Package Modification

From SME Server
Jump to navigationJump to search

PythonIcon.png Skill level: Developer
Risk of inconsistencies with Koozali SME Server methodology, upgrades & functionality is high. One must be knowledgeable about how changes impact their Koozali SME Server. Significant risk of irreversible harm.

The SME Server development environment

Configuring your development environment

The SME Server source code is checked into CVS at SME Server code is stored in the CVS on in two repositories:

Reminder: The SME Server source code is released under the GPL. You must release the source code to all modifications. If you make improvements, please raise a bug and attach a patch so the change can be discussed and pulled back into the base for everyone to share.

Only developers who are going to put patches back into CVS and build new packages need CVS access. The sources are freely available and patches are gratefully received. Just follow the instructions in this section and attach the patch(es) to the Bugzilla entry, explaining why the change should be made.

Local environment

  • Install cvs
yum install cvs rsh
  • Setup CVS to use ssh by creating /etc/profile.d/ with the following content
# Developer environment
# This gets symlinked into /etc/profile.d 

export CVS_RSH=ssh # tell CVS to use ssh


alias rm='rm -i'
alias cp='cp -i --preserve=timestamps'
alias mv='mv -i'

You have to logout and login again to the console for changes to take effects.

Access to build system

Check updates/status on the build server:

Warning.png Warning:
For contrib builders using the plague-client-0.5.0 you will need to downgrade to correct version, to fix this please do:
rpm -e plague-client plague-common
yum --enablerepo=smecontribs install plague-client

Ask for certificates, give the email address to use for notifications.

yum --enablerepo=smecontribs install plague-client

From now, do not use account "root" anymore. Use a dedicated dev account. Copy certificates and config file to ~/


Don't forget to set the proper privileges on the file

chmod 600 .username.pem

Check it's working

plague-client list_builders

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------      x86_64 amd64 ia32e noarch i386 i486 i586 i686 athlon available      i386 i486 i586 i686 athlon noarch  available

CVS access

  • SME Server code is stored in the CVS on To be able to work on your code in the SME Server CVS repository you need an account on With this account the development team can give you access to the CVS repository.
  • After your account has been created you can ask the development team to give you developer access to smecontribs. Create a bug in the Bug Tracker as usual.
  • If local username is different to username edit ~/.ssh/config:
User  koozaliusername (without
port 222
  • Don't forget to set the proper privileges on the file
chmod 600 ~/.ssh/config

Import source to

Email with the location of your rpm, it will be imported into the build system for you. Follow the same procedure when an upstream release occurs, eg a new .tar.gz, Update your local cvs with:

cvs update -dPA

If you have developer access to buildsys you can follow this guide

Import cvs in your workspace

You can use ~/home/smeserver or whatever suits.

mkdir ~/home/smeserver
cd ~/home/smeserver
cvs -z3 co -P rpms 
mkdir ~/home/smecontribs
cd ~/home/smecontribs 
cvs -z3 co -P rpms 

To refresh run the following from the rpms directory, or any lower directory with a CVS dir

cvs update -dPA

Modifying a SME Server package

Raise a Bugzilla entry

Before you make any changes to a package, you need to have a Bugzilla entry which specifies the problem and preferably proposes a fix. Raising the bug before you do the work allows others to comment on the proposed approach and can save significant time when you go to submit the changes. The change should also be approved by the Development Manager if it is meant for near-term release. You will need the Bugzilla bugid when you check in the changes.

All changes must have an associated Bugzilla entry. The bug tracker is here:

If a relevant bug does not exist, raise one. If the bug exists, assign it to yourself to show that you are working on it:

For this exercise, let's look at bug 1174 "yum-import-keys should not import duplicates"

Modify the package

If you are modifying an existing file, the simplest way to determine the package is to install the relevant version and run rpm -qf on the file to be modified:

[gordonr@smebuild actions]$ rpm -qf /etc/e-smith/events/actions/yum-import-keys

and so, we want to modify the smeserver-yum package.

All packages on the SME Server ISO/CD must be checked into CVS. The only exceptions are packages which come from the following upstream repositories: CentOS and dag.

You can now retrieve one of the packages from In this case, we want to modify the smeserver-yum package, so let's retrieve it from

cvs -z3 co -P smeserver-yum

Change to work directory

cd smeserver/rpms/smeserver-yum/sme7

To prepare a tree

cvs update -dPA   
make clean        
make prep
Make a patch

Then switch to the tree and make modification.

Method A

In the prepared dir copy a file you want to modify like so:

cp yum-import-keys yum-import-keys.{patchname}

Then modify the original file yum-import-keys. To add new files touch yum-import-keys.{patchname} so it is empty.

Once you have all the files you want patched copied and changed then you can build the patch (from the sme7 dir) with:

make patch SUFFIX={patchname}

It will build and add the patch for you. It should be named "name-version-{patchname}.patch". It will also add the patch to CVS.

Method B

Make a copy of the prepared directory, edit directly, then make a patch

cp -R smeserver-yum-2.0.0 smeserver-foo-2.0.0.old
diff -urN smeserver-foo-2.0.0.old smeserver-yum-2.0.0 > smeserver-yum-2.0.0-importKeys.patch
Apply a patch

For example, check if a translation patch is available:

If patch size is 0 bytes there is nothing to do

Else go to the package folder in your tree and do :

cvs add {name}-locale-{date}.patch

Then you need to follow instructions in next part....

You may add yourself some translations , and wait for patch to be created (at about 2 AM GMT-6, or 6 PM Sydney)

Edit the spec
nano -w smeserver-foo.spec
#increase the release
%define release 15

#add the patch
Patch2: smeserver-foo-1.2-widget.patch

#update the changelog, include the bug number
* Fri Jan 11 2008 John Smith <> 1.2-15
- fixed foo to create bar [SME 3470]

#apply the patch in %setup
%patch2 -p1

Build the rpm locally to test, (note, this deletes the working tree!)

make local       

Once you are satisfied and want to submit the package to the build server commit your changes. (Please use descriptive comments so that other developers are aware of what is happening. Comments will appear on the subject line of the commit email that get send to the other developers.)

cvs commit -m 'your descriptive commit message here'

You can automate the addition of the comments in the spec file with the command 'clog'.

Important.png Note:
You will need to be in the sme7, sme8, or contribs7 directory for this to work

rm -f clog
cvs commit -m "$(make clog)"

CVS cheat sheet Package_Modification/More cvs commands


Tag all files as belonging to a particular build version

make tag

Submit the request to the build server which will checkout the recently tagged version and build it

make build

Always do "make tag" before "make build"

Always ensure you are working with the latest version (cvs update -dPA)

You and updatesteam will get an email on successful build. Only you will get an email on failed build.

You can check the build system is working:

plague-client list uid  {task number}

Releasing a contrib package

After the make build command the build system will try and build your package. After a successful build it will be put in the smetest repository. You should be notified of the result of the build by e-mail.

Once a package is build successfully you should verify your changes, ideally you would have a bug to verify for each modification. After verification of all relevant changes and bugs you can release the package like this:

  1. Login to like this: ssh -p222
  2. Navigate to the smeserver directory: cd /teams/smeserver
  3. The teams directory contains a few directories of which two are relevant, the first is called updates which will hold the SME Server packages, the other is called contribs and will hold build contribs. Suppose we would like to release our contrib we would proceed like this: cd contribs/9
  4. Now copy the relevant package from smetest to smecontribs, old versions are removed automatically cp smetest/package-name-version.rpm smecontribs/

Important.png Note:
Within a period of one hour the package should be moved to the smecontribs repository and be available as soon as the mirrors synchronize.

Once the server successfully builds it will automatically be pulled on the next repo update run (40 past the even hours MDT). The package will either be put into the smedev (new package) or smetest (exist in higher repo) After verification the package is manually moved from smedev/smetest to smecontribs (for contribs) or smeupdates-testing (for packages in base)

Mailing Lists

Subscribe yourself to the devinfo mailinglist. This is the place to discuss the development of the server and contribs. If you have other questions, not regarding development please use the forums.

Move contribs from SME(n-1) to SME(n)

Here is an example for SME7 to SME8:

Do a clean checkout of smeserver-mycontrib (This is very important, must be a completely clean tree)

rm -rf ~/smecontribs/rpms/smeserver-mycontrib
cd ~/smecontribs/rpms
cvs co smeserver-mycontrib
cd smeserver-mycontrib

Then you can copy (DO NOT MODIFY ANYTHING before committing!!!):

cp -a contribs7 contribs8
rm -rf contribs8/CVS
cvs add contribs8
find contribs8 -mindepth 1 -name CVS -prune -o -print | xargs cvs add
cvs commit -m 'Initial import'

Finally you can make your first build

cd contribs8
make local
make tag
make build