Eric Blake wrote:
> I've now applied the patches, with tweaks as discussed on 1/2.

In GNU gettext, I now see this message when using the top-level GNUmakefile:

/bin/bash: rsyncable: command not found

The reason is that GNU gettext imports the relevant files directly (via
'gnulib-tool --copy-file'), ignoring the module description. This is a
reasonable thing to do, since GNU gettext does not ship GNUmakefile nor in the tarballs; it uses them only in the git checkouts.

This patch fixes it for me.

2019-01-06  Bruno Haible  <>

        maintainer-makefile: Make the section optional.
        * top/ (GREP, SED): Define if not defined.

diff --git a/top/ b/top/
index 4b57410..4e37efe 100644
--- a/top/
+++ b/top/
@@ -21,6 +21,12 @@
 # ME := $(word $(words $(MAKEFILE_LIST)),$(MAKEFILE_LIST))
 ME :=
+# These variables ought to be defined through the section
+# of the module description. But some packages import this file directly,
+# ignoring the module description.
+GREP ?= grep
+SED ?= sed
 # Helper variables.
 _empty =
 _sp = $(_empty) $(_empty)

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