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== Creating Package HOWTO ==
This page describes the basic mechanics of how to create an RPM package for Fedora (such as
{{admon/important|deprecated|As part of documentation move to docs.fp.o, this page has moved to}}
how to create a .spec file).  It also gives some practical warnings about stuff that will or won't work, which may save you hours of time later.
This is ''not'' the list of official package guidelines for Fedora (though it ''should'' be compatible with them).
This doesn't go into depth on some issues, but it does point to other documents that do.
Nearly all Linux distributions can install and uninstall programs as "packages".
Fedora, and many other Linux distributions, use the "RPM" format for packages.
There are tools that make it easy to create RPM packages; the key is to write
a ".spec" file that explains to RPM how to build and install the program.
== Setting up ==
Before you create RPM packages on Fedora, you need to install some core
development tools and set up the account(s) you will use.  As root:
  # yum groupinstall "Development Tools"
  # yum install rpmdevtools
It's strongly recommended that you create a new "dummy user" specifically for
creating rpm packages.  That way, if something goes terribly wrong, the
program or build process can't trash your files, or
send your private files/keys to the world. At the very least,
you should normally ''not'' create your packages as user root.
You can create a new user named "makerpm" quickly by doing:
  # /usr/sbin/useradd makerpm
Then log in as that special dummy user (makerpm).
Once you're logged in as the user who is creating packages,
create the directory structure in your home directory by executing:
  $ rpmdev-setuptree
The "rpmdev-setuptree" program will create an "rpmbuild" directory in your $HOME
directory. Underneath "rpmbuild" are a set of subdirectories
(such as SPECS and BUILD), which you will use for creating your packages.
One you've set up your system and user account, you won't normally need
to do these again.
== Setting up to package a particular program ==
If there are special programs that are required to build or run it, install them
and write down what they were (you'll need that information).
To package a program, you ''must'' package pristine (original) sources, along
with the patches and build instructions.
It's generally ''not'' okay to start with pre-compiled code.
Install the file with the original source (usually a .tar.gz file) in the
"~/rpmbuild/SOURCES" directory (of your "makerpm" account).
Read through the manual installation instructions for your program;
you're going to be automating this by editing a ".spec" file, so you have
to understand what you're supposed to do first.
''Sometimes'' it's easiest to start with an existing package, and then clean it up for Fedora.
[ RPM Find] may help you find rpm's for non-Fedora systems.
Failing that, you might look at the source package files (not the .deb binary package files)
for [ Ubuntu] or
[ Debian]
(source package files are standard tarballs with a "debian/" subdirectory, possibly
associated with patch files).
If the [ FreeBSD ports collection] has it,
you could
[ download the FreeBSD ports tarball]
and see if their packaging information helps as a starting point.
'''However''', this is sometimes not helpful at all.
Different distributions have different rules, and what they do may be quite
inappropriate for Fedora.
== Creating a spec file ==
You now need to create a ".spec" file in the "~/rpmbuild/SPECS" directory.
Generally, you'll name it after the program, e.g., "program.spec".
When you're creating a spec file for the first time, create its initial version using emacs or vim;
they will automatically create a template for you.  E.G.:
  $ cd ~/rpmbuild/SPECS
  $ vi program.spec
Here's an example of what that template will look like:
Release: 1%{?dist}
BuildRoot: %{_tmppath}/%{name}-%{version}-%{release}-root-%(%{__id_u} -n)
%setup -q
make %{?_smp_mflags}
=== An example: eject ===
Here's a simple example, a Fedora 9 package for the "eject" program:
Summary: A program that ejects removable media using software control.
Name: eject
Version: 2.1.5
Release: 11%{dist}
License: GPL
Group: System Environment/Base
Source1: eject.pam
Patch1: eject-2.1.1-verbose.patch
Patch2: eject-timeout.patch
Patch3: eject-2.1.5-opendevice.patch
Patch4: eject-2.1.5-spaces.patch
Patch5: eject-2.1.5-lock.patch
Patch6: eject-2.1.5-umount.patch
BuildRoot: %{_tmppath}/%{name}-%{version}-%{release}-buildroot
ExcludeArch: s390 s390x
BuildRequires: gettext
BuildRequires: automake
BuildRequires: autoconf
BuildRequires: libtool
The eject program allows the user to eject removable media (typically
CD-ROMs, floppy disks or Iomega Jaz or Zip disks) using software
control. Eject can also control some multi-disk CD changers and even
some devices' auto-eject features.
Install eject if you'd like to eject removable media using software
%setup -q -n %{name}
%patch1 -p1 -b .versbose
%patch2 -p1 -b .timeout
%patch3 -p0 -b .opendevice
%patch4 -p0 -b .spaces
%patch5 -p0 -b .lock
%patch6 -p1 -b .umount
rm -rf %{buildroot}
make DESTDIR=%{buildroot} install
# pam stuff
install -m 755 -d %{buildroot}/%{_sysconfdir}/pam.d
install -m 644 %{SOURCE1} %{buildroot}/%{_sysconfdir}/pam.d/%{name}
install -m 755 -d %{buildroot}/%{_sysconfdir}/security/console.apps/
echo "FALLBACK=true" > %{buildroot}/%{_sysconfdir}/security/console.apps/%{name}
install -m 755 -d %{buildroot}/%{_sbindir}
pushd %{buildroot}/%{_bindir}
mv eject ../sbin
ln -s consolehelper eject
%find_lang %{name}
rm -rf %{buildroot}
%files -f %{name}.lang
%attr(644,root,root) %{_sysconfdir}/security/console.apps/*
%attr(644,root,root) %{_sysconfdir}/pam.d/*
* Wed Apr 02 2008 Zdenek Prikryl <zprikryl at,> 2.1.5-11
- Added check if device is hotpluggable
- Resolves #438610
This is an old spec file, so its "BuildRoot:" value is old;
you should normally use the "BuildRoot:" entry from the template instead.
=== Spec file pieces explained ===
The [ RPM Guide, section on creating RPMs],
describes the details of how to fill in a spec file.
The developWorks series "Packaging software with RPM" [ Part 1], [ Part 2], and [ Part 3] is also handy.
You will need to follow the Fedora guidelines, such as the
[[Packaging/NamingGuidelines| Package Naming Guidelines]],
[[Packaging/Guidelines| Packaging Guidelines]], and
[[Packaging/ReviewGuidelines|Package review guidelines]].
Here are the major fields/areas that you will need to fill in:
* Name: The (base) name of the package.  It must follow the [[Packaging/NamingGuidelines| Package Naming Guidelines]].
* Version: The upstream version number. See [ Naming guidelines - package version].
* Release: This starts as "1%{?dist}"; increment the number every time you release a new package for the same version of software.  If a new version of the software being packaged is released, the version number should be changed to reflect the new software version, and the release number should be reset to 1.  See [ Name Guidelines - package release]
* Summary: A brief, one-line summary of the package. Use American English, and ''do not'' end in a period.
* Group: This needs to be a pre-existing group, like "Applications/Engineering"; run "less /usr/share/doc/rpm-*/GROUPS" to see the complete list.  If you create a sub-package "...-doc" with documentation, use the group "Documentation".
* License: An open source software license.  Use a standard abbreviation, e.g., "GPLv2+".  Try to be specific, e.g., "GPLv2+" (GPL version 2 or greater) instead of just "GPL".  See the [Packaging/LicensingGuidelines Licensing Guidelines].  Call this tag "License"; don't use the older, inaccurately named tag "Copyright".
* URL: The URL for (re)downloading the original file.  If possible, embed %name and %version, so that changes to either will go to the right place.
* Source0: The filename (in SOURCES) for the compressed archive containing the source code.  This should be pristine, in exactly the form upstream released it. "Source" is synonymous with "Source0".  If you give a full URL, its basename will be used when looking in the SOURCES directory.
* BuildRoot: This is where files will be "installed" during the "%install" process (which happens after the %build compilation process).  Normally you should just leave this line alone.
* BuildRequires: A comma-separated list of packages required for building (beyond what it requires to run).  No need to list gcc or other common packages, as noted in the
* Requires: A comma-separate list of packages that are required to execute.  This is automatically determined by rpm, so normally you don't need to put anything here.
* %description - A longer, multi-line description of the program.  Use American English. All lines must be 80 characters or less.
* %prep - Script commands to "prepare" the program, that is, to uncompress it so that it will be ready for building (compiling).  Typically this is just "%setup -q".
* %build - Script commands to "build" the program, that is, to compile it and get it ready for installing.  The program should come with instructions on how to do this.  Many programs follow the GNU configure approach (or some variation).  By default, they will install to a prefix of "/usr/local" (/usr/local/bin, /usr/local/lib, etc.), which is a reasonable default for unpackaged files - but since you ''are'' packaging it, you will want to change the prefix to "/usr". Often some variation of this will work:
  make %{?_smp_mflags}
* %install - Script commands to "install" the program.  These copy the files from the "build directory" %_builddir (which would be under ~/rpmbuild/BUILD) into the buildroot directory, %{buildroot} (which would normally be under /var/tmp).  Normally, you would erase the %{buildroot} directory, and then do some variation of "make install" (using DESTDIR, if the program supports it).  Try to copy the files in a way that retains the creation and modification date of the build directory.  Here's an example:
rm -rf %{buildroot}
make install DESTDIR=%{buildroot}
* %clean - instructions to clean out the build root. Typically:
rm -rf %{buildroot}
* %files - the list of files that will be installed.  You can use wildcards, but it's an error if ''no'' file matches the wildcard. %{_bindir} is /usr/bin, and %{_sbindir} is /usr/sbin.
* %changelog - Changes in the package.  Use the format example above.
* ExcludeArch: If the package does not successfully compile, build or work on an architecture, then those architectures should be listed in the spec in an ExcludeArch tag.
* Every binary RPM package which stores shared library files (not just symlinks) in any of the dynamic linker's default paths, must call ldconfig in %post and %postun (post-install and post-uninstall). If the package has multiple subpackages with libraries, each subpackage should also have a %post/%postun section that calls /sbin/ldconfig. For example:
%post -p /sbin/ldconfig
%postun -p /sbin/ldconfig
RPM supports subpackages, that is, a single spec file can generate many
binary packages.  For example, if the documentation is very large, you might generate
a separate "doc" subpackage.
=== Macros ===
Spec files may contain macro references (text beginning with "%"), which are replaced with other values.
As noted in the
[[Packaging/Guidelines| Packaging Guidelines]],
There are two styles for referring some values such as the rpm Build Root and Optimization Flags:
* "macro style": %{buildroot}, %{optflags}
* "variable style": $RPM_BUILD_ROOT, $RPM_OPT_FLAGS
Pick a style and use it consistently throughout your packaging; this document uses "macro style".
Here are some typical macros:
! Macro !! Typical Expansion
| %{_bindir} || /usr/bin
| %_builddir || ~/rpmbuild/BUILD/... (build directory, where files are built)
| %{buildroot} || /var/tmp... (buildroot, where files are installed)
| %{_datadir} || /usr/share
| %{_includedir} || /usr/include
| %{_infodir} || /usr/share/info
| %{_initrddir} || /etc/rc.d/init.d
| %{_libdir} || /usr/lib
| %{_libexecdir} || /usr/libexec
| %{_localstatedir} || /var
| %{_mandir} || /usr/share/man
| %{_sbindir} || /usr/sbin
| %{_sharedstatedir} || /usr/com
| %{_sysconfdir} || /etc
You can look in /etc/rpm/* and the "macros" files under /usr/lib/rpm/ to see more.
=== Miscellaneous hints ===
'''Beware''': Comments (beginning with #) do not work as you might expect.
'''Do not''' include macros (words beginning with "%") in a comment, because they are expanded even inside comments;
if the macro is multi-line it cause weird errors.
Also, '''do not''' use in-line comments (a # not at the beginning of a line);
in-line comments often don't work properly in a spec file.
Instead, use a comment-only line (without macros).
[[Packaging/ScriptletSnippets|Scriptlet Snippets]] has some useful examples of scriptlets.
Some older documents about RPM have the most information, but older documents tend to assume that
all rpm work happens in a shared /usr/src/redhat directory. This is an obsolete way of
using rpm and ''not'' recommended.
They may also claim that "rpm" creates packages; it once did, but now that capability
is in the separate "rpmbuild" program.
== Quick test with rpmlint ==
Before trying to build anything from it, you might want to run ''rpmlint'' on the spec file:
rpmlint program.spec
This will catch many errors early.
Generally, you should not have errors from rpmlint, but sometimes
rpmlint is excessively noisy.
[ Fedora packaging guidelines]
explain which ones to ignore, e.g., ignore "no-packager-tag" and "no-signature" errors.
== Creating RPMs from the spec file ==
Once you've create a spec file, say "program.spec", you can create
source and binary RPMs by simply running this:
  $ rpmbuild --clean -ba program.spec
This will attempt to perform the following stages:
* %prep (preparation) stage, which uncompresses and installs the sources and patches into %_builddir (a subdirectory of ~/rpmbuild/BUILD)
* %build stage, which builds (e.g., compiles) the files to be installed in %_builddir. Usually this is some equivalent of "make".
* %install stage, which copies the files from the build directory %_builddir (which would be under ~/rpmbuild/BUILD) into the buildroot directory, %{buildroot}.  The buildroot directory is set by the earlier "BuildRoot:"; if you leave it to its normal value beginning %{_tmppath}/%{name}..., then the buildroot will be inside /var/tmp.
* Create the binary (and maybe source) packages; this uses the information from the %files list to determine what files in the RPM BuildRoot to use.
Watch out: the "build directory" (where compilations occur during %build) and the "build root" (where files are installed during the %install) are ''different''.
When things go wrong, you can "cd" into the appropriate directory and see what's left over.
If you want to skip earlier stages, use the "--short-circuit" option; this is handy if you had a successful build, but have an error in the %install section.  For example, to restart at the %install stage (skipping earlier stages), do this:
  $ rpmbuild -bi --short-circuit program.spec
If it is successful, you'll find your binary RPM(s) in the "~/rpmbuild/RPMS/"
subdirectory, and the source RPM in "~/rpmbuild/SRPMS".
If you "cd" to the "~/rpmbuild/RPMS" directory, to the architecture subdirectory,
and then find some rpms, you can quickly see what's in each rpm by using rpmls:
$ rpmls *.rpm
If those look okay, you can become root and try to install them:
# rpm -ivp XYZ1.rpm XYZ2.rpm XYZ3.rpm ...
Then, you can test them out.
You can uninstall them later using:
# rpm -e XYZ1 XYZ2 XYZ3
== Guidelines and rules ==
When you create your packages, you'll need to follow the following rules and guidelines:
* [[PackageMaintainers/Join| How to join the Fedora Package Collection Maintainers]] - describes the process for becoming a Fedora package maintainer
* [[Packaging/Guidelines|Packaging Guidelines]]
* [[Packaging/NamingGuidelines| Package Naming Guidelines]]
* [[Packaging/DistTag| Dist Tag Guidelines]]
* [[Packaging/ReviewGuidelines| Package Review Guidelines]]
There are many guidelines for specific circumstances
(Java programs, OCaml programs, GNOME programs, etc.); go to
[[PackageMaintainers|Package Maintainers]] and see if any apply to you.
== For more information ==
The [[PackageMaintainers|Package Maintainers]] page links to many other useful pages, and the
[[PackageMaintainers/UpdatingPackageHowTo|Updating Package HOWTO]] describes how to update
an existing package you already maintain in Fedora.
For more information, outside of the Fedora Wiki, see:
* [ How to build RPM packages on Fedora] - quick run-through
* Packaging software with RPM (developerWorks) [ Part 1], [ Part 2], and [ Part 3]
* [ Fedora Packager's Handbook]
* [ When Sally met Eddie]
* [ Maximum RPM Book]
* [ RPM Guide, section on creating RPMs]
* [ Developer's guide, section on building RPMs]
* [ The fight, my first attempt to make a readable rpm package building introduction.]
* [ RPM Tutorial (Fullhart)]
Note: The [] site has some documentation, but do not depend on it; that is the home of a ''fork'' of RPM maintained by Jeff Johnson.  The RPM used by Fedora (and Novell/SuSE) is instead based at [].
[ has a brief article] about this.

Latest revision as of 20:57, 26 May 2021