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Revision as of 04:37, 10 April 2013

zh-CN:VCS PKGBUILD Guidelines zh-TW:VCS PKGBUILD Guidelines Template:Package Guidelines

Version control systems can be used for retrieval of source code for both usual statically versioned packages and latest (trunk) version of packages. This article covers both cases.


The ABS package provides prototypes for cvs, svn, git, mercurial, and darcs PKGBUILDs. When abs is installed, you can find them in /usr/share/pacman. Latest versions can be found in the prototypes directory in the ABS Git repository.


  • Suffix pkgname with -cvs, -svn, -hg, -darcs, -bzr, -git etc. unless the package fetches a specific release.
  • If the resulting package is different after changing the dependencies, URL, sources, etc. increasing the pkgrel is mandatory. Touching the pkgver isn't.
  • Include what the package conflicts with and provides (e.g. for fluxbox-gitAUR: conflicts=('fluxbox') and provides=('fluxbox')).
  • replaces=() generally causes unnecessary problems and should be avoided.
  • When using the cvsroot, use anonymous:@ rather than anonymous@ to avoid having to enter a blank password or anonymous:password@, if one is required.

VCS sources

Note: Pacman 4.1 supports the following VCS sources: bzr, git, hg and svn. See the fragment section of man PKGBUILD or PKGBUILD(5) for a list of supported VCS.

Starting with pacman 4.1, the VCS sources should be specified in the source=() array and will be treated like any other source. makepkg will clone/checkout/branch the repo into $SRCDEST (same as $startdir if not set in makepkg.conf(5)) and copy it to $srcdir (in a specific way to each VCS). The local repo is left untouched, thus invalidating the need for a -build directory.

The general format of a VCS source=() array is:

  • folder (optional) is used to change the default repo name to something more relevant (e.g. than trunk) or to preserve the previous sources
  • vcs+ is needed for URLs that do not reflect the VCS type, e.g. git+http://some_repo.
  • url is the URL to the distant or local repo
  • #fragment (optional) is needed to pull a specific branch or commit

An example Git source array:


The pkgver() function

The pkgver autobump is now achieved via a dedicated pkgver() function. This allows for better control over the pkgver, and maintainers should favor a pkgver that makes sense. Following are some examples showing the intended output:


Using the tag of the last commit:

pkgver() {
  cd local_repo
  git describe --always | sed 's|-|.|g'

Using the total count of commits:

pkgver() {
  cd local_repo
  echo $(git rev-list --count master).$(git rev-parse --short master)


pkgver() {
  cd "$SRCDEST"/local_repo
  svnversion | tr -d [A-z]
Note: The copy in $srcdir is made using svn export which does not create working copies. Any svn related command has to be used in the local repo in $SRCDEST.


pkgver() {
  cd local_repo
  hg identify -ni | awk 'BEGIN{OFS=".";} {print $2,$1}'


pkgver() {
  cd local_repo
  bzr revno


The current date can be used, in case no satisfactory pkgver can be extracted from the repo:

pkgver() {
  date +%Y%m%d


A sample Git PKGBUILD for pacman 4.1

# Maintainer: Dave Reisner <d@falconindy.com> 
# Contributor: William Giokas (KaiSforza) <1007380@gmail.com>

pkgdesc="Pacman database extraction utility"
arch=('i686' 'x86_64')
makedepends=('git' 'perl')
# The git repo is detected by the 'git:' or 'git+' beginning. The branch
# 'pacman41' is then checked out upon cloning, expediating versioning:
# Because the sources are not static, skip Git checksum:

pkgver() {
  cd $_gitname
  # Use the tag of the last commit
  git describe --always | sed 's|-|.|g'

build() {
  cd $_gitname

package() {
  cd $_gitname
  make PREFIX=/usr DESTDIR="$pkgdir" install
  install -Dm644 "$srcdir/expac_icon.png" "$pkgdir/usr/share/pixmaps/expac.png"

Removing VCS leftovers

To make sure that there are no VCS leftovers use the following at the end of the package() function (replacing .git with .svn, .hg, etc.):

find "$pkgdir" -type d -name .git -exec rm -r '{}' +

SVN packages that try to get their revision number

If the build system for the program you are packaging calls svnversion or svn info to determine its revision number, you can add a prepare() function similar to this one to make it work:

prepare() {
  cp -a "$SRCDEST/$_svnmod/.svn" "$srcdir/$_svnmod/"


Bazaar limitation

Currently, only one type of bazaar URLs can be used in the source array, which format is specific to the host. For example, Launchpad URLs will need to start with http://bazaar.launchpad.net/, e.g.:


Also, lp: URLs are not supported at the moment. Failing to use the correct URL will prevent makepkg from updating the local repo. The correct URL for each host can be obtained by running:

$ bzr config parent_location

inside the local repo.

Note: These issues will be fixed in pacman 4.1.1.