Spec file tags

A few additions have been made to the spec file format.


The Name tag contains the proper name of the package. Names must not include whitespace and may include a hyphen '-' (unlike version and release tags). Names should not include any numeric operators ('<', '>','=') as future versions of rpm may need to reserve characters other than '-'.

By default subpackages are named by prepending `<main package>="">-' to the subpackages name(s). If you wish to change the name of a subpackage (most commonly this is to change the '-' to '.'), then you must specify the full name with the -n argument in the package definition:

	%package -n newname

The Summary: tag should be use to give a short (50 char or so) summary of the package. Most package's Description: line should be changed to a Summary: line. The Description: tag is still supported but should be changed to a "%description" entry similar to package and files. At some point in the future support will be removed for "Description:". As an example, this spec file fragment:

  Description: Screen drawing library
  Name: screenlib
  Version: 1.0

  %package devel
  Description: Screen drawing library headers and static libs

might be changed to:

  Summary: Screen drawing library
  Name: screenlib
  Version: 1.0

  The screen drawing library
  is a handy development tool

  %package devel
  Summary: Screen drawing library headers and static libs

  %description devel
  This package contains all of the
  headers and the static libraries for

  You'll only need this package if you
  are doing development.

The description is free form text, but there are two things to note. The first regards reformatting. Lines that begin with white space are considered "pre-formatted" and will be left alone. Adjacent lines without leading whitespace are considered a single paragraph and may be subject to formatting by glint or another RPM tool.

Two new tags are "URL:" and "Packager:". "URL:" is a place to put a URL for more information and/or documentation on the software contained in the package. Some future RPM package tool may make use of this. The Packager: tag is meant to contain the name and email address of the person who "maintains" the RPM package (which may be different from the person who actually maintains the program the package contains).

This tag specifies the architecture which the resulting binary package will run on. Typically this is a CPU architecture like sparc, i386. The string 'noarch' is reserved for specifying that the resulting binary package is platform independent. Typical platform independent packages are html, perl, python, java, and ps packages.

A ghost tag on a file indicates that this file is not to be included in the package. It is typically used when the attributes of the file are important while the contents is not (e.g. a log file).

The config(missingok) indicates that the file need not exist on the installed machine. The config(missingok) is frequently used for files like /etc/rc.d/rc2.d/S55named where the (non-)existence of the symlink is part of the configuration in post, and the file may need to be removed when this package is removed. This file is not required to exist at either install or uninstall time.

The config(noreplace) indicates that the file in the package should be installed with extension .rpmnew if there is already a modified file with the same name on the installed machine.

The virtual file attribute token verify tells `-V/--verify' to ignore certain features on files which may be modified by (say) a postinstall script so that false problems are not displayed during package verification.

	%verify(not size md5 mtime) %{prefix}/bin/javaswarm

The usual rules for shell globbing apply. Most special characters can be escaped by prefixing them with a '\'. Spaces are used to separate file names and so must be escaped by enclosing the file name with quotes. For example:

	"/tmp/bob\'s htdocs"

Names containing "%%" will be rpm macro expanded into "%". When trying to escape large number of file names, it is often best to create a file with the complete list of escaped file names. This is easiest to do with a shell script like this:

	rm -f $RPM_BUILD_DIR/filelist.rpm 
	echo '%defattr(-,root,root)' >> $RPM_BUILD_DIR/filelist.rpm 
	find $RPM_BUILD_ROOT/%{_prefix} -type f -print | \
	    sed "s!$RPM_BUILD_ROOT!!" |  perl -pe 's/([?|*.\'"])/\\$1/g' \
		>> $RPM_BUILD_DIR/filelist.rpm 

	%files -f filelist.rpm

Rpm currently supports separate "Autoreq:" and "Autoprov:" tags in a spec file to independently control the running of find-requires and find-provides. A common problem occurs when packaging a large third party binary which has interfaces to other third party libraries you do not own. RPM will require all the third party libraries be installed on the target machine even though their intended use was optional. To rectify the situation you may turn off requirements when building the package by putting

	Autoreq: 0 

in your spec file. Any and all requirements should be added manually using the

	Requires: depend1, ..., dependN

in this case.

Similarly there is an Autoprov tag to turn off the automatic provision generation and a Autoreqprov to turn off both the automatic provides and the automatic requires generation.

Files ending in .nosrc.rpm are generally source RPM packages whose spec files have one or more NoSource: or NoPatch: directives in them. Both directives use the named source or patch file to build the resulting binary RPM package as usual, but they are not included in the source RPM package.

The original intent of this ability of RPM was to allow proprietary or non-distributable software to be built using RPM, but to keep the proprietary or non-distributable parts out of the resulting source RPM package, so that they would not get distributed.

They also have utility if you are building RPM packages for software which is archived at a well-known location and does not require that you distribute the source with the binary, for example, for an organization's internal use, where storing large quantities of source is not as meaningful.

The end result of all this, though, is that you can't rebuild ``no-source'' RPM packages using `rpm --rebuild' unless you also have the sources or patches which are not included in the .nosrc.rpm.

Build dependencies are identical to install dependencies except:

  1) they are prefixed with build (e.g. BuildRequires: rather than Requires:)
  2) they are resolved before building rather than before installing.

So, if you were to write a specfile for a package that requires egcs to build, you would add

	BuildRequires: egcs
to your spec file.

If your package was like dump and could not be built w/o a specific version of the libraries to access an ext2 file system, you could express this as

	BuildRequires: e2fsprofs-devel = 1.17-1

Finally, if your package used C++ and could not be built with gcc-, you can express this as

	BuildConflicts: gcc <=

Generated on Fri Oct 12 08:44:57 2007 for rpm by  doxygen 1.5.2