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The XBPS source packages collection
branch: master

The XBPS source packages collection

This repository contains the XBPS source packages collection to build binary packages for the Void Linux distribution.

The included xbps-src script will fetch and compile the sources, and install its files into a fake destdir to generate XBPS binary packages that can be installed or queried through the xbps-install(8) and xbps-query(8) utilities, respectively.

The xbps-src utility uses xbps-uchroot(8) to build packages in lightweight linux containers through the use of namespaces, that means that processes and bind mounts are isolated (among others).


  • GNU bash
  • xbps >= 0.43.1

A privileged group is required to be able to execute xbps-uchroot(8), by default in void it's the xbuilder group.

Quick setup in Void

Add your user to the xbuilder group:

# usermod -a -G xbuilder <user>

Clone the void-packages git repository, install the bootstrap packages:

$ git clone git://
$ cd void-packages
$ ./xbps-src binary-bootstrap


 $ ./xbps-src -h

to see all available targets/options and start building any available package in the srcpkgs directory.

Install the bootstrap packages

The bootstrap packages are a set of packages required to build any available source package in a container. There are two methods to install the bootstrap:

  • bootstrap: all bootstrap packages will be built from scratch.
  • binary-bootstrap: the bootstrap binary packages are downloaded via XBPS repositories.

If you don't want to waste your time building everything from scratch probably it's better to use binary-bootstrap.


The etc/defaults.conf file contains the possible settings that can be overrided through the etc/conf configuration file for the xbps-src utility; if that file does not exist, will try to read configuration settings from ~/.xbps-src.conf.

If you want to customize default CFLAGS, CXXFLAGS and LDFLAGS, don't override those defined in etc/defaults.conf, append to them instead via etc/conf i.e:

$ echo 'XBPS_CFLAGS+=" your flags here "' >> etc/conf
$ echo 'XBPS_LDFLAGS+=" your flags here "' >> etc/conf

Virtual packages

The etc/defaults.virtual file contains the default replacements for virtual packages, used as dependencies in the source packages tree.

If you want to customize those replacements, copy etc/defaults.virtual to etc/virtual and edit it accordingly to your needs.

Directory tree

The following directory tree is used with a default configuration file:

        |- common
        |- etc
        |- srcpkgs
        |  |- xbps
        |     |- template
        |- hostdir
        |  |- binpkgs ...
        |  |- ccache-<arch> ...
        |  |- distcc-<arch> ...
        |  |- repocache ...
        |  |- sources ...
        |- masterdir
        |  |- builddir -> ...
        |  |- destdir -> ...
        |  |- host -> bind mounted from <hostdir>
        |  |- void-packages -> bind mounted from <void-packages>

The description of these directories is as follows:

  • masterdir: master directory to be used as rootfs to build/install packages.
  • builddir: to unpack package source tarballs and where packages are built.
  • destdir: to install packages, aka fake destdir.
  • hostdir/ccache-<arch>: to store ccache data if the XBPS_CCACHE option is enabled.
  • hostdir/distcc-<arch>: to store distcc data if the XBPS_DISTCC option is enabled.
  • hostdir/repocache: to store binary packages from remote repositories.
  • hostdir/sources: to store package sources.
  • hostdir/binpkgs: local repository to store generated binary packages.

Building packages

The simplest form of building package is accomplished by running the pkg target in xbps-src:

$ cd void-packages
$ ./xbps-src pkg <pkgname>

When the package and its required dependencies are built, the binary packages will be created and registered in the default local repository at hostdir/binpkgs; the path to this local repository can be added to any xbps configuration file (see xbps.d(5)) or by explicitly appending them via cmdline, i.e:

$ xbps-install --repository=/path/to/hostdir/binpkgs ...
$ xbps-query --repository=/path/to/hostdir/binpkgs ...

Currently xbps expects absolute path when using the --repository option. This has been corrected in the 0.44 version.

By default xbps-src will try to resolve package dependencies in this order:

  • If dependency exists in the local repository, use it (hostdir/binpkgs).
  • If dependency exists in a remote repository, use it.
  • If dependency exists in a source package, use it.

It is possible to avoid using remote repositories completely by using the -N flag.

The default local repository may contain multiple sub-repositories: debug, multilib, etc.

Package build options

The supported build options for a source package can be shown with xbps-src show-options:

$ ./xbps-src show-options foo

Build options can be enabled with the -o flag of xbps-src:

$ ./xbps-src -o option,option1 pkg foo

Build options can be disabled by prefixing them with ~:

$ ./xbps-src -o ~option,~option1 pkg foo

Both ways can be used together to enable and/or disable multiple options at the same time with xbps-src:

$ ./xbps-src -o option,~option1,~option2 pkg foo

The build options can also be shown for binary packages via xbps-query(8):

$ xbps-query -R --property=build-options foo

NOTE: if you build a package with a custom option, and that package is available in an official void repository, an update will ignore those options. Put that package on hold mode via xbps-pkgdb(8), i.e xbps-pkgdb -m hold foo to ignore updates with xbps-install -u. Once the package is on hold, the only way to update it is by declaring it explicitely: xbps-install -u foo.

Permanent global package build options can be set via XBPS_PKG_OPTIONS variable in the etc/conf configuration file. Per package build options can be set via XBPS_PKG_OPTIONS_<pkgname>.

NOTE: if pkgname contains dashes, those should be replaced by underscores i.e XBPS_PKG_OPTIONS_xorg_server=opt.

The list of supported package build options and its description is defined in the common/options.description file or in the template file.

Sharing and signing your local repositories

To share a local repository remotely it's mandatory to sign it and the binary packages stored on it. This is accomplished with the xbps-rindex(8) utility.

First a RSA key must be created with openssl(1) or ssh-keygen(8):

$ openssl genrsa -des3 -out privkey.pem 4096


$ ssh-keygen -t rsa -b 4096 -f privkey.pem

Only RSA keys in PEM format are currently accepted by xbps.

Once the RSA private key is ready you can use it to sign the repository:

$ xbps-rindex --sign --signedby "I'm Groot" --privkey privkey.pem $PWD/hostdir/binpkgs

If --privkey is unset, it defaults to ~/.ssh/id_rsa.

If the RSA key was protected with a passphrase you'll have to type it, or alternatively set it via the XBPS_PASSPHRASE environment variable.

Once the binary packages have been signed, check the repository contains the appropiate hex fingerprint:

$ xbps-query --repository=$PWD/hostdir/binpkgs -vL

Each time a binary package is created, the repository must be signed as explained above with the difference that only those new packages will be signed.

It is not possible to sign a repository with multiple RSA keys.

Rebuilding and overwriting existing local packages

If for whatever reason a package has been built and it is available in your local repository and you have to rebuild it without bumping its version or revision fields, it is possible to accomplish this task easily with xbps-src:

$ ./xbps-src -f pkg xbps

Reinstalling this package in your target rootdir can be easily done too:

$ xbps-install --repository=/path/to/local/repo -yff xbps-0.25_1

Please note that the package expression must be properly defined to explicitly pick up the package from the desired repository.

Enabling distcc for distributed compilation

Setup the slaves (machines that will compile the code):

# xbps-install -Sy distcc

Enable and start the distccd service:

# ln -s /etc/sv/distccd /var/service

In the host (machine that executes xbps-src) enable the following settings in the void-packages/etc/conf file:


Cross compiling packages for a target architecture

Currently xbps-src can cross build packages for some target architectures with a cross compiler. The supported target list is the following:

  • i686 - for Linux i686 GNU.
  • i686-musl - for Linux i686 Musl libc.
  • armv6hf - for Linux ARMv6 EABI5 (LE Hard Float / GNU)
  • armv6hf-musl - for Linux ARMv6 EABI5 (LE Hard Float / Musl libc)
  • armv7hf - for Linux ARMv7 EABI5 (LE Hard Float / GNU)
  • armv7hf-musl - for Linux ARMv7 EABI5 (LE Hard Float / Musl libc)
  • mips - for Linux MIPS o32 (BE Soft Float / GNU)
  • mipsel - for Linux MIPS o32 (LE Soft Float / GNU)
  • x86_64-musl - for x86_64 Musl/Linux

If a source package has been adapted to be cross buildable xbps-src will automatically build the binary package(s) with a simple command:

$ ./xbps-src -a <target> pkg <pkgname>

If the build for whatever reason fails, might be a new build issue or simply because it hasn't been adapted to be cross compiled.

Using xbps-src in a foreign linux distribution

xbps-src can be used in any recent linux distribution matching the cpu architecture.

To use xbps-src in your linux distribution use the following instructions. Let's start downloading the xbps static binaries:

$ wget<arch>-musl.tar.xz
$ mkdir ~/XBPS
$ tar xvf xbps-static-latest.<arch>.tar.xz -C ~/XBPS
$ export PATH=~/XBPS/usr/sbin:$PATH

A privileged group is required to be able to chroot with xbps-src, by default it's set to the xbuilder group, change this to your desired group:

# chown root:<group> ~/XBPS/usr/sbin/xbps-uchroot.static
# chmod 4750 ~/XBPS/usr/sbin/xbps-uchroot.static

Clone the void-packages git repository:

$ git clone git://

and xbps-src should be fully functional; just start the bootstrap process, i.e:

$ ./xbps-src binary-bootstrap

The default masterdir is created in the current working directory, i.e void-packages/masterdir.

Remaking the masterdir

If for some reason you must update xbps-src and the bootstrap-update target is not enough, it's possible to recreate a masterdir with two simple commands (please note that zap keeps your ccache/distcc/host directories intact):

$ ./xbps-src zap
$ ./xbps-src binary-bootstrap

Keeping your masterdir uptodate

Sometimes the bootstrap packages must be updated to the latest available version in repositories, this is accomplished with the bootstrap-update target:

$ ./xbps-src bootstrap-update

Building 32bit packages on x86_64

Two ways are available to build 32bit packages on x86_64:

  • cross compilation mode
  • native mode with a 32bit masterdir

The first mode (cross compilation) is as easy as:

$ ./xbps-src -a i686 pkg ...

The second mode (native) needs a new x86 masterdir:

$ ./xbps-src -m masterdir-x86 binary-bootstrap i686
$ ./xbps-src -m masterdir-x86 ...

Building packages natively for the musl C library

A native build environment is required to be able to cross compile the bootstrap packages for the musl C library; this is accomplished by installing them via binary-bootstrap:

$ ./xbps-src binary-bootstrap

Now cross compile base-chroot-musl for your native architecture:

$ ./xbps-src -a x86_64-musl pkg base-chroot-musl

Wait until all packages are built and when ready, prepare a new masterdir with the musl packages:

$ ./xbps-src -m masterdir-x86_64-musl binary-bootstrap x86_64-musl

Your new masterdir is now ready to build natively packages for the musl C library. Try:

$ ./xbps-src -m masterdir-x86_64-musl chroot
$ ldd

To see if the musl C dynamic linker is working as expected.


See Contributing for a general overview of how to contribute and the Manual for details of how to create source packages.

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