Synopsis

PKGBUILD

Description

This manual page describes general rules about PKGBUILDs. Once a PKGBUILD is written, the actual package is built using makepkg and installed with pacman.

Note An example PKGBUILD, useful for reference, is located in /usr/share/pacman along with other example files such as a ChangeLog and an install script. You can copy the provided PKGBUILD.proto file to a new package build directory and make customizations to suit your needs.

Options and Directives

The following is a list of standard options and directives available for use in a PKGBUILD. These are all understood and interpreted by makepkg, and most of them will be directly transferred to the built package. The mandatory fields for a minimally functional PKGBUILD are pkgname, pkgver, pkgrel and arch.

If you need to create any custom variables for use in your build process, it is recommended to prefix their name with an _ (underscore). This will prevent any possible name clashes with internal makepkg variables. For example, to store the base kernel version in a variable, use something similar to $_basekernver.

pkgname (array)

Either the name of the package or an array of names for split packages. Valid characters for members of this array are alphanumerics, and any of the following characters: “@ . _ + -”. Additionally, names are not allowed to start with hyphens or dots.

pkgver

The version of the software as released from the author (e.g., 2.7.1). The variable is not allowed to contain colons or hyphens.

The pkgver variable can be automatically updated by providing a pkgver() function in the PKGBUILD that outputs the new package version. This is run after downloading and extracting the sources so it can use those files in determining the new pkgver. This is most useful when used with sources from version control systems (see below).

pkgrel

This is the release number specific to the Arch Linux release. This allows package maintainers to make updates to the package’s configure flags, for example. This is typically set to 1 for each new upstream software release and incremented for intermediate PKGBUILD updates. The variable is not allowed to contain hyphens.

epoch

Used to force the package to be seen as newer than any previous versions with a lower epoch, even if the version number would normally not trigger such an upgrade. This value is required to be a positive integer; the default value if left unspecified is 0. This is useful when the version numbering scheme of a package changes (or is alphanumeric), breaking normal version comparison logic. See pacman(8) for more information on version comparisons.

pkgdesc

This should be a brief description of the package and its functionality. Try to keep the description to one line of text and to not use the package’s name.

url

This field contains a URL that is associated with the software being packaged. This is typically the project’s web site.

license (array)

This field specifies the license(s) that apply to the package. Commonly used licenses can be found in /usr/share/licenses/common. If you see the package’s license there, simply reference it in the license field (e.g., license=('GPL')). If the package provides a license not available in /usr/share/licenses/common, then you should include it in the package itself and set license=('custom') or license=('custom:LicenseName'). The license should be placed in $pkgdir/usr/share/licenses/$pkgname/ when building the package. If multiple licenses are applicable, list all of them: license=('GPL' 'FDL').

install

Specifies a special install script that is to be included in the package. This file should reside in the same directory as the PKGBUILD and will be copied into the package by makepkg. It does not need to be included in the source array (e.g., install=$pkgname.install).

changelog

Specifies a changelog file that is to be included in the package. The changelog file should end in a single newline. This file should reside in the same directory as the PKGBUILD and will be copied into the package by makepkg. It does not need to be included in the source array (e.g., changelog=$pkgname.changelog).

source (array)

An array of source files required to build the package. Source files must either reside in the same directory as the PKGBUILD, or be a fully-qualified URL that makepkg can use to download the file. To simplify the maintenance of PKGBUILDs, use the $pkgname and $pkgver variables when specifying the download location, if possible. Compressed files will be extracted automatically unless found in the noextract array described below.

Additional architecture-specific sources can be added by appending an underscore and the architecture name e.g., source_x86_64=(). There must be a corresponding integrity array with checksums, e.g. md5sums_x86_64=().

It is also possible to change the name of the downloaded file, which is helpful with weird URLs and for handling multiple source files with the same name. The syntax is: source=('filename::url').

makepkg also supports building developmental versions of packages using sources downloaded from version control systems (VCS). For more information, see Using VCS Sources below.

Files in the source array with extensions .sig, .sign or, .asc are recognized by makepkg as PGP signatures and will be automatically used to verify the integrity of the corresponding source file.

validpgpkeys (array)

An array of PGP fingerprints. If this array is non-empty, makepkg will only accept signatures from the keys listed here and will ignore the trust values from the keyring. If the source file was signed with a subkey, makepkg will still use the primary key for comparison.

Only full fingerprints are accepted. They must be uppercase and must not contain whitespace characters.

noextract (array)

An array of file names corresponding to those from the source array. Files listed here will not be extracted with the rest of the source files. This is useful for packages that use compressed data directly.

md5sums (array)

This array contains an MD5 hash for every source file specified in the source array (in the same order). makepkg will use this to verify source file integrity during subsequent builds. If SKIP is put in the array in place of a normal hash, the integrity check for that source file will be skipped. To easily generate md5sums, run “makepkg -g >> PKGBUILD”. If desired, move the md5sums line to an appropriate location.

sha1sums, sha256sums, sha384sums, sha512sums (arrays)

Alternative integrity checks that makepkg supports; these all behave similar to the md5sums option described above. To enable use and generation of these checksums, be sure to set up the INTEGRITY_CHECK option in makepkg.conf(5).

groups (array)

An array of symbolic names that represent groups of packages, allowing you to install multiple packages by requesting a single target. For example, one could install all KDE packages by installing the kde group.

arch (array)

Defines on which architectures the given package is available (e.g., arch=('i686' 'x86_64')). Packages that contain no architecture specific files should use arch=('any').

backup (array)

An array of file names, without preceding slashes, that should be backed up if the package is removed or upgraded. This is commonly used for packages placing configuration files in /etc. See "Handling Config Files" in pacman(8) for more information.

depends (array)

An array of packages this package depends on to run. Entries in this list should be surrounded with single quotes and contain at least the package name. Entries can also include a version requirement of the form name<>version, where <> is one of five comparisons: >= (greater than or equal to), <= (less than or equal to), = (equal to), > (greater than), or < (less than).

If the dependency name appears to be a library (ends with .so), makepkg will try to find a binary that depends on the library in the built package and append the version needed by the binary. Appending the version yourself disables automatic detection.

Additional architecture-specific depends can be added by appending an underscore and the architecture name e.g., depends_x86_64=().

makedepends (array)

An array of packages this package depends on to build but are not needed at runtime. Packages in this list follow the same format as depends.

Additional architecture-specific makedepends can be added by appending an underscore and the architecture name e.g., makedepends_x86_64=().

checkdepends (array)

An array of packages this package depends on to run its test suite but are not needed at runtime. Packages in this list follow the same format as depends. These dependencies are only considered when the check() function is present and is to be run by makepkg.

Additional architecture-specific checkdepends can be added by appending an underscore and the architecture name e.g., checkdepends_x86_64=().

optdepends (array)

An array of packages (and accompanying reasons) that are not essential for base functionality, but may be necessary to make full use of the contents of this package. optdepends are currently for informational purposes only and are not utilized by pacman during dependency resolution. The format for specifying optdepends is:

optdepends=('python: for library bindings')

Additional architecture-specific optdepends can be added by appending an underscore and the architecture name e.g., optdepends_x86_64=().

conflicts (array)

An array of packages that will conflict with this package (i.e. they cannot both be installed at the same time). This directive follows the same format as depends. Versioned conflicts are supported using the operators as described in depends.

Additional architecture-specific conflicts can be added by appending an underscore and the architecture name e.g., conflicts_x86_64=().

provides (array)

An array of “virtual provisions” this package provides. This allows a package to provide dependencies other than its own package name. For example, the dcron package can provide cron, which allows packages to depend on cron rather than dcron OR fcron.

Versioned provisions are also possible, in the name=version format. For example, dcron can provide cron=2.0 to satisfy the cron>=2.0 dependency of other packages. Provisions involving the > and < operators are invalid as only specific versions of a package may be provided.

If the provision name appears to be a library (ends with .so), makepkg will try to find the library in the built package and append the correct version. Appending the version yourself disables automatic detection.

Additional architecture-specific provides can be added by appending an underscore and the architecture name e.g., provides_x86_64=().

replaces (array)

An array of packages this package should replace. This can be used to handle renamed/combined packages. For example, if the j2re package is renamed to jre, this directive allows future upgrades to continue as expected even though the package has moved. Versioned replaces are supported using the operators as described in depends.

Sysupgrade is currently the only pacman operation that utilizes this field. A normal sync or upgrade will not use its value.

Additional architecture-specific replaces can be added by appending an underscore and the architecture name e.g., replaces_x86_64=().

options (array)

This array allows you to override some of makepkg’s default behavior when building packages. To set an option, just include the option name in the options array. To reverse the default behavior, place an “!” at the front of the option. Only specify the options you specifically want to override, the rest will be taken from makepkg.conf(5). NOTE: force is a now-removed option in favor of the top level epoch variable.

strip

Strip symbols from binaries and libraries. If you frequently use a debugger on programs or libraries, it may be helpful to disable this option.

docs

Save doc directories. If you wish to delete doc directories, specify !docs in the array.

libtool

Leave libtool (.la) files in packages. Specify !libtool to remove them.

staticlibs

Leave static library (.a) files in packages. Specify !staticlibs to remove them (if they have a shared counterpart).

emptydirs

Leave empty directories in packages.

zipman

Compress man and info pages with gzip.

upx

Compress binary executable files using UPX.

optipng

Optimize PNG images with optipng.

ccache

Allow the use of ccache during build. More useful in its negative form !ccache with select packages that have problems building with ccache.

distcc

Allow the use of distcc during build. More useful in its negative form !distcc with select packages that have problems building with distcc.

buildflags

Allow the use of user-specific buildflags (CPPFLAGS, CFLAGS, CXXFLAGS, LDFLAGS) during build as specified in makepkg.conf(5). More useful in its negative form !buildflags with select packages that have problems building with custom buildflags.

makeflags

Allow the use of user-specific makeflags during build as specified in makepkg.conf(5). More useful in its negative form !makeflags with select packages that have problems building with custom makeflags such as -j2 (or higher).

debug

Add the user-specified debug flags (DEBUG_CFLAGS, DEBUG_CXXFLAGS) to their counterpart buildflags as specified in makepkg.conf(5). When used in combination with the ‘strip’ option, a separate package containing the debug symbols is created.

Packaging Functions

In addition to the above directives, PKGBUILDs require a set of functions that provide instructions to build and install the package. As a minimum, the PKGBUILD must contain a package() function which installs all the package’s files into the packaging directory, with optional prepare(), build(), and check() functions being used to create those files from source.

package() Function

The package() function is used to install files into the directory that will become the root directory of the built package and is run after all the optional functions listed below. The packaging stage is run using fakeroot to ensure correct file permissions in the resulting package. All other functions will be run as the user calling makepkg.

prepare() Function

An optional prepare() function can be specified in which operations to prepare the sources for building, such as patching, are performed. This function is run after the source extraction and before the build() function. The prepare() function is skipped when source extraction is skipped.

build() Function

The optional build() function is use to compile and/or adjust the source files in preparation to be installed by the package() function. This is directly sourced and executed by makepkg, so anything that Bash or the system has available is available for use here. Be sure any exotic commands used are covered by the makedepends array.

If you create any variables of your own in the build() function, it is recommended to use the Bash local keyword to scope the variable to inside the build() function.

check() Function

An optional check() function can be specified in which a package’s test-suite may be run. This function is run between the build() and package() functions. Be sure any exotic commands used are covered by the checkdepends array.

All of the above variables such as $pkgname and $pkgver are available for use in the packaging functions. In addition, makepkg defines the following variables:

srcdir

This contains the directory where makepkg extracts, or copies, all source files.

All of the packaging functions defined above are run starting inside $srcdir

pkgdir

This contains the directory where makepkg bundles the installed package. This directory will become the root directory of your built package. This variable should only be used in the package() function.

startdir

This contains the absolute path to the directory where the PKGBUILD is located, which is usually the output of $(pwd) when makepkg is started. Use of this variable is deprecated and strongly discouraged.

Package Splitting

makepkg supports building multiple packages from a single PKGBUILD. This is achieved by assigning an array of package names to the pkgname directive. Each split package uses a corresponding packaging function with name package_foo(), where foo is the name of the split package.

All options and directives for the split packages default to the global values given in the PKGBUILD. Nevertheless, the following ones can be overridden within each split package’s packaging function: pkgdesc, arch, url, license, groups, depends, optdepends, provides, conflicts, replaces, backup, options, install, and changelog.

Note that makepkg does not consider split package depends when checking if dependencies are installed before package building and with --syncdeps. All packages required to make the package are required to be specified in the global depends and makedepends arrays.

An optional global directive is available when building a split package:

pkgbase

The name used to refer to the group of packages in the output of makepkg and in the naming of source-only tarballs. If not specified, the first element in the pkgname array is used. Valid characters for this variable are alphanumerics, and any of the following characters: “@ . _ + -”. Additionally, the variable is not allowed to start with hyphens or dots.

Install/Upgrade/Remove Scripting

Pacman has the ability to store and execute a package-specific script when it installs, removes, or upgrades a package. This allows a package to configure itself after installation and perform an opposite action upon removal.

The exact time the script is run varies with each operation, and should be self-explanatory. Note that during an upgrade operation, none of the install or remove functions will be called.

Scripts are passed either one or two “full version strings”, where a full version string is either pkgver-pkgrel or epoch:pkgver-pkgrel, if epoch is non-zero.

pre_install

Run right before files are extracted. One argument is passed: new package full version string.

post_install

Run right after files are extracted. One argument is passed: new package full version string.

pre_upgrade

Run right before files are extracted. Two arguments are passed in this order: new package full version string, old package full version string.

post_upgrade

Run after files are extracted. Two arguments are passed in this order: new package full version string, old package full version string.

pre_remove

Run right before files are removed. One argument is passed: old package full version string.

post_remove

Run right after files are removed. One argument is passed: old package full version string.

To use this feature, create a file such as pkgname.install and put it in the same directory as the PKGBUILD script. Then use the install directive:

install=pkgname.install

The install script does not need to be specified in the source array. A template install file is available in /usr/share/pacman as proto.install for reference with all of the available functions defined.

Using VCS Sources

Building a developmental version of a package using sources from a version control system (VCS) is enabled by specifying the source in the form source=('directory::url#fragment'). Currently makepkg supports the Bazaar, Git, Subversion, and Mercurial version control systems. For other version control systems, manual cloning of upstream repositories must be done in the prepare() function.

The source URL is divided into three components:

directory

(optional) Specifies an alternate directory name for makepkg to download the VCS source into.

url

The URL to the VCS repository. This must include the VCS in the URL protocol for makepkg to recognize this as a VCS source. If the protocol does not include the VCS name, it can be added by prefixing the URL with vcs+. For example, using a Git repository over HTTPS would have a source URL in the form: git+https://....

fragment

(optional) Allows specifying a revision number or branch for makepkg to checkout from the VCS. For example, to checkout a given revision, the source line would have the format source=(url#revision=123). The available fragments depends on the VCS being used:

bzr

revision (see 'bzr help revisionspec' for details)

git

branch, commit, tag

hg

branch, revision, tag

svn

revision

Example

The following is an example PKGBUILD for the patch package. For more examples, look through the build files of your distribution’s packages. For those using Arch Linux, consult the Arch Build System (ABS) tree.

# Maintainer: Joe User <joe.user@example.com>

pkgname=patch
pkgver=2.7.1
pkgrel=1
pkgdesc="A utility to apply patch files to original sources"
arch=('i686' 'x86_64')
url="https://www.gnu.org/software/patch/patch.html"
license=('GPL')
groups=('base-devel')
depends=('glibc')
makedepends=('ed')
optdepends=('ed: for "patch -e" functionality')
source=("ftp://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/$pkgname/$pkgname-$pkgver.tar.xz"{,.sig})
md5sums=('e9ae5393426d3ad783a300a338c09b72'
         'SKIP')

build() {
        cd "$srcdir/$pkgname-$pkgver"
        ./configure --prefix=/usr
        make
}

package() {
        cd "$srcdir/$pkgname-$pkgver"
        make DESTDIR="$pkgdir/" install
}

See Also

See the pacman website at https://www.archlinux.org/pacman/ for current information on pacman and its related tools.

Bugs

Bugs? You must be kidding; there are no bugs in this software. But if we happen to be wrong, send us an email with as much detail as possible to pacman-dev@archlinux.org.

Authors

Current maintainers:

Past major contributors:

For additional contributors, use git shortlog -s on the pacman.git repository.