I used to build nightly snapshots of the MySQL development trees (both 3.23 and 4.0) on both FreeBSD an Debian. But I stopped that a month or two back while I was debugging more important stuff.
I recently decided to get back in the habit and try building snapshots of MySQL 3.23, 4.0, and 4.1 on my machines. I had lots of configuration and build problems. It turns out that I didn't have exactly the right versions of various tools installed. So, if anyone else runs into this, here's what you need.
You don't want autoconf2.13, automake1.4, automake1.6, or automake1.7. You need exactly what I listed. Really.
Isn't the GNU tool-chain fun?
I hope this helps someone else. I wasted quite a bit of time on it.
Maybe I'll share my automated update and build scripts next...
Update: You'll also need an older Bison. The 1.75 in Debian testing dies with funny errors, while I've found that Bison 1.35 works quite nicely.