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Leveraging Pkg Feeds or How I got Tired of Burning Images

I was trying to build a sw repo on target and found that I lacked many of the tools and libraries in order to accomplish this. I tend to do this first, if I want to make a recipe from scratch for software that I am not too familiar with. This way, I can follow the instructions for building w/o reinterpretation, verify that I have or can build the necessary dependencies, and check that the sw works properly; all before diving into recipes. I have found reflashing and rebooting the image on the target to be quite slow. Luckily YP supports a much better workflow for this process. Note: This works as well with kernel modules as it does with libraries/binaries
In this example, we will be building znc 1.6.5, an irc bouncer. This is just a good complex example. In order to use this guide, you should set up your bitbake environment and your target as outlined in PkgFeeds the EasiestWay


  • It's typically easies to make an image that has *most* of what you think you'll need. In this example, I added the following to my local.conf:
 EXTRA_IMAGE_FEATURES += " ssh-server-openssh package-management  dev-pkgs tools-sdk tools-debug tools-profile "
  • Now I'll grab the src code we will try to build Note: this is an ON TARGET build the build host side is just for the dependencies...
git clone
cd znc
git checkout -b 1.6.5 znc-1.6.5
* follow the build instructions

This worked, but we decide we want to have cyrus support as well.

  • First we try
./configure --enable-cyrus

but we get

configure: error: could not find libsasl2. Try --disable-cyrus.
  • So we need the cyrus-sals-dev pkg. If we aren't sure where that is, we can use openembedded layer index and search for the recipe cyrus (this finds cyrus-sasl2 in meta-networking). So, we add meta-networking to bblayers (and meta-oe and meta-python, as its dependencies) then build cyrus-sasl.
 bitbake cyrus-sasl

and remake the package index

bitbake package-index
  • target side, pull in the new package. Since I am building stuff, I need the -dev pkg for configure to be happy.
$dnf install cyrus-sasl-dev (note this will also pull in the cyrus-sasl rpm as a dependency.)

If this fails, make sure you followed the instructions in PkgFeeds the EasiestWay. You should have set up the on target repo in /etc/yum.repos.d/myrepo.repo and have a web server of some type pointed to tmp/deploy/rpm (like twistd -n web --path tmp/deploy/rpm -p 5678) on your build host.

  • now we rerun configure and get:
./configure --enable-cyrus
 ZNC 1.6.5 configured
prefix:       /usr/local
debug:        no
ipv6:         yes
openssl:      yes
dns:          threads
perl:         no
python:       no
swig:         not needed
cyrus:        yes
tcl:          no
charset:      yes
zlib:         yes
run from src: no

Pretty Easy, you can see how this cycle may be repeated a number of times for more complex projects.

  • Let's build it
~/znc# make
Packing man page znc.1.gz...
Packing man page znc-buildmod.1.gz...
It looks like git submodules are not initialized. Run: git submodule update --init --recursive
make: *** [Makefile:168: third_party/Csocket/Csocket.h] Error 1
~/znc# git submodule update --init --recursive
git: 'submodule' is not a git command. See 'git --help'.

Whoops, we need git submodule... This one is harder to find. After verifying that we already have git-dev installed, I ended up searching the poky tree for git-submodule

$ git grep git-submodule
bitbake/lib/bb/tests/            fetcher = bb.fetch.Fetch(["gitsm://;rev=f12e57f2edf0aa534cf1616fa983d165
meta/recipes-devtools/git/    ${libexecdir}/git-core/git-submodule \

If we look in meta/recipes-devtools/git/ we can see that the git-submodule is included in git-perltools:

PACKAGES =+ "${PN}-perltools".

So we can pull in the git-perltools as well on the target:

# dnf install git-perltools

and rerun the git submodule init

# git submodule update --init --recursive
Submodule 'Csocket' ( registered for path 'third_party/Csocket'
Cloning into '/home/root/znc/third_party/Csocket'...
Submodule path 'third_party/Csocket': checked out '448e18a29ed383451db3cb648a72da4fcbb3f8e5'

It worked :), and now we can successfully type make. Having to reflash the image for each of these steps would have been much slower!

# make
Building module autocycle...
Linking  module autocycle...
Building core object SSLVerifyHost...
Linking znc...
ZNC was successfully compiled.
Use 'make install' to install ZNC to '/usr/local'.
  • I prefer emacs, so I tend to to this a lot as zile is a small emacs analogue:
$ bitbake zile
$ bitbake package-index

Target ->

# dnf install zile

Ways to Serve up the rpm repo

  • very simple - use python twistd.
    • let's suppose you have an rpm repo on the host that is in dir /home/me/mrrepo.
    cd /home/me/mrrepo;
    twistd -n web --path . -p 5678
    • similarly, if you are just serving up the build directories rpm's you can just do
    cd /home/me/mrrepo;
    twistd -n web --path tmp/deploy/rpm -p 5678
      • Note , only 1 process can own a given port.
  • less simple, but better response and better stability- use lighthttpd.
    • I advocate using this from a container as it is simpler to maintain.
 docker run -it --rm --name user-rpm-server -v /home/me/mrrepo:/var/www/localhost/htdocs -v /home/me/lighttpd:/etc/lighttpd -p 5678:80 sebp/lighttpd 

    • What goes in /home/me/lighttpd? the config for the lighthttpd container you are running.
    • Where did they come from? Copied from inside the container
      • docker run -it --rm --user=root --entrypoint=/bin/sh -v /home/me/lighttpd:/frog sebp/lighttpd
      • # cp -a /etc/lighttpd/* /frog
      • Now your /home/me/lightppd has the necessary config files.
    • The files in /home/me/lighthttpd:
      • lighttpd.conf lighttpd.conf~ mime-types.conf mod_cgi.conf mod_fastcgi.conf mod_fastcgi_fpm.conf
        • From this you can see I run emacs. The only change I did was to turn on directory listing .
        • diff lighttpd.conf lighttpd.conf~
< dir-listing.activate      = "enable"
> #   dir-listing.activate      = "enable"

    • the -p 5678:80 exposes the default port the container runs it's service (aka 80) on to the host port 5678.
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