build man page

build — build SuSE Linux RPMs in a chroot environment


build [--clean|--no-init] [--repo dir_or_url] [--repo...] [--root buildroot] [recipefile]
build --help
build --verify


build is a tool to build binary packages in a safe and reproducible way. The default is to build in a chroot sandbox, but build also supports building in a virtual machine for better security.

If a recipe file is specified on the command line, build will use this file and all other files in the directory for building the package. If no recipe argument is provided, build will search the current directory for a file.

The build tool understands the following recipe file types:


A specfile used to generate rpms.


A source rpm, which will be unpacked for the build.


A kiwi config file used to generate a kiwi image.


A dsc file used to generate Debian binary packages.


A file used to generate Arch Linux binary packages.


A shell script used to generate a Collax binary package.



Remove the build system and reinitialize it from scratch.


Skip the build system initialization and start with build immediately.

--repo dir_or_url

Either a directory containing binary packages (optionally with repository metadata), or a url pointing to some remote repository. Multiple --repo options can be used so create a specific repository layering. Note that packages are searched in the specified repository order, i.e. the first repository containing a package with a specific name wins regardless of the version. As a special form, 'zypp://reponame' can be used to specify a system repository. 'zypp://' selects all enabled system repositories. This is also the default if BUILD_RPMS is not set and no --rpms or --repo option is used.

--dist distribution

Set the distribution. If this option is not given, build tries to guess the distribution by looking at the available packages. The specified distribution can either be a string like "11.2" or "sles9", "debian7", or the pathname of the build configuration to use.

--root buildroot

Specifies where the build system is set up. Overrides the BUILD_ROOT enviroment variable.


Print a short help text.


Force building with user abuild. Otherwise, build searches the recipe file for a "needsrootforbuild" hint to decide what user to use.


list packages that would be used to create a fresh build root. Does not create the build root or perform a build.

--rpms path1:path2:path3...

Where build can find the packages needed to create the build system. This option overrides the BUILD_RPMS environment variable. This option is deprecated, use --repo instead.

--arch arch1:arch2:arch3...

What architectures to select from the RPMs. build automatically sets this to a sensible value for your host if you do not specify this option so you should almost never need it.

Rpm Build Specific Options


Tell build not to do dependency expansion, but to extract the list of packages to install from "# usedforbuild" lines or, if none are found, from all "BuildRequires" lines.  This option is useful if you want to re-build a package from a srcrpm with exactly the same packages used for the srcrpm build.


Pass a stage option to rpmbuild. The default is -ba.


Call rpmbuild with a target option. This can be used for cross building.


Verify the files in an existing build system.

Virtual Machine Specific Options

--xen --kvm --uml --qemu --emulator --zvm --lxc

Sets a specific vm type.

--vm-type type

As above.

--vm-disk file

Specifies the location of the disk image to use. If this option is not given, buildroot.img is used (e.g. /var/tmp/build-root.img).

--vm-disk-size size_in_mb

Specify the size of the disk image to create.

--vm-disk-filesystem type

Sets the filesystem type to use when creating the disk image. The default is to use the ext3 filesystem.

--vm-swap file

Specifies the location of the swap file to use. If this option is not given, buildroot.swap is used (e.g. /var/tmp/build-root.swap).

--vm-swap-size size_in_mb

Specify the size of the swap file to create.

--vm-memory size_in_mb

Sets the desired memory size of the virtual machine.

--vm-kernel kernel_file

Set a specific kernel to boot in the virtual machine.

--vm-initrd initrd_file

Set a specific kernel to boot in the virtual machine.


Force the recreation of the disk image.

--vm-telnet PORT

Is forwarding PORT to a telnet session inside of the VM. Specify also needed extra packages via -x parameter, usually: --vm-telnet 1234 -x telnet-server -x net-tools
  And connect from the host via: telnet localhost 1234
  NOTE: The telnet server gets started after all packages got installed.

Recipe File Options

The build command interprets some special control comments in the recipe file:

# norootforbuild
# needsrootforbuild

build uses either user root or user abuild in the build system to do the build.  For non-SUSE distros as well as since SUSE 10.2, the default build user is abuild. For 10.2 and before, the default build user is root. These two flags in the spec file allow to deviate from the defaults and force-set the build user to abuild and root (for # norootforbuild and # needsrootforbuild respectively.

# needsbinariesforbuild

provide the binary rpms that have been used to set up the build root in /.build.binaries within the build root.



The directory where build should install the chrooted build system. "/var/tmp/build-root" is used by default. See the --root option.


This can be used instead of the --rpms option. Deprecated.


The rpm build stage (-ba, -bb, ...).  This is just passed through to rpm, check the rpm manpage for a complete list and descriptions. "-ba" is the default. You should probably use the --stage option instead.

See Also


Maximum RPM:

cross distribution packaging:

openSUSE packaging standards and guidelines:

Referenced By


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