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Prepare for Packaging

Switch to the Unstable Repository

Packages need to be built and tested against the "unstable" repository. If you don't want to switch your primary system to unstable, you can do your packaging work in a VM. We have Virtual Machine Manager in the repos.

Refer to Repository Management to see how to add and switch to unstable.

Setting up the Packager file

In order to utilize the build system, you must first set up a configuration file that has your packager details.

This file lives in the .config/solus folder of your home directory. You will need to create the .config/solus folder as well as the inner packager file. Inside the packager file, you need two keys, Name and Email. This is used when generating the machine file so that the packager details are stored within the resulting binary package.

Name and email address are mandatory. You must use your real first and last name(s) for accountability purposes. A Matrix contact is optional but recommended.

Name=Your Name Here

Installing Development Tools

We need to install a few things in order to get started with packaging:

  • go-task is used by our build tools for scripting
  • git is used for version control of the solus sources
  • github-cli is used to make working with GitHub easier
  • solbuild is a lightweight container environment for building packages repeatably
  • solbuild-config-unstable sets up solbuild for working with the unstable repository
  • ypkg is the program that actually builds packages
sudo eopkg it go-task git github-cli solbuild solbuild-config-unstable ypkg

Setting up a GitHub account

The Solus source repositories for the package repository currently reside on You will need a GitHub account to submit patches and file issues. You can create a GitHub account here. Note that you will also need to set up 2FA (two factor authentication) for your account.

Configure github-cli.

Once you have a GitHub account, you need to configure github-cli to work with it. At minimum, you need to run gh auth login. Have your GitHub credentials and 2FA (two factor authentication) mechanism at hand.

See the GitHub CLI quickstart for some common uses of the tool.

Setting up solbuild

The solbuild tool must first be initialized with a base image. All builds thereafter will use this as a base, and construct a temporary overlay root to save on time and disk space in builds.

Initialize solbuild via:

sudo solbuild init

This will take some time as it downloads and prepares the image.

Updating solbuild

It is a good idea to keep the base image updated. It will help reduce build times by not having to repeatedly download updates to packages in the base image, and will strictly need to pull down the packages your build needs.

To update solbuild, run:

sudo solbuild update

Fork the getsolus/packages Repository

Create your own fork of getsolus/packages using the GitHub web UI or gh cli tool from the github-cli package. It will be forked to

Clone Your Forked Package Repository

Create a local clone of the package repository you just forked. Here we are using the name solus-packages and cloning it into our home directoy. The rest of the documentation will presume this structure. You can choose a different name and path but will have to make sure to replace it in every command that refers to the solus-packages directory.

gh repo clone packages ~/solus-packages

Initialize Git hooks

Initialize Git hooks for working with the repository by running:

go-task -d ~/solus-packages init

This makes it easy to create commits in the correct format, and will warn you about issues with changes you commit.

Set up Monorepo Helper Functions (Optional)

After cloning your repo, create a symlink to source our helper functions for your shell. Then, start a new instance of the shell.


mkdir -p ~/.bashrc.d
ln -s ~/solus-packages/common/Scripts/ ~/.bashrc.d/


mkdir -p ~/.config/fish/conf.d
ln -s ~/solus-packages/common/Scripts/ ~/.config/fish/conf.d/


mkdir -p ~/.zshrc.d
printf "\nfpath=(~/.zshrc.d \$fpath)" >> ~/.zshrc
source ~/.zshrc
ln -s ~/solus-packages/common/Scripts/helpers.zsh ~/.zshrc.d/solus-monorepo-helpers.zsh

You should now have the following available from your shell:

gotosoluspkgsChange directory to the solus monorepo from anywhere on the filesystem.gotosoluspkgs
gorootWhen in the solus monorepo, change directory to the root directory of the git repository.goroot
gotopkgChange directory to any solus package. You can type part of the package name then double press Tab to get autocompletion for this function.gotopkg firefox
whatusesFind out what packages use a library by reading the abi_used_libs files.whatuses
whatprovidesFind out what package provides a library by reading the abi_libs files.whatprovides

Building Packages

Your system is now set up for package work. If you are new to packaging, see Your First Package Update.