autospec is a tool to assist in the automated creation and maintenance of RPM packaging in Clear Linux* OS. Where a standard RPM build process using rpmbuild requires a tarball and .spec file to start, autospec requires only a tarball and package name to start.

How autospec works

autospec attempts to infer the requirements of the .spec file by analyzing the source code and Makefile information. It will continuously run updated builds based on new information discovered from build failures until it has a complete and valid .spec file. Although not required, you can influence the behavior of autospec by providing control files.

The basic process is described in the following steps:

  1. The make autospec command generates a .spec based on analysis of code and control files, if present.
  2. autospec creates a build root with mock config.
  3. autospec attempts to build an RPM from the generated .spec.
  4. autospec detects any missed declarations in the .spec.
  5. If build errors occur, autospec will scan the build log to try and detect the root cause.
  6. If autospec detects the root cause and knows how to continue, it will restart the build automatically at step 1 with updated build instructions.
  7. Otherwise, autospec will stop the build for user inspection and editing of control files to resolve the errors. The user resumes the process at step 1 after errors are resolved.

Following these steps, autospec continues to rebuild the package, based on new information discovered from build failures, until it has a valid .spec. If no build errors occur, RPM packages are successfully built.

Control files

It is possible to influence the behavior of autospec by providing control files. These files may be used to alter the default behavior of the configure routine, to blacklist build dependencies, etc. Control files must be located in the same directory as the resulting .spec.

Table 1 shows control files used to control dependencies, for example.

Table 1. Control files to control dependencies
Filename Description
buildreq_add Each line in the file provides the name of a package to add as a build dependency to the .spec.
buildreq_ban Each line in the file is a build dependency that under no circumstance should be automatically added to the build dependencies. This is useful to block automatic configuration routines adding undesired functionality, or to omit any automatically discovered dependencies during tarball scanning.
pkgconfig_add Each line in the file is assumed to be a pkgconfig() build dependency. Add the pkg-config names here, as autospec will automatically transform the names into their pkgconfig($name) style when generating the .spec.
pkgconfig_ban Each line in this file is a pkgconfig() build dependency that should not be added automatically to the build, much the same as `` buildreq_ban``. As with pkgconfig_add, these names are automatically transformed by autospec into their correct pkgconfig($name)) style.
requires_add Each line in the file provides the name of a package to add as a runtime dependency to the .spec.
requires_ban Each line in the file is a runtime dependency that under no circumstance should be automatically added to the runtime dependencies. This is useful to block automatic configuration routines adding undesired functionality, or to omit any automatically discovered dependencies during tarball scanning.

Further control of the build can be achieved through the use of the options.conf file. If this file does not exist, it is created by autospec with default values. If certain deprecated configuration files exists autospec will use the value indicated by those files and remove them.

For a comprehensive list of control files, view the autospec readme.