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Packaging Guide

This guide is aimed at those wishing to either maintain existing packages, or contribute packaging, to the Solus repositories.

We assume you already have a working knowledge of Linux based systems, and are already comfortable with compiling software from source.

Supported targets

You may either build natively on your Solus installation using the ypkg tool directly, or or on supported distributions in a chroot environment via the solbuild tool. Please note that in order to use solbuild from other distributions, your kernel must support overlayfs, which must be enabled and loaded.

Overview

Solus uses the eopkg package manager, which creates .eopkg binary packages. Internally an eopkg file contains a metadata.xml file, describing the package in full, along with file contents, plus an install.tar.xz

In order to directly build a .eopkg, the developer must complete a package.yml file, to describe the build steps involved and the metadata. However, as this is more of a machine format, we opted for a meta-build format to ensure packaging was both simple and rules based.

To this end, we use ypkg. This uses a YAML format file, which simply contains relevant package information, and the build steps. The tool will decide upon the relevant subpackages upon build completion, and then pass the packaging step to eopkg at the end.

Macros are made available to the developer to ensure the package uses the relevant distribution options, and that the resulting package is compliant with the specific distribution rules.

The key difference between ypkg and traditional package building systems, is that the developer has very little choice about the naming of packages and subpackages. Automatic rules are applied to ensure the correct level of splitting occurs, freeing the developer from hours of arduous packaging reducing the entire process to what is essentially a highly organised document with embedded shell scripts.

Getting Started

Firstly, we recommend reading about Package.yml, our format based on the YAML specification for packages.

Following the creation of your package.yml file, you’ll need to build the package, followed by submitting a patch for the package.

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