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Launchpad Help > Packaging > Daily builds > Getting started

lp-diamond-16.png Source package recipes in Launchpad


Getting Started

Knowledge Base

List of Daily Builds


To create your own source package recipes, you need:

You should also have confirmed that your build will work by testing it locally.

Let's take a quick look at these in turn and then we can look at them in more detail later on.

Watch the screencast

If you prefer, you can watch our screencast, which will take you through each of the steps you need to get a source package recipe up and running.

Code in Launchpad

The code that you want to use for your source package recipe must be in Launchpad, either as a Bazaar or Git branch that you have uploaded to Launchpad (easier) or as an import from elsewhere.

You can import code that is hosted anywhere on the internet, so long as Launchpad can reach it and it is available without needing a username and password. Launchpad can import code hosted in the following formats:


It's likely that someone has already packaged the software you want to build. If that's the case, Launchpad can borrow that packaging information and you're pretty much sorted.

Similarly, if there's a branch in Launchpad that contains packaging information for your software, you can use that.

If there's no existing packaging, either for Debian or Ubuntu, you'll need to create your own. You should read the Ubuntu community's guide to packaging to get started.

Note: you need to make sure that the build process specified by your packaging and deal with what's in your branch. For example, if you work on a C project with autotools, you might have to run autoreconf -i at some stage during the build to make sure that all the auto-generated files (which are not in version control) are present.

The recipe

The recipe is a simple description of what steps are needed to construct a package from your various Bazaar or Git branches. It specifies:

Trying it out

The best way to learn how to create a source package recipe is to try out a simple example. All you need is a text editor and the bzr-builder plugin for Bazaar, or the git-build-recipe program for Git.

Getting bzr-builder

On recent Ubuntu releases you can install the bzr-builder package to run tests locally.

Read more about bzr-builder.

Getting git-build-recipe

As of Ubuntu 16.04, you can install the git-build-recipe package to run tests locally.

On previous releases of Ubuntu, you can get the version running on Launchpad's builders from the buildd PPA.

Writing a basic recipe

There are different ways to write a recipe but, for this example, we're going to use the simplest: you use the project's trunk, which contains no packaging, and nest another branch that contains only packaging information.

For other recipe types, see the recipe guide.

For this example, we'll use the Wikkid wiki project.

The anatomy of a recipe

Open your text editor and enter:

# bzr-builder format 0.3 deb-version {debupstream}+{revno}+{revno:packaging}
merge packaging lp:~thumper/wikkid/debian

Now save the file as wikkid.recipe.

Important: if for whatever reason either the Wikkid trunk or Thumper's packaging branch become unbuildable you may need to try this out with another project.

This recipe is pretty straightforward to read, but let's look at each line in turn.

The first line tells Launchpad which recipe version we're using (in this case it's 0.3), along with how we want to name the resultant package.

The next line specifies the code branch, using Launchpad's short name system.

Finally, we specify where to find the packaging branch and say that we want to nest it into the code branch.

Testing your recipe and build

You should always test your recipe locally before sending it to Launchpad.

Testing the recipe

Let's start by testing the recipe itself. For now, we'll assume you're running the Ubuntu version that you want to test against.

Note: if you want to test a specific version, see the Ubuntu guide.

The bzr-builder plugin adds a dailydeb command to Bazaar.

Let's try it out in your terminal:

$ bzr dailydeb --allow-fallback-to-native wikkid.recipe working-dir

This processes your recipe and creates a directory called working-dir, into which it places the resulting source tree and source package.

Things are similar for git, but use git-build-recipe instead of bzr dailydeb.

Testing the build

If bzr-builder processed the recipe without any problems, you'll now have a source package. Let's make sure it builds.

First, you need to set up pbuilder, a tool that creates a clean, minimal environment for the build. This ensures that the build will work everywhere and that it's not dependent on something unusual in your own environment.

Step 1: Install pbuilder with sudo apt-get install pbuilder

Step 2: Edit ~/.pbuilderrc and add:

COMPONENTS="main universe multiverse restricted"

Step 3: sudo pbuilder create

Now, kick off the test build with:

sudo pbuilder build <working-dir>/<project>_<version>.dsc

If the build succeeds, you can test-install the resulting package from /var/cache/pbuilder/result/.

Setting up the recipe in Launchpad

Now that you've confirmed that both the recipe and build work, the rest is very simple.

Browse to the branch you want to build in Launchpad and click (+) Create packaging recipe.


Create the build in Launchpad

Now fill in all the necessary details:


If you have checked "built daily", Launchpad will automatically schedule a build of your recipe once every day, if any of the branches specified have changed since the last build. However, it's a good idea to try building it yourself first, to make sure that everything is working correctly. You can use the "Request build(s)" link for this:


Manually request a build

Next steps

Now that you've tried a simple example, let's take a more detailed look at writing recipes.

< Source package recipes overview

Recipes in detail >

Packaging/SourceBuilds/GettingStarted (last edited 2022-10-13 08:16:57 by jugmac00)