Difference between revisions of "Makepkg"

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(not out of date yet, we'll deal with this when it is (it's already taking longer than a year: https://git.archlinux.org/pacman-contrib.git/commit/?id=bda662e1dddb644557c86e821147fab13fb7ef9c))
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=== Generate new checksums ===
=== Generate new checksums ===
{{Out of date|Next version of pacman will not provide {{ic|updpkgsums}}.|section=updpkgsums is gone}}
Run the following command in the same directory as the PKGBUILD file to generate new checksums:
Run the following command in the same directory as the PKGBUILD file to generate new checksums:
  $ updpkgsums
  $ updpkgsums

Revision as of 16:36, 21 February 2018

makepkg is a script to automate the building of packages. The requirements for using the script are a build-capable Unix platform and a PKGBUILD.

makepkg is provided by the pacman package.


See makepkg.conf(5) for details on configuration options for makepkg.

The system configuration is available in /etc/makepkg.conf, but user-specific changes can be made in $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/pacman/makepkg.conf or ~/.makepkg.conf. It is recommended to review the configuration prior to building packages.

Packager information

Each package is tagged with metadata identifying amongst others also the packager. By default, user-compiled packages are marked with Unknown Packager. If multiple users will be compiling packages on a system, or you are otherwise distributing your packages to other users, it is convenient to provide real contact. This can be done by setting the PACKAGER variable in makepkg.conf.

To check this on an installed package:

$ pacman -Qi package
Packager       : John Doe <john@doe.com>

To automatically produce signed packages, also set the GPGKEY variable in makepkg.conf.

Package output

By default, makepkg creates the package tarballs in the working directory and downloads source data directly to the src/ directory. Custom paths can be configured, for example to keep all built packages in ~/build/packages/ and all sources in ~/build/sources/.

Configure the following makepkg.conf variables if needed:

  • PKGDEST — directory for storing resulting packages
  • SRCDEST — directory for storing source data (symbolic links will be placed to src/ if it points elsewhere)
  • SRCPKGDEST — directory for storing resulting source packages (built with makepkg -S)

Signature checking

Note: The signature checking implemented in makepkg does not use pacman's keyring, instead relying on the user's keyring.[1]

If a signature file in the form of .sig or .asc is part of the PKGBUILD source array, makepkg automatically attempts to verify it. In case the user's keyring does not contain the needed public key for signature verification, makepkg will abort the installation with a message that the PGP key could not be verified.

If a needed public key for a package is missing, the PKGBUILD will most likely contain a validpgpkeys entry with the required key IDs. You can import it manually, or you can find it on a keyserver and import it from there.


Before continuing, install the base-devel group. Packages belonging to this group are not required to be listed as build-time dependencies (makedepends) in PKGBUILD files. In addition, the base group is assumed to be installed on all Arch systems.

  • Make sure sudo is configured properly for commands passed to pacman.
  • Running makepkg itself as root is disallowed.[2] Besides how a PKGBUILD may contain arbitrary commands, building as root is generally considered unsafe.[3] Users who have no access to a regular user account should run makepkg as the nobody user.

To build a package, one must first create a PKGBUILD, or build script, as described in Creating packages. Existing scripts are available from the Arch Build System (ABS) tree or the AUR. Once in possession of a PKGBUILD, change to the directory where it is saved and run the following command to build the package:

$ makepkg

If required dependencies are missing, makepkg will issue a warning before failing. To build the package and install needed dependencies, add the flag -s/--syncdeps:

$ makepkg --syncdeps

Adding the -r/--rmdeps flag causes makepkg to remove the make dependencies later, which are no longer needed. If constantly building packages, consider using Pacman/Tips and tricks#Removing unused packages (orphans) once in a while instead.

  • These dependencies must be available in the configured repositories; see pacman#Repositories and mirrors for details. Alternatively, one can manually install dependencies prior to building (pacman -S --asdeps dep1 dep2).
  • Only global values are used when installing dependencies, i.e any override done in a split package's packaging function will not be used. [4]

Once all dependencies are satisfied and the package builds successfully, a package file (pkgname-pkgver.pkg.tar.xz) will be created in the working directory. To install, use -i/--install (same as pacman -U pkgname-pkgver.pkg.tar.xz):

$ makepkg --install

To clean up leftover files and folders, such as files extracted to the $srcdir, add the option -c/--clean. This is useful for multiple builds of the same package or updating the package version, while using the same build folder. It prevents obsolete and remnant files from carrying over to the new builds:

$ makepkg --clean

For more, see makepkg(8).

Tips and tricks

Building optimized binaries

A performance improvement of the packaged software can be achieved by enabling compiler optimizations for the host machine. The downside is that binaries compiled for a specific processor architecture will not run correctly on other machines. On x86_64 machines, there are rarely significant enough real world performance gains that would warrant investing the time to rebuild official packages.

However, it is very easy to reduce performance by using "nonstandard" compiler flags. Many compiler optimizations are only useful in certain situations and should not be indiscriminately applied to every package. Unless you can verify/benchmark that something is faster, there is a very good chance it is not! The Gentoo Compilation Optimization Guide and Safe CFLAGS wiki article provide more in-depth information about compiler optimization.

The options passed to a C/C++ compiler (e.g. gcc or clang) are controlled by the CFLAGS, CXXFLAGS, and CPPFLAGS environment variables. For use in the Arch build system, makepkg exposes these environment variables as configuration options in makepkg.conf. The default values are configured to produce generic binaries that can be installed on a wide range of machines.

  • Keep in mind that not all build systems use the variables configured in makepkg.conf. For example, cmake disregards the preprocessor options environment variable, CPPFLAGS. Consequently, many PKGBUILDs contain workarounds with options specific to the build system used by the packaged software.
  • The configuration provided with the source code in the Makefile or a specific argument in the compilation command line takes precedence and can potentially override the one in makepkg.conf.

GCC can automatically detect and enable safe architecture-specific optimizations. To use this feature, first remove any -march and -mtune flags, then add -march=native. For example:

CFLAGS="-march=native -O2 -pipe -fstack-protector-strong -fno-plt"

To see what flags this enables on your machine, run:

$ gcc -march=native -v -Q --help=target
Note: If you specify different value than -march=native, then -Q --help=target will not work as expected.[5] You need to go through a compilation phase to find out which options are really enabled. See Find CPU-specific options on Gentoo wiki for instructions.

Improving compile times

Parallel compilation

The make build system uses the MAKEFLAGS environment variable to specify additional options for make. The variable can also be set in the makepkg.conf file.

Users with multi-core/multi-processor systems can specify the number of jobs to run simultaneously. This can be accomplished with the use of nproc to determine the number of available processors, e.g. MAKEFLAGS="-j$(nproc)". Some PKGBUILDs specifically override this with -j1, because of race conditions in certain versions or simply because it is not supported in the first place. Packages that fail to build because of this should be reported on the bug tracker (or in the case of AUR packages, to the package maintainer) after making sure that the error is indeed being caused by your MAKEFLAGS.

See make(1) for a complete list of available options.

Building from files in memory

As compiling requires many I/O operations and handling of small files, moving the working directory to a tmpfs may bring improvements in build times.

The BUILDDIR variable can be temporarily exported to makepkg to set the build directory to an existing tmpfs. For example:

$ BUILDDIR=/tmp/makepkg makepkg

Persistent configuration can be done in makepkg.conf by uncommenting the BUILDDIR option, which is found at the end of the BUILD ENVIRONMENT section in the default /etc/makepkg.conf file. Setting its value to e.g. BUILDDIR=/tmp/makepkg will make use of the Arch's default /tmp temporary file system.

  • Avoid compiling larger packages in tmpfs to prevent running out of memory.
  • The tmpfs folder must be mounted without the noexec option, otherwise it will prevent built binaries from being executed.
  • Keep in mind that packages compiled in tmpfs will not persist across reboot. Consider setting the PKGDEST option appropriately to move the built package automatically to a persistent directory.

Using a compilation cache

The use of ccache can improve build times by caching the results of compilations for successive use.

Generate new checksums

Run the following command in the same directory as the PKGBUILD file to generate new checksums:

$ updpkgsums

Use other compression algorithms

To speed up both packaging and installation, with the tradeoff of having larger package archives, you can change PKGEXT. For example, the following makes the package archive uncompressed for only one invocation:

$ PKGEXT='.pkg.tar' makepkg

As another example, the following uses the lzop algorithm, with the lzo package required:

$ PKGEXT='.pkg.tar.lzo' makepkg

To make one of these settings permanent, set PKGEXT in /etc/makepkg.conf.

Utilizing multiple cores on compression

xz supports symmetric multiprocessing (SMP) via the --threads flag to speed up compression. For example, to let makepkg use as many CPU cores as possible to compress packages, edit COMPRESSXZ array in /etc/makepkg.conf:

COMPRESSXZ=(xz -c -z - --threads=0)

pigz is a drop-in, parallel implementation for gzip which by default uses all available CPU cores (the -p/--processes flag can be used to employ less cores):

COMPRESSGZ=(pigz -c -f -n)

Show packages with specific packager

This shows all packages installed on the system with the packager named packagername:

$ expac "%n %p" | grep "packagername" | column -t

This shows all packages installed on the system with the packager set in the /etc/makepkg variable PACKAGER. This shows only packages that are in a repository defined in /etc/pacman.conf.

$ . /etc/makepkg.conf; grep -xvFf <(pacman -Qqm) <(expac "%n\t%p" | grep "$PACKAGER$" | cut -f1)

Build 32-bit packages on a 64-bit system

Merge-arrows-2.pngThis article or section is a candidate for merging with Building 32-bit packages on a 64-bit system.Merge-arrows-2.png

Notes: please use the second argument of the template to provide more detailed indications. (Discuss in Talk:Makepkg#)

Tango-view-refresh-red.pngThis article or section is out of date.Tango-view-refresh-red.png

Reason: The Install bundled 32-bit system in 64-bit system article has been archived (Discuss in Talk:Makepkg#)
Warning: Errors have been reported when using this method to build the linux package. The chroot method is preferred and has been verified to work for building the kernel packages.

First, enable the multilib repository and install multilib-devel.

Then create a 32-bit configuration file

CFLAGS="-m32 -march=i686 -mtune=generic -O2 -pipe -fstack-protector-strong"
LDFLAGS="-m32 -Wl,-O1,--sort-common,--as-needed,-z,relro"

and invoke makepkg as such

$ linux32 makepkg --config ~/.makepkg.i686.conf


Makepkg sometimes fails to sign a package without asking for signature passphrase

With gnupg 2.1, gpg-agent is now started 'on-the-fly' by gpg. The problem arises in the package stage of makepkg --sign. To allow for the correct privileges, fakeroot runs the package() function thereby starting gpg-agent within the same fakeroot environment. On exit, the fakeroot cleanups semaphores causing the 'write' end of the pipe to close for that instance of gpg-agent which will result in a broken pipe error. If the same gpg-agent is running when makepkg --sign is next executed, then gpg-agent returns exit code 2; so the following output occurs:

==> Signing package...
==> WARNING: Failed to sign package file.

This bug is currently being tracked: FS#49946. A temporary workaround for this issue is to run killall gpg-agent && makepkg --sign instead. This issue is resolved within pacman-gitAUR, specifically at commit hash c6b04c04653ba9933fe978829148312e412a9ea7

CFLAGS/CXXFLAGS/CPPFLAGS in makepkg.conf do not work for QMAKE based packages

Qmake automatically sets the variable CFLAGS and CXXFLAGS according to what it thinks should be the right configuration. In order to let qmake use the variables defined in the makepkg configuration file, you must edit the PKGBUILD and pass the variables QMAKE_CFLAGS_RELEASE and QMAKE_CXXFLAGS_RELEASE to qmake. For example:


build() {
  cd "$srcdir/$_pkgname-$pkgver-src"
  qmake-qt4 "$srcdir/$_pkgname-$pkgver-src/$_pkgname.pro" \
    PREFIX=/usr \



Alternatively, for a system wide configuration, you can create your own qmake.conf and set the QMAKESPEC environment variable.

Specifying install directory for QMAKE based packages

The makefile generated by qmake uses the environment variable INSTALL_ROOT to specify where the program should be installed. Thus this package function should work:


package() {
	cd "$srcdir/${pkgname%-git}"
	make INSTALL_ROOT="$pkgdir" install


Note, that qmake also has to be configured appropriately. For example put this in your .pro file:


target.path = /usr/local/bin
INSTALLS += target


WARNING: Package contains reference to $srcdir

Somehow, the literal strings $srcdir or $pkgdir ended up in one of the installed files in your package.

To identify which files, run the following from the makepkg build directory:

$ grep -R "$(pwd)/src" pkg/

Link to discussion thread.

See also