Introduction to Apache Ant

The Apache Ant package is a Java-based build tool. In theory, it is like the make command, but without make's wrinkles. Ant is different. Instead of a model that is extended with shell-based commands, Ant is extended using Java classes. Instead of writing shell commands, the configuration files are XML-based, calling out a target tree that executes various tasks. Each task is run by an object that implements a particular task interface.

This package is known to build and work properly using an LFS-9.0 platform.

Package Information

Apache Ant Dependencies


A JDK (Java Binary or OpenJDK-12.0.2) and GLib-2.60.6

User Notes: http://wiki.linuxfromscratch.org/blfs/wiki/apache-ant

Installation of Apache Ant

First fix an incompatibility issue between the documentation standard used in the build tree, and the one expected by OpenJDK-12.0.2:

sed -i 's/--add-modules java.activation/-html4/' build.xml

Build a limited bootstrap version of Apache Ant using the following command:


Download the runtime dependencies using the fetch.xml ant build script:

bootstrap/bin/ant -f fetch.xml -Ddest=optional

Build Apache Ant by running the following command:

./build.sh -Ddist.dir=$PWD/ant-1.10.6 dist

Install, as the root user:

cp -rv ant-1.10.6 /opt/            &&
chown -R root:root /opt/ant-1.10.6 &&
ln -sfv ant-1.10.6 /opt/ant

Command Explanations

bootstrap/bin/ant -f fetch.xml -Ddest=optional: Downloads the missing dependencies to user's home directory, and copy them into the source tree (in the lib/optional directory, where ant picks them up at build time).

./build.sh -Ddist.dir=$PWD/ant-1.10.6 dist: This command builds, tests, then installs the package into a temporary directory.

Configuring Apache Ant

Config Files

/etc/ant/ant.conf, ~/.ant/ant.conf, and ~/.antrc

Configuration Information

Some packages will require ant to be in the search path and the ANT_HOME environment variable defined. Satisfy these requirements by issuing, as the root user:

cat > /etc/profile.d/ant.sh << EOF
# Begin /etc/profile.d/ant.sh

pathappend /opt/ant/bin
export ANT_HOME=/opt/ant

# End /etc/profile.d/ant.sh

The above instrutions assume you have configured your system as described in The Bash Shell Startup Files.


Installed Programs: ant, antRun, antRun.pl, complete-ant-cmd.pl, runant.pl, and runant.py
Installed Libraries: Numerous ant*.jar and dependant libraries in $ANT_HOME/lib
Installed Directories: /opt/ant-1.10.6

Short Descriptions


is a Java based build tool used by many packages instead of the conventional make program.


is a support script used to start ant build scripts in a given directory.


is a Perl script that provides similar functionality offered by the antRun script.


is a Perl script that allows Bash to complete an ant command-line.


is a Perl wrapper script used to invoke ant.


is a Python wrapper script used to invoke ant.


files are the Apache Ant Java class libraries.

Last updated on 2019-08-21 15:35:43 -0700