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Often, there are several options to be taken for solving various recurring packaging issues. This document tries to make a list of those common issues and will serve as a base do define common policies on how to solve them.


Make a list of known problems here and propose workarounds and conventions to apply, whenever possible. Those will be promoted to the Policies document when acknowledged by the Packman members.

Beta Versions

Packages versioned as e.g. “2.0_rc20” or “1.9beta4” or “0.9.4rc1” are problematic as rpm/apt/yast won't update when the final version is out → define a convention for defining the RPM version tag for such packages (e.g. “2.0_0.20” / “2.0_1.0”, “1.9_0.4” / “1.9_1.0”, etc…)


Various issues related to building on biarch/amd64 architecture:

  • must use <tt>%suse_update_config -f</tt> and <tt>%suse_update_libdir</tt> before configure with every package - note that it might break the build of some packages, so it must be tested (only remove it if it breaks), like this:
 %{?suse_update_config:BuildRequires:autoconf automake libtool}}
 %setup -q .....
 %{?suse_update_config:%{suse_update_config -f}}
  • QT libraries (applies to KDE applications/libraries as well)
    • the QT libraries on SUSE are located in <tt>/usr/lib/qt3</tt>, not <tt>/usr/%{_lib}/qt3</tt>, so always pass <tt>–with-qt-dir=/usr/lib/qt3</tt>, even on IA64
    • must pass <tt>–libsuffix=64</tt> (when on biarch only) to have configure use <tt>/usr/lib/qt3/lib64</tt>, can be done with
 %configure \
 %if %{_lib} == lib64
    --enable-libsuffix=64 \

General Policies

Release Tag

Every Packman package has to comply with the following release tag naming scheme:<release>.

The reason for starting the release tag with ”<tt>0.</tt>” is simple: when SUSE provides a newer package (e.g. as part of a security update), it will have a higher priority than ours, which is good: we give priority to packages made by SUSE.

Source Files

Source files (<tt>Source:</tt>, <tt>Source1:</tt>, <tt>Source2:</tt>, …) should always be mentioned with the complete URL, not just the filename. <u>e.g.:</u>

  • not like this:
 Source: doxygen-%{_version}.src.tar.gz
  • but like this:
 Source: <nowiki>{_version}.src.tar.gz</nowiki>

Obviously, this does not apply to <tt>Patch:</tt> or <tt>Source:</tt> files contributed by the packager (e.g. init script, etc…)

Patch Files

  • filenames: use the ”<tt>.diff</tt>” filename extension for the patch filenames
  • use “unified” format: create patch files using <tt>diff</tt> with the ”<tt>-u</tt>” option
  • try to create diff files that can be applied with the ”<tt>-p0</tt>” option, thus created in the base directory of the unpacked source tarball
  • the filename of the patch must start with the name of the package, e.g. <tt>mplayer-fix-biarch.diff</tt> instead of <tt>fix-biarch.diff</tt>

Use macros

  • use macros whenever possible, both for
    • tools: %make, %install, %cp, %rm, …
    • paths: %_prefix, %_libdir, %_sysconfdir, %_mandir, %_datadir, …
  • special note: ALWAYS** use ”<tt>%_lib</tt>” and ”<tt>%_libdir</tt>” instead of ”<tt>lib</tt>” and ”<tt>/usr/lib</tt>”, otherwise the package won't build properly on biarch/amd64 !!! ===== Optimization flags ===== Always try to pass build optimization flags using the <tt>%{optflags}</tt> variable. Most often, it is sufficient to set them before calling <tt>./configure</tt>, like this:<code> CFLAGS=”%{optflags}” \ CXXFLAGS=”%{optflags}” \ ./configure … </code> On the other hand, it is advisable to use the <tt>%configure</tt> macro instead, that already sets every generic autoconf parameter. When you use <tt>%configure</tt>, you don't need to pass <tt>%{optflags}</tt>, it does it automatically: <code> %configure \ <code> –with-included-sqlite \ –with-alsa \ …</code> </code> When <tt>autoconf</tt> is not used, it is necessary to look at the <tt>Makefile</tt> and see whether the flags can be passed by overriding an existing <tt>Makefile</tt> variable (e.g. <tt>CFLAGS</tt>, <tt>DEBUG</tt>, <tt>OPTFLAGS</tt>, …). If it is not possible, make a patch for the <tt>Makefile</tt> to be able to pass those flags from the <tt>spec</tt> file. This is often the case when <tt>CFLAGS</tt> is already used in the <tt>Makefile</tt> to pass required options, like <tt>-I…</tt> paths or <tt>-D…</tt> defines. Example: <code> CFLAGS=-DLOCALE_PATH=\”/usr/locale\” -DLINUX -I$(pkgconfig gtk-2.0 –cflags) -g -O2</code> In this case, make a patch to the <tt>Makefile</tt> and add an additional variable: * <tt>cp Makefile Makefile.orig</tt> * edit <tt>Makefile</tt> and change as below: <code> OPTFLAGS=-g -O2 CFLAGS=-DLOCALE_PATH=\”/usr/locale\” -DLINUX -I$(pkgconfig gtk-2.0 –cflags) $(OPTFLAGS)</code> * make a patch: <tt>diff -u Makefile{.orig,} > ../foobar-makefile-optflags.diff</tt> * add the patch in the spec file: <code> Source: …. Patch1: foobar-makefile-optflags.diff … %prep %setup -q … %patch1 %{?suse_update_libdir:%{suse_update_libdir}} %{?suse_update_config:%{suse_update_config -f}}</code> * and pass <tt>%{optflags}</tt> through the added variable: <code> %build %__make OPTFLAGS=”%{optflags}”</code> ====== Packman Metadata ====== To be able to upload packages automagically using <tt>packmanrobot</tt>, you must add the following Packman-specific tags in every <tt>spec</tt> file. All those Packman tags start with a comment (<tt>#</tt>) and thus, don't break <tt>rpmbuild</tt>. ===== Packager ===== Using the <tt>Packman</tt> tag, you can identify yourself as a Packman team member.
packman/packagingconventions.txt · Last modified: 2012/01/14 03:51 by