skeleton resource file may be specified by the ICM environment variable, which -in turn- may be overruled by the path specified with the -s option. The skeleton path may be specified as a full file-path or as a directory, in which case the skeleton resource file is assumed to be icmstart.rc (see below at SKELETON FILES). Since icmstart uses cp to install files, cp must be available when icmstart should install skeleton files.


Skeleton resource files may contain comment (empty lines and lines beginning with the hash-mark (#)) which is ignored, and should otherwise contain specifications of resource s to install.

The default resource file is /etc/icmake/icmstart.rc, contains

    P main.cc 
    P main.ih 
    P usage.cc
    P version.cc
    P ? scanner 
    P ? parser  
This file is overruled by ~/.icmake/icmstart.rc. See icmstart.rc(7) for details about the format of the icmstart.rc file.


The configuration files icmstart.rc, AUTHOR, YEARS and VERSION are recognized and processed by icmstart.

If the -c option was specified configuration files found in the path specified at this option are used. If not specified or if a file isn't found then the path ~/icmake is inspected. If a configuration file isn't found in ~/icmake either, configuration files in /etc/icmake are used.

Configuration files are not required for the proper operation of icmstart. When absent icmstart performs the following default actions:

If the file AUTHOR does not exist icmstart uses #define AUTHOR "".
When the file AUTHOR is defined in a configuration path it should have one line, defining the author of the program. E.g.,
    #define AUTHOR "Frank B. Brokken <[email protected]>"

If the file VERSION does not exist icmstart uses #define VERSION "0.00.00".
When the file VERSION is defined in a configuration path it should have one line, defining the program's initial version. E.g.,
    #define VERSION "1.00.00"

If the file YEAR does not exist icmstart uses #define YEARS "yyyy" where yyyy is the current year.
When the file YEAR is defined in a configuration path it should have one line, defining the program's initial release year. E.g.,
    #define YEARS "2016"
Plural is used here since a release year usually becomes a range of years after some time, as with Icmake's years specification:
    #define YEARS "1992-2016"

  • If the file icmstart.rc does not exist (or is empty) icmstart will not install any of the files normally found in icmstart.rc, but the initial project directory, icmconf and VERSION are installed. )


The mentioned paths are sugestive only and may be installation dependent:
  • /usr/share/icmake/icmconf Example of a icmbuild configuration file;
  • /usr/share/icmake/CLASSES Example of a icmbuild CLASSES file.
  • /usr/share/icmake/icmstart.rc Default skeleton resource file.


None reported


This is free software, distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL).


Frank B. Brokken ([email protected]).