> Linux Man Page: "rpmbuild"


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rpmbuild - Build RPM Package(s)


rpmbuild {-ba|-bb|-bp|-bc|-bi|-bl|-bs} [rpmbuild-options] SPECFILE ...

rpmbuild {-ta|-tb|-tp|-tc|-ti|-tl|-ts} [rpmbuild-options] TARBALL ...

rpmbuild {--rebuild|--recompile} SOURCEPKG ...

rpmbuild --showrc

[--buildroot DIRECTORY] [--clean] [--nobuild] [--rmsource] [--rmspec] [--short-circuit] [--sign] [--target PLATFORM]


rpmbuild is used to build both binary and source software packages. A package consists of an archive of files and meta-data used to install and erase the archive files. The meta-data includes helper scripts, file attributes, and descriptive information about the package. Packages come in two varieties: binary packages, used to encapsulate software to be installed, and source packages, containing the source code and recipe necessary to produce binary packages.

One of the following basic modes must be selected: Build Package, Build Package from Tarball, Recompile Package, Show Configuration.

These options can be used in all the different modes.

-?, --help
Print a longer usage message then normal.

Print a single line containing the version number of rpm being used.

Print as little as possible - normally only error messages will be displayed.

Print verbose information - normally routine progress messages will be displayed.

Print lots of ugly debugging information.

--rcfile FILELIST
Each of the files in the colon separated FILELIST is read sequentially by rpm for configuration information. Only the first file in the list must exist, and tildes will be expanded to the value of $HOME. The default FILELIST is /usr/lib/rpm/rpmrc:/usr/lib/rpm/red_hat/rpmrc:/etc/rpmrc:~/.rpmrc.

--pipe CMD
Pipes the output of rpm to the command CMD.

--dbpath DIRECTORY
Use the database in DIRECTORY rather than the default path /var/lib/rpm

Use the file system tree rooted at DIRECTORY for all operations. Note that this means the database within DIRECTORY will be used for dependency checks and any scriptlet(s) (e.g. %post if installing, or %prep if building, a package) will be run after a chroot(2) to DIRECTORY.

The general form of an rpm build command is

rpmbuild -bSTAGE|-tSTAGE [
rpmbuild-options ] FILE ...

The argument used is -b if a spec file is being used to build the package and -t if rpmbuild should look inside of a (possibly compressed) tar file for the spec file to use. After the first argument, the next character (STAGE) specifies the stages of building and packaging to be done and is one of:

Build binary and source packages (after doing the %prep, %build, and %install stages).

Build a binary package (after doing the %prep, %build, and %install stages).

Executes the “%prep” stage from the spec file. Normally this involves unpacking the sources and applying any patches.

Do the “%build” stage from the spec file (after doing the %prep stage). This generally involves the equivalent of a “make".

Do the “%install” stage from the spec file (after doing the %prep and %build stages). This generally involves the equivalent of a “make install".

Do a “list check". The “%files” section from the spec file is macro expanded, and checks are made to verify that each file exists.

Build just the source package.

The following options may also be used:

--buildroot DIRECTORY
When building a package, override the BuildRoot tag with directory DIRECTORY.

Remove the build tree after the packages are made.

Do not execute any build stages. Useful for testing out spec files.

Remove the sources after the build (may also be used standalone, e.g. “rpmbuild --rmsource foo.spec").

Remove the spec file after the build (may also be used standalone, eg. “rpmbuild --rmspec foo.spec").

Skip straight to specified stage (i.e., skip all stages leading up to the specified stage). Only valid with -bc and -bi.

--sign Embed a GPG signature in the package. This signature can be used
to verify the integrity and the origin of the package. See the section on GPG SIGNATURES in rpm(8) for configuration details.

--target PLATFORM
When building the package, interpret PLATFORM as arch-vendor-os and set the macros %_target, %_target_cpu, and %_target_os accordingly.

There are two other ways to invoke building with rpm:

rpmbuild --rebuild|--recompile SOURCEPKG ...

When invoked this way, rpmbuild installs the named source package, and does a prep, compile and install. In addition, --rebuild builds a new binary package. When the build has completed, the build directory is removed (as in --clean) and the the sources and spec file for the package are removed.

The command

rpmbuild --showrc

shows the values rpmbuild will use for all of the options are currently set in rpmrc and macros configuration file(s).


rpmrc Configuration

Macro Configuration



See Also

popt(3) ,
rpm2cpio(8) ,
gendiff(1) ,
rpm(8) ,

rpmbuild --help - as rpm supports customizing the options via popt aliases it’s impossible to guarantee that what’s described in the manual matches what’s available. <URL:>


Marc Ewing <>
Jeff Johnson <>
Erik Troan <>

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