Setting up your RPM development environment

If you haven't done so already, set up an RPM development environment. If you are using an SME Server as your development environment, you will need to alter your user account to enable regular login. If you want to enable account "joe", then you would type the following commands from the root account:

chsh -s /bin/bash joe

db accounts setprop joe Shell /bin/bash

Note: Shell/login access is disabled by default to enhance the security of the SME Server. Shell access should only be provided to users who require it and who can be trusted to maintain system security.

Then you should be able to log in to the server as user "joe", and get a Linux command line prompt. Log in, then type the following commands to set up your RPM work area:

cd ~/
mkdir -p rpms/RPMS/{i386,noarch}
echo "%_topdir $HOME/rpms" > ~/.rpmmacros

You will now find that you have a directory called rpms in which you will do your work. Under this are the following subdirectories:


The base material from which RPMs are built -- source code, tarballs, etc.


Working area used by the rpmbuild program during RPM creation


Specification files for building RPMs


Source RPMS (created by build process)


Binary RPMS (created by build process). Has subdirectories noarch and i386 for architecture independent and x86 platforms respectively.

As you prepare software to turn into RPMs, you will place files in these directories as appropriate. The following sections will describe what goes where as each item is covered.

Tip: As you start work on an RPM for version x.y.z of a package, create a subdirectory rpms/SOURCES/yourpackage-x.y.z/ to work in.

mkdir rpms/SOURCES/yourpackage-x.y.z

Under this directory there should be a subdirectory called root, under which is an image of the file hierarchy that will be installed by the RPM.

mkdir rpms/SOURCES/yourpackage-x.y.z/root