"make dist" failure - "AM_PROG_MKDIR_P" macro issue suspected

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"make dist" failure - "AM_PROG_MKDIR_P" macro issue suspected

Manjesh HS
I have a software project that uses GNU autotools for its build mechanism.

I was earlier building this project successfully on an *RHEL5.6* host
having *automake - 1.9.6, autoconf - 2.59, m4 - 1.4.5 and libtool - 1.5.22*
packages. Now I migrated to an *RHEL7.2* host having *automake - 1.15,
autoconf - 2.69, m4 - 1.4.17 and libtool - 2.4.6* packages.

The command "make clean uninstall all install" is going fine but the
command "make dist" to create the tar ball is failing on the new RHEL7.2
host with the below error:

mkdir <dir>
mkdir: cannot create directory ‘<dir>': File exists
make[2]: *** [distdir] Error 1

I investigated and found that the most probable root cause is the obsolete
macro "AM_PROG_MKDIR_P" (missing "mkdir -p" in Makefile and Makefile.in
files) caused by the upgrade of automake package.

I found from some of the blogs that the higher versions of automake have
some backward-incompatible changes. I tried running "autoupdate" to solve
this issue but it did not work. None of the suggestions from the blogs is
fixing this blocking issue.

Please kindly suggest a solution or workaround to debug this issue further.
Thanks very much in advance.

- Manjesh.