Mer/Build/Install OBS

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OBS stands for OpenSuse Build Service. You can find out more about it from the OpenSuse webpage.


[edit] Installing OBS tools locally

You'll need an account with Novell

You must then visit your project list and click : "Let me build my packages!"

[edit] Debian

Assuming a Debian Testing development box locally:

To get the OBS tools repository add an entry to the sources.lists:

echo "deb /" > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/obs.list


apt-get update
apt-get install osc build qemu

OBS uses 403 redirects which hits a bug in apt in Lenny.

You can workaround using:

 apt-get -f install

[edit] Ubuntu

Assuming an Ubuntu9.04 development box locally:

To get the OBS tools repository add the following line:

deb /

to a new file called:



# add the key in the apt keyring
wget -q -O- | apt-key add -
# refresh your package source
apt-get update
apt-get install osc build

Now edit /etc/apt/sources.list.d/obs.list and comment that line out.

Note there is a problem in Ubuntu9.04 osc as of 25 May '09... to fix it, do this as root:

 cd /usr/lib/python2.6/dist-packages/
 ln -s ../site-packages/osc* .

Suse don't have an Ubuntu qemu yet so we use the one they make for Debian (bug raised):

Add the following lines:

deb /

to a new file called:



apt-get update
apt-get install qemu

now remove that file:

rm /etc/apt/sources.list.d/debian5_qemu.list 

and run

apt-get update

[edit] Troubleshooting

If you get the following error when adding one of these repos

W: GPG error: stable Release: The following signatures couldn't be verified because the public key is not available: NO_PUBKEY SOMEKEY

Then run the command

gpg --keyserver --recv-key SOMEKEY && gpg -a --export  SOMEKEY | sudo apt-key add -

replacing SOMEKEY with the complained about key

[edit] RedHat Enterprise Linux 5

Assuming a RHEL 5 box locally:

The M2Crypto package that comes w/ RHEL5 is too old. I retrieved the 0.19.1 source rpm from Fedora 10 and built it for my architecture. But you will need to update this package to at least version 0.19 before installing the OBS packages.

Install the public key for the OBS RPM repository:

rpm --import

To get the OBS tools repository recognized by yum:

echo "[obs]" > /etc/yum.repos.d/obs.repo
echo "name=OpenSUSE Build System" >> /etc/yum.repos.d/obs.repo
echo "baseurl=" >> /etc/yum.repos.d/obs.repo


yum makecache
yum install osc build qemu-svn

This technique is likely to work with RHEL derivatives like CentOS.

[edit] Other distributions

You can find openSuse build tools for various distributions at

[edit] All OSes

cat <<EOF >> /etc/sudoers
$NAME ALL=NOPASSWD: /usr/bin/build
$NAME ALL=NOPASSWD: /usr/sbin/chroot

Now, as a normal user, run


and enter username/passwd when prompted (note these are stored in cleartext in the config file). Note this isn't supposed to do anything (it prints out the osc help) but it stores your name/pw for future use.

Go and login.

Make sure you click the "let me build packages" button.

There is a link to 'Home Project' on the left, follow this and enter a description.

Note that if, in the future, qemu fails to work you may need to setup the associations for arm binaries by running:

[edit] Handle OBS using ':' in filenames

To help bash completion etc:

 > "\""'><=;|&("



[edit] Local osc setup

Create a local build path. E.g.,

mkdir -p ~/maemo/Mer/obs

In the following instructions, references to local-username should be replaced with the username used to login on your local machine while build-username (resp. build-password) should be replaced with your OBS account name (resp. OBS account password).

Run osc without arguments. It will basically ask you to enter your OBS account username and password and create a default configuration in ~/.oscrc. Edit it to match your needs. Here are a few interesting parameters mainly found in the [general] section:

  • the packagecachedir parameter specifies where all the cached binary packages are held to create a chroot build environment. Around 300MB are needed. E.g.,
packagecachedir = /home/local-username/maemo/Mer/obs/.pkg-cache/
  • the build-root parameter specifies the default location where a complete chroot build will be installed. This will be a minimal OS install: 400MB minimum. E.g.,
build-root = /home/local-username/maemo/Mer/obs/build-%(repo)s-%(arch)s
  • in the section [], set your credentials as follow:
user = build-username
pass = build-password

[edit] Next Steps

Go back to Mer/Build and then onto Application Building