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pkg-config is a program which helps in determining the compiler flags and linker flags required when linking with a dynamic library. It is used by many libraries used by collectd to provide this information and it is used by collectd's configure script to query this information.

If you installed the library and its development files using a packaging system, such as APT (Debian, Ubuntu, …) or RPM (RedHat, SuSE, …), simply running collectd's configure script should suffice.

If you installed a library “by hand”, for example using

libmodbus-2.0.3 $ ./configure --prefix=/opt/libmodbus-2.0.3
libmodbus-2.0.3 $ make all install

the required .pc-files will be lying in a non-standard directory. You can instruct the configure script to look in additional paths by setting the PKG_CONFIG_PATH environment variable:

collectd-x.y.z $ ./configure PKG_CONFIG_PATH=/opt/libmodbus-2.0.3/lib/pkgconfig

See also