From Fedora Project Wiki

Line 102: Line 102:
For the source tarball, you should use this syntax:
For the source tarball, you should use this syntax:

Revision as of 16:57, 8 March 2014

Referencing Source

One of the design goals of rpm is to cleanly separate upstream source from vendor modifications. For the Fedora packager, this means that sources used to build a package should be the vanilla sources available from upstream. To help reviewers and QA scripts verify this, the packager needs to indicate where a reviewer can find the source that was used to make the rpm.

The most common case is where upstream distributes source as a tar.gz, tar.bz2 or zip archive that we can download from an upstream website. In these cases you must use a full URL to the package in the SourceX: line. For example:


Smallest Compressed Archive
If the upstream source archive is available in multiple compressed formats that our tools can decompress it's best to use the one that is smallest in size. This ensures the smallest source rpm to save space on the mirrors and downloads of source RPM packages.

There are several cases where upstream is not providing the source to you in an upstream tarball. In these cases you must document how to generate the tarball used in the rpm either through a spec file comment or a script included as a separate SourceX:.

Here are some specific examples:

Using Revision Control

In some cases you may want to pull sources from upstream's revision control system because there have been many changes since the last release and you think that a tarball that you generate from there will more accurately show how the package relates to upstream's development. Here's how you can use a comment to show where the source came from:

# The source for this package was pulled from upstream's vcs.  Use the
# following commands to generate the tarball:
#  svn export -r 250 foo-20070221
#  tar -cJvf foo-20070221.tar.xz foo-20070221
Source0: foo-20070221.tar.xz

When pulling from revision control, please remember to use a Name-version-release compatible with the Version and Release Guidelines. In particular, check the section on Naming Snapshots .

When Upstream uses Prohibited Code

Some upstream packages include patents or trademarks that we are not allowed to ship even as source code. In these cases you have to modify the source tarball to remove this code before you even upload it to the build system. Here's an example of using a script to document how you went from the upstream tarball to the one included in the package:

From the spec:

Source0: libfoo-1.0-nopatents.tar.gz
# libfoo contains patented code that we cannot ship.  Therefore we use
# this script to remove the patented code before shipping it.
# Download the upstream tarball and invoke this script while in the
# tarball's directory:
# ./ 1.0



tar -xzvf libfoo-$VERSION.tar.gz
rm libfoo-$VERSION/src/patentedcodec.c
sed -i -e 's/patentedcodec.c//' libfoo-$VERSION/src/Makefile

tar -czvf libfoo-$VERSION-nopatents.tar.gz libfoo-$VERSION

For packages hosted on sourceforge, use


changing ".tar.gz" to whatever matches the upstream distribution. Note that we are using instead of an arbitrarily chosen mirror. You may use the package name/package version instead of the %{name} and %{version} macros, of course.

Please note that the correct url is, and NOT


As many upstreams use github for their source control, it is worth covering how to handle that source in a Fedora Package.

Github provides a mechanism to create tarballs on demand, either from a specific commit revision, or from a specific tag. If the upstream does not create tarballs for releases, you can use this mechanism to produce them. If the upstream does create tarballs you should use them as tarballs provide an easier trail for people auditing the packages.

For a number of reasons (immutability, availability, uniqueness), you must use the full commit revision hash when referring to the sources.

The full 40-character hash can be copied from the github web interface at ​$OWNER/$PROJECT/tags or by cloning the repository and using git rev-parse $TAG

In this example, $TAG is the tag for the source revision we are interested in, $OWNER must be replaced with the github username for the project's owner, and $PROJECT must be replaced with the github identifier for the project.

Once the commit hash is known, you can define it in your spec file as follows:

%global commit c5a4525bfa3bd9997834d0603c40093e50e3fd19
%global shortcommit %(c=%{commit}; echo ${c:0:7})

For the source tarball, you should use this syntax:



%setup -qn %{name}-%{commit}

Remember, in this syntax, $OWNER must be replaced with the github username for the project's owner, and $PROJECT must be replaced with the github identifier for the project.

If the release corresponds to a github Tag with a sane numeric version, you must use that version to populate the Version field in the spec file. If it does not, look at the source code to see if a version is indicated there, and use that value. If no numeric version is indicated in the code, you may set Version to 0, and treat the package as a "pre-release" package (and make use of the %{shortcommit} macro). See Packaging:NamingGuidelines#Pre-Release_packages for details.

Alternately, if you are using a specific revision from github that is either a pre-release revision or a post-release revision, you must follow the "snapshot" guidelines. They are documented here: Packaging:NamingGuidelines#Snapshot_packages. You can substitute %{shortcommit} for %{checkout} in that section.

Keep in mind that github tarballs are generated on-demand, so their modification dates will vary and cause checksum tests to fail. Reviewers will need to use diff -r to verify the tarballs.

Using %{version}

Using %{version} in the SourceX: makes it easier for you to bump the version of a package, because most of the time you do not need to edit SourceX: when editing the specfile for the new package.

Troublesome URLs

When upstream has URLs for the download that do not end with the tarball name rpm will be unable to parse the tarball out of the source URL. One workaround for many cases is to construct a URL where the tarball is listed in a "URL fragment":


rpm will then use %{name}-%{version}.tar.gz as the tarball name. If you use spectool -g foo.spec to download the tarball, it will rename the tarball for you.

Sometimes this does not work because the upstream cgi tries to parse the fragment or because you need to login or fill in a form to access the tarball. In these cases, you have to put just the tarball's filename into the Source: field. To make clear where you got the tarball, you should leave notes in comments above the Source: line to explain the situation to reviewers and future packagers. For example:

 # Mysql has a mirror redirector for its downloads
 # You can get this tarball by following a link from:
 Source0: mysql-5.1.31.tar.gz