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Notes on Riak Source Tree Restructuring


The Riak source tree has undergone a major restructuring as part of a transition to a new build tool – rebar. This tool enforces OTP compliant directory structures for the riak application and its dependencies and provides an easy-to-use wrapper around the new reltool system available in Erlang R1303+. Using reltool makes it possible to construct a standalone server instance that can be used on machines without Erlang installed. This transition has also enabled us to introduce a standardized script for starting/stopping and other server management tasks.

Summary of changes


The source code can still be compiled using a single invocation of make at the top-level $RIAK directory:

$ make

However, if you want a runnable, redistributable server you need to make sure the “rel” target gets built:

$ make rel

This will place a full server install in the $RIAK/rel/riak directory. You can safely copy this riak directory to any other machine with the SAME operating system and architecture and run riak. See the README for more information about how to start/stop the server.

As an alternative to the “rel” target, if you are doing active development on the Riak source code you may want to try the “devrel” target. This will generate three runnable nodes in $RIAK/dev and symlink them in such a way that recompiles of the Riak source code (i.e. simple invocation of “make”) is automatically available to those nodes. These three nodes, (dev1, dev2, dev2) are NOT suitable for redistribution. They simply make it easy to quickly test changes to the Riak source code in a development environment.

NOTE: If you have just pulled the 0.7 version of Riak into an existing clone of a previous Riak version, you will need to remove the old “ebin” and “src” directories before running “make”.

Server scripts

start-*.sh and debug-*.sh have all been replaced with the bin/riak and bin/riak-admin scripts that are generated as part of the “rel” or “devrel” targets.


The functionality of this script is now available via:

$ bin/riak-admin test


The functionality of these scripts is now available via the bin/riak-admin script.


The config/ directory has been removed; you can now find default configuration in $RIAK/rel/overlay/etc directory – the app.config and vm.args files are copied from that location when running the “rel” or “devrel” targets. If you already have run the release targets you can just edit the files in the $RIAK/rel/riak/etc or $RIAK/dev/dev*/etc directories respectively.

This file has been replaced with vm.args.