flatpak-builder man page

flatpak-builder — Help build application dependencies

Synopsis

flatpak-builder [OPTION...] DIRECTORY MANIFEST

flatpak-builder --run [OPTION...] DIRECTORY MANIFEST COMMAND

flatpak-builder --show-deps [OPTION...] MANIFEST

Description

flatpak-builder is a wrapper around the flatpak build command that automates the building of applications and their dependencies. It is one option you can use to build applications.

The goal of flatpak-builder is to push as much knowledge about how to build modules to the individual upstream projects. It does this by assuming that the modules adhere to the Build API specified at https://github.com/cgwalters/build-api. This essentially means that it follows the ./configure && make && make install scheme with an optional autogen script. If the upstream does not adhere to the API you can make it do so by adding patches and extra files.

An invocation of flatpak-builder proceeds in these stages, each being specified in detail in json format in MANIFEST:

· Download all sources

· Initialize the application directory with flatpak build-init

· Build and install each module with flatpak build

· Clean up the final build tree by removing unwanted files and e.g. stripping binaries

· Finish the application directory with flatpak build-finish

After this you will end up with a build of the application in DIRECTORY, which you can export to a repository with the flatpak build-export command. If you use the --repo option, flatpack-builder will do the export for you at the end of the build process. When flatpak-builder does the export, it also stores the manifest that was used for the build in /app/manifest.json. The manifest is 'resolved', i.e. git branch names are replaced by the actual commit IDs that were used in the build.

At each of the above steps flatpak caches the result, and if you build the same file again, it will start at the first step where something changes. For instance the first version controlled source that had new commits added, or the first module where some changes to the MANIFEST file caused the build environment to change. This makes flatpak-builder very efficient for incremental builds.

Manifest Format

Toplevel

The top level of the json file describes global attributes of the application, how it can be built, and the list of modules that need to be built.

These are the properties that are accepted:

id or app-id (string)

A string defining the application id.

branch (string)

The branch of the application, defaults to master.

runtime (string)

The name of the runtime that the application uses.

runtime-version (string)

The version of the runtime that the application uses, defaults to master.

sdk (string)

The name of the development runtime that the application builds with.

var (string)

Initialize the (otherwise empty) writable /var in the build with a copy of this runtime.

metadata (string)

Use this file as the base metadata file when finishing.

command (string)

The filename or path to the main binary of the application. Note that this is really just a single file, not a commandline. If you want to pass arguments, install a shell script wrapper and use that as the command.

build-runtime (boolean)

Build a new runtime instead of an application.

separate-locales (boolean)

Separate out locale files and translations to an extension runtime. Defaults to true.

id-platform (string)

When building a runtime sdk, also create a platform based on it with this id.

metadata-platform (string)

The metadata file to use for the platform we create.

writable-sdk (boolean)

If true, use a writable copy of the sdk for /usr. Defaults to true if --build-runtime is specified.

appstream-compose (boolean)

Run appstream-compose during cleanup phase. Defaults to true.

sdk-extensions (array of strings)

Install these extra sdk extensions in /usr.

platform-extensions (array of strings)

Install these extra sdk extensions when creating the platform.

base (string)

Start with the files from the specified application. This can be used to create applications that extend another application.

base-version (string)

Use this specific version of the application specified in base. If unspecified, this uses the value specified in branch

base-extensions (array of strings)

Install these extra extensions from the base application when initializing the application directory.

tags (array of strings)

Add these tags to the metadata file.

build-options (object)

Object specifying the build environment. See below for details.

modules (array of objects or string)

An array of objects specifying the modules to be built in order. String members in the array are interpreted as the name of a separate json file that contains a module. See below for details.

cleanup (array of strings)

An array of file patterns that should be removed at the end. Patterns starting with / are taken to be full pathnames (without the /app prefix), otherwise they just match the basename.

cleanup-commands (array of strings)

An array of commandlines that are run during the cleanup phase.

cleanup-platform (array of strings)

Extra files to clean up in the platform.

finish-args (array of strings)

An array of arguments passed to the flatpak build-finish command.

rename-desktop-file (string)

Any desktop file with this name will be renamed to a name based on id during the cleanup phase.

rename-appdata-file (string)

Any appdata file with this name will be renamed to a name based on id during the cleanup phase.

rename-icon (string)

Any icon with this name will be renamed to a name based on id during the cleanup phase.

copy-icon (boolean)

If rename-icon is set, keep a copy of the old icon file.

desktop-file-name-prefix (string)

This string will be prefixed to the Name key in the main application desktop file.

desktop-file-name-suffix (string)

This string will be suffixed to the Name key in the main application desktop file.

Build Options

Build options specify the build environment of a module, and can be specified globally as well as per-module. Options can also be specified on a per-architecture basis using the arch property.

These are the properties that are accepted:

cflags (string)

This is set in the environment variable CFLAGS during the build.

cxxflags (string)

This is set in the environment variable CXXFLAGS during the build.

prefix (string)

The build prefix for the modules (defaults to /app for applications and /usr for runtimes).

env (object)

This is a dictionary defining environment variables to be set during the build.

build-args (array of strings)

This is an array containing extra options to pass to flatpak build.

strip (boolean)

If this is true (the default is false) then all ELF files will be stripped after install.

no-debuginfo (boolean)

By default (if strip is not true) flatpak-builder extracts all debug info in ELF files to a separate files and puts this in an extension. If you want to disable this, set no-debuginfo to true.

arch (object)

This is a dictionary defining for each arch a separate build options object that override the main one.

Module

Each module specifies a source that has to be separately built and installed. It contains the build options and a list of sources to download and extract before building.

Modules can be nested, in order to turn related modules on and off with a single key.

These are the properties that are accepted:

name (string)

The name of the module, used in e.g. build logs. The name is also used for constructing filenames and commandline arguments, therefore using spaces or '/' in this string is a bad idea.

disabled (boolean)

If true, skip this module

sources (array of objects)

An array of objects defining sources that will be downloaded and extracted in order

config-opts (array of strings)

An array of options that will be passed to configure

make-args (array of strings)

An array of arguments that will be passed to make

make-install-args (array of strings)

An array of arguments that will be passed to make install

rm-configure (boolean)

If true, remove the configure script before starting build

no-autogen (boolean)

Ignore the existence of an autogen script

no-parallel-make (boolean)

Don't call make with arguments to build in parallel

no-python-timestamp-fix (boolean)

Don't fix up the *.py[oc] header timestamps for ostree use.

cmake (boolean)

Use cmake instead of configure

builddir (boolean)

Use a build directory that is separate from the source directory

subdir (string)

Build inside this subdirectory of the extracted sources

build-options (object)

A build options object that can override global options

post-install (array of strings)

An array of shell commands that are run after the install phase. Can for example clean up the install dir, or install extra files.

cleanup (array of strings)

An array of file patterns that should be removed at the end. Patterns starting with / are taken to be full pathnames (without the /app prefix), otherwise they just match the basename. Note that any patterns will only match files installed by this module.

cleanup-platform (array of strings)

Extra files to clean up in the platform.

modules (array of objects or strings)

An array of objects specifying nested modules to be built before this one. String members in the array are interpreted as names of a separate json file that contains a module.

Sources

These contain a pointer to the source that will be extracted into the source directory before the build starts. They can be of several types, distinguished by the type property.

Archive sources (tar, zip)

type
"archive"

path (string)
The path of the archive

url (string)
The URL of a remote archive that will be downloaded. This overrides path if both are specified.

sha256 (string)
The sha256 checksum of the file, verified after download

strip-components (integer)
The number of initial pathname components to strip during extraction. Defaults to 1.

dest (string)
Directory inside the source dir where the archive will be extracted.

Git sources

type
"git"

path (string)
The path to a local checkout of the git repository. Due to how git-clone works, this will be much faster than specifying a URL of file:///...

url (string)
URL of the git repository. This overrides path if both are specified.

branch (string)
The branch/tag/commit to use from the git repository

dest (string)
Directory inside the source dir where the repository will be checked out.

Bzr sources

type
"bzr"

url (string)
URL of the bzr repository

revision (string)
A specific revision to use in the branch

dest (string)
Directory inside the source dir where the repository will be checked out.

File sources

type
"file"

path (string)
The path of a local file that will be copied into the source dir

url (string)
The URL of a remote file that will be downloaded and copied into the source dir. This overrides path if both are specified.

sha256 (string)
The sha256 checksum of the file, verified after download. This is optional for local files.

dest-filename (string)
Filename to use inside the source dir, default to the basename of path.

dest (string)
Directory inside the source dir where the file will be copied.

Script sources

This is a way to create a shell (/bin/sh) script from an inline set of commands.

type
"script"

commands (array of strings)
An array of shell commands that will be put in a shellscript file

dest-filename (string)
Filename to use inside the source dir, default to the basename of path.

dest (string)
Directory inside the source dir where the file will be copied.

Shell sources

This is a way to create/modify the sources by running shell commands.

type
"shell"

commands (array of strings)
An array of shell commands that will be run during source extraction

Patch sources

type
"patch"

path (string)
The path of a patch file that will be applied in the source dir

strip-components (integer)
The value of the -p argument to patch, defaults to 1.

dest (string)
Directory inside the source dir where the patch will be applied.

use-git (boolean)
Whether to use "git apply" rather than "patch" to apply the patch, required when the patch file contains binary diffs.

Options

The following options are understood:

-h, --help
Show help options and exit.
-v, --verbose
Print debug information during command processing.
--version
Print version information and exit.
--arch=ARCH
Specify the machine architecture to build for. If no architecture is specified, the host architecture will be automatically detected. Only host compatible architectures can be specified.
--disable-cache
Don't look at the existing cache for a previous build, instead always rebuild modules.
--disable-download
Don't download any sources. This only works if some version of all sources are downloaded already. This is useful if you want to guarantee that no network i/o is done. However, the build will fail if some source is not locally available.
--disable-updates
Download missing sources, but don't update local mirrors of version control repos. This is useful to rebuild things but without updating git or bzr repositories from the remote repository.
--run
Run a command in a sandbox based on the build dir. This starts flatpak build, with some extra arguments to give the same environment as the build, and the same permissions the final app will have. The command to run must be the last argument passed to flatpak-builder, after the directory and the manifest.
--show-deps
List all the (local) files that the manifest depends on.
--download-only
Exit successfully after downloading the required sources.
--build-only
Don't do the cleanup and finish stages, which is useful if you want to build more things into the app.
--finish-only
Only do the cleanup, finish and export stages, picking up where a --build-only command left off.
--require-changes
Do nothing, leaving a non-existent DIRECTORY if nothing changes since last cached build. If this is not specified, the latest version from the cache will be put into DIRECTORY.
--keep-build-dirs
Don't remove the sources and build after having built and installed each module. This also creates a symlink to the build directory with a stable name ("build-modulename").
--ccache
Enable use of ccache in the build (needs ccache in the sdk)
--stop-at=MODULENAME
Stop at the specified module, ignoring it and all the following ones in both the "download" and "build" phases. This is useful for debugging and development. For instance, you can build all the dependencies, but stop at the main application so that you can then do a build from a pre-existing checkout. Implies --build-only.
--repo=DIR
When build is done, run export the result to this repository.
-s, --subject=SUBJECT
One line subject for the commit message. Used when exporting the build results.
-b, --body=BODY
Full description for the commit message. Used when exporting the build results.
--gpg-sign=KEYID
Sign the commit with this GPG key. Used when exporting the build results. This option can be used multiple times.
--gpg-homedir=PATH
GPG Homedir to use when looking for keyrings. Used when exporting the build results.
--force-clean
Erase the previous contents of DIRECTORY if it is not empty.
--sandbox
Disable the possibility to specify build-args that are passed to flatpak build. This means the build process can't break out of its sandbox, and is useful when building less trusted software.
--allow-missing-runtimes
Do not immediately fail if the sdk or platform runtimes are not installed on this system. Attempting to build any manifest modules will still fail if the sdk is missing, but may be useful for apps that install files without a sandbox build.

Caching

flatpak-builder caches sources and partial build results in the .flatpak-builder subdirectory of the current directory. If you use --keep-build-dirs, build directories for each module are also stored here.

It is safe to remove the contents of the .flatpak-builder directory. This will force a full build the next time you build.

Examples

$ flatpak-builder my-app-dir manifest.json

Example manifest file:

{
    "id": "org.test.TestApp",
    "runtime": "org.freedesktop.Platform",
    "runtime-version": "1.2",
    "sdk": "org.freedesktop.Sdk",
    "command": "test",
    "clean": [ "/include", "*.la" ],
    "build-options" : {
        "cflags": "-O2 -g",
        "cxxflags": "-O2 -g",
        "env": {
            "V": "1"
        },
        "arch": {
            "x86_64": {
                "cflags": "-O3 -g",
            }
        }
    },
    "modules": [
        {
            "name": "pygobject",
            "config-opts": [ "--disable-introspection" ],
            "sources": [
                {
                    "type": "archive",
                    "url": "http://ftp.gnome.org/pub/GNOME/sources/pygobject/2.28/pygobject-2.28.6.tar.xz",
                    "sha256": "fb8a1d4f665130a125011659bd347c7339c944232163dbb9a34fd0686577adb8"
                },
                {
                    "type": "patch",
                    "path": "required-pygobject-fix.patch"
                },
                {
                    "type": "file",
                    "path": "pygobject-extra-file",
                    "dest-filename": "extra-file"
                }
            ]
        },
        {
            "name": "babl",
            "build-options" : { "cxxflags": "-O2 -g -std=c++11" },
            "cleanup": [ "/bin" ],
            "sources": [
                {
                    "type": "git",
                    "url": "git://git.gnome.org/babl"
                }
            ]
        },
        {
            "name": "testapp",
            "sources": [
                {
                    "type": "bzr",
                    "url": "lp:testapp"
                }
            ]
        }
    ]
}

See Also

flatpak(1), flatpak-build-init(1), flatpak-build(1), flatpak-build-finish(1), flatpak-build-export(1)

Info

flatpak flatpak builder