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solbuild is a chroot based package build system, used to safely and efficiently build Solus packages from source, in a highly controlled and isolated environment. This tool succeeds the evobuild tool, originally in Evolve OS, which is now known as Solus. The very core concept of the layered builder has always remained the same, this is the next .. evolution.. of the tool.


solbuild makes use of OverlayFS to provide a simple caching system, whereby a base image (provided by the Solus project) is used as the bottom-most, read-only layer, and changes are made in temporary upper layers. Currently the project provides two base images for the default profiles shipped with solbuild:

  • main-x86_64: Built using the stable Solus repositories, suitable for production deployments for shannon users.
  • unstable-x86_64: Built using the unstable Solus repositories, ideal for developers, and the Solus build machinery for the repo waterfall prior to shannon inclusion.

When building package.yml files (ypkg), the tool will also disable all networking within the environment, apart from the loopback device. This is intended to prevent uncontrolled build environments in which a package may be fetching external, unverified sources, during the build.

solbuild also allows developers to control the repositories used by configuring the profiles:

  • Remove any base image repo
  • Add any given repo, remote or local. Local repos are bind mounted and can be automatically indexed by solbuild.

solbuild performs heavy caching throughout, with source archives being stored in unique hash based directories globally, and the ccache being retained after each build through bind mounts. A single package cache is retained to speed up subsequent builds, and users may speed this up further by updating their base images.

As a last speed booster, solbuild allows you to perform builds in memory via the --tmpfs option.

Note: solbuild is designed in such a way that you do not need to be running Solus. You can build packages for Solus from any compatible host.

solbuild is a Solus project.


Getting started

Solus Users

sudo eopkg up
sudo eopkg it solbuild

# If you only ever want to use the unstable repo by default
sudo eopkg it solbuild-config-unstable

Everyone else

git clone
cd solbuild
make ensure_modules
sudo make install

You may wish to use the provided tarballs, which include vendored dependencies. Distributions are free to nuke the src/vendor directory from the distributed tarball and use their own golang dependencies if appropriate.

Initialising the root

Run the following command to fetch and install the base image. If you wish to change the profile, use the -p flag (unstable-x86_64 or main-x86_64) The -u flag will automatically update the image.

sudo solbuild init -u

Updating the image

# Update the default profile
sudo solbuild update

# Update a specific profile
sudo solbuild update unstable-x86_64

Building packages

# Build the first package found in the current directory
sudo solbuild build

# Build a specific path
sudo solbuild build ../mypackages/package.yml

# Build for unstable profile
sudo solbuild -p unstable-x86_64 build

See the solbuild help command for more details, or solbuild(1) manpage.


  • golang (tested with 1.7.4)
  • libgit2 (Also require git at runtime for submodules)
  • curl command

Your kernel must support the overlayfs filesystem. Git is required as solbuild supports the git| source type of ypkg files. Additionally, solbuild will try to generate a package changelog from the git history where the YPKG file is found. This is used within Solus to create a changelog dynamically from the git tags, and automatically marking security updates, etc.


Copyright © 2016-2017 Solus Project

solbuild is available under the terms of the Apache-2.0 license