Top level build scripts for VyOS > 1.2.0
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VyOS toplevel build


This repository is for building the VyOS version 1.2.0 and above. For VyOS 1.1.x, use the build-iso repository.

What is VyOS

VyOS is an open source operating system for network devices (routers, firewalls and so on). If you want to use it in your network, check out download and installation instructions at

If you want to modify VyOS and/or join its development, read on.

VyOS is not new. It is a fork of Vyatta Core that was created when the open source version of it was discontinued. If you are a Vyatta Core user, you can upgrade your installation to VyOS.

What is this repository?

VyOS is a GNU/Linux distribution based on Debian. Just like any other distribution, it consists of multiple packages.

Some packages are taken from the upstream, while other are modified or written from scratch by VyOS developers. Every package maintained by the VyOS team has its own git repository. VyOS image build is therefore a multi-step process. Packages are compiled first, then an ISO is built from Debian packages and our own packages.

This is the top level repository that contains links to repositories with VyOS specific packages (organized as Git submodules) and scripts and data that are used for building those packages and the installation image.

Structure of this repository

There are several directories with their own purpose:

build/ Used for temporary files used for the build and for build artifacts scripts/ Scripts that are used for the build process data/ Data required for buildng the ISO (such as boot splash) tools/ Scripts that are used for maintainer's tasks automation and other purposes, but not during ISO build process

Building VyOS installation images


To build a VyOS 1.2.0 image, you need Debian 8 "Jessie" environment (with jessie-backports repository).

If you do not have a Debian Jessie machine, you may create a chroot environment with the debootstrap tool.

For example, on another version of Debian or another Debian-based distro, these commands will work:

$ sudo apt-get install debootstrap
$ sudo debootstrap jessie vyos-chroot
$ sudo chroot vyos-chroot

$ echo "deb jessie-backports main" >> /etc/apt/sources.list
$ apt-get update

If you are working on a Debian Jessie machine, no special preparation is needed, you only need to enable jessie-backports and install build dependencies.

Several packages are required for building the ISO:

  • python3
  • live-build
  • pbuilder
  • python3-pystache

The ./configure script will warn you if any dependencies are missing. Individual packages may have other build dependencies. If some dependencies are missing, package build scripts will tell you.

Building the ISO image inside a docker container

Using our Dockerfile you can create your own Docker container that can be used to build a VyOS ISO image. The Dockerfile contains some of the most used packages needed to build a VyOS ISO, a qemu image, and several of the submodules.

squashfs-tools           # Required for squashfs file system
git                      # Required, for cloning the source
autoconf                 # Required, for generating build scripts
dpkg-dev                 # Required, used in build scripts
live-build               # Required, for ISO build
syslinux                 # Required, for ISO build
genisoimage              # Required, for ISO build
make                     # Required, for ISO build
lsb-release              # Required, used by configure script
fakechroot               # Required, for ISO build
devscripts               # Optional, for building submodules (kernel etc)
kernel-package           # Optional, for building the kernel
libtool                  # Optional, for building certain packages (vyatta-op-vpn)
libglib2.0-dev           # Optional, for building vyatta-cfg
libboost-filesystem-dev  # Optional, for building vyatta-cfg
libapt-pkg-dev           # Optional, for building vyatta-cfg
flex                     # Optional, for building vyatta-cfg
bison                    # Optional, for building vyatta-cfg
libperl-dev              # Optional, for building vyatta-cfg
libnfnetlink-dev         # Optional, for building vyatta-cfg-vpn
vim                      # Optional, vim, vi, nano or other text editor
jq                       # Optional, for qemu build
qemu-system-x86          # Optional, for qemu build
qemu-utils               # Optional, for qemu build
packer                   # Optional, for qemu build
quilt                    # Optional, for building vyos-1x
python3-lxml             # Optional, for building vyos-1x
python3-setuptools       # Optional, for building vyos-1x
python3-nose             # Optional, for building vyos-1x
python3-coverage         # Optional, for building vyos-1x

To build the docker image:

docker build -t vyos-builder $PATH_TO_Dockerfile


To run the docker image:

docker run -it --privileged -v /HOST_PATH_OF_VYOS_BUILD_REPO:/vyos -w="/vyos" vyos-builder bash

This will drop you into a bash shell with this vyos-build repo mounted at /vyos. Then follow the instructions bellow to build the VyOS iso and qemu image.

MacOS and Windows

To run the docker image:

docker run -dt --privileged -v /HOST_PATH/images:/vyos --name=vyos_node_builder vyos-builder bash


  • Docker container must be run with --privileged flag
  • We recommended to run the container with a volume mapped in order to easy export built VyOS ISO images to the "external" world

To connect to the docker image once is running:

docker exec -it vyos_node_builder bash

After the docker container is running you can git clone the vyos-build repository inside the container and follow up the bellow instructions in order to build the VyOS ISO image

Building the ISO image

Before you can build an image, you need to configure your build.

To build an image, use the following commands:

$ ./configure
$ make iso

The ./configure script has a number of options that you can see by calling it with --help

Building the images for virtualization platforms


Run following command after building the ISO image.

$ make qemu


Run following command after building the QEMU image.

$ make vmware

Development process

Git branches

The default branch that contains the most recent VyOS code is called current rather than master. We know it's confusing, but it's not easy to fix. In a nutshell, the code we inherited from Vyatta Core had its master branch so out of sync with everything it was beyong any repair. Vyatta developers used to create a new branch not when a release is ready for code freeze, but rather before starting to work on a new release. This is hard to change in existing code, so this is just the way it is, for now.

All new code goes to the current branch. When it's time for a code freeze, a new branch is created for the release, and new code from current is backported to the release branch as needed.

In packages that originate from VyOS the master branch is kept in sync with current, but we still use current as default branch for uniformity. When the last legacy package is gone, we will switch to using the master branch and retire current.

For branch naming we use chemical elements:

  • hydrogen
  • helium
  • lithium
  • ...