Joining the Package Maintainers

So, you have decided to become a package maintainer in the Fedora Project? This guide will lead you through your first package submission. It can be a completely new package, or update to an existing package.

Preparation

Read the Guidelines

If you don’t know how to create an RPM package, refer to the tutorial at How to create a GNU Hello RPM package or the more advanced and much more detailed Creating RPM packages.

You need to be thoroughly familiar with these. They govern all package submissions. If you have questions, ask on the Fedora List.

Create a Bugzilla Account

Make sure you have an account in Red Hat Bugzilla.

The email address that you use for your Bugzilla account should be the same email address as you use in the Fedora Account System for all things related to Fedora Packaging.

Create a Fedora Account

Create an account in the Fedora Account System. (This is not the same as the Bugzilla account.)

  1. Visit the account system home: https://accounts.fedoraproject.org/

  2. Click on New account and fill in the blanks. Note that the email you give should be the same as the one you gave Bugzilla. This allows the system to link privileges between the two accounts.

  3. After you create your account, please be sure to agree to the Fedora CLA: Click on the edit profile link on the right, then the Agreements tab. If this says view you have agreed already, if it says sign you still need to agree.

  4. You will also need to upload a public RSA SSH key. You need to use the matching private key to access Fedora machines via SSH. You can read more about this here.

Join the important Mailing Lists

You should join the Fedora devel-announce mailing list. It is a low traffic announcements only list, where important development information is posted.

You should join the Fedora devel mailing list, where discussions about the development of Fedora are held. This is a high traffic mailing list.

You should also consider joining the package-announce mailing list — The commits mailing list gets notifications on all commits in any package in the Fedora repository. This is a very high traffic mailing list. The Fedora package database sends commit mails for packages you (co-)maintain.

Another mailing list you might consider (at least to view the archives) is packaging. This is the mailing list of the Fedora Packaging Committee, who determine the official packaging guidelines for Fedora projects.

Introduce yourself

Next, you should introduce yourself to the community on the devel mailing list. The primary purpose of this is to begin the process of building trust by allowing the Fedora community members to get to know you a bit more.

We want to break anonymity and foster real-world community within the project. You are under no obligation to reveal personal secrets. The objective is to establish a level of trust between yourself and the other members of the project. But you should at least use your real name when communicating with us. Also, a brief description of who you are, your motivations and perhaps a description of the software you have submitted for review are advisable.

Subject: Self Introduction:  <Your name>

Body:  Add any information you believe is applicable
including past experience in free and open source projects,
a link to the review request you have filed and
a brief description of yourself. You can also post
your GPG key information if you want to.

Feel free to participate in all the discussion that goes on in any of the lists. Community discussion and feedback is always encouraged.

Find software you wish to package/maintain for Fedora

The package you are submitting can be of any Free and Open Source project that is not already packaged in Fedora. Before creating your package, make sure that the software is not already in the Fedora repository, or waiting for review.

Understand your responsibilities

Software components included in Fedora need to be maintained actively, and bugs — especially security issues - need to be fixed in a timely manner. As a Fedora package maintainer, it is your primary responsibility to ensure this. We encourage you to get co-maintainers and seek the help of the Fedora community via the development mailing list whenever needed.

Read Other Submissions

Read some other package submissions to learn about packaging and gain familiarity with the process and requirements.

One way of doing this is to join the mailing list. All comments on Fedora package reviews are sent to this (read-only from your point of view) list.

Configure Your Git

The first thing to do when you set up Fedora packaging is to configure your username and email address for Git. These are linked in each commit you do to Fedora packages.

git config --global user.name "John Doe"
git config --global user.email johndoe@example.com

Install the developer client tools

To build Packages for the Fedora Collection or EPEL n the Fedora build system you need Koji.

The package provides tools to help you setup and work with fedora. It will bring in everything necessary for general packaging work. Run the following as root:

dnf install fedora-packager

After installation set your Fedora Account System username in (do this as your normal user, not root). You can do this via:

echo "yourfasid" > ~/.fedora.upn

(replacing yourfasid, of course.)

You can now use koji to try to build your RPM packages in the Fedora build system, even on platforms or Fedora versions you don’t have. Note that you can (and definitely should) test out builds ("scratch" builds) even before your package has been approved and you have been sponsored. A simple way to do a scratch build using koji is to do this at the command line:

koji build --scratch TARGET path_to_source_RPM

Where:

  • TARGET is a distribution keyword such as f25 (for Fedora 25). You can run koji list-targets to see all targets. To build for the next release (rawhide), do not use dist-rawhide — use fX where X is one more than the latest stable or branched release.

  • Note that you need to supply the path to the source RPM (which ends in .src.rpm), and not a URL. (If you only have the spec file, use rpmbuild --nodeps -bs SPECFILE to create the new source RPM).

Your koji builds can only depend on packages that are actually in the TARGET distribution repository. Thus, you can’t use koji to build for released distributions if your package depends on other new packages that Bodhi hasn’t released yet. You can use koji to build for rawhide (the next unreleased version), even if it depends on other new packages, as long as the other packages were built for Rawhide as described below. If you need to build against a package that is not yet a stable released update, you can file a ticket with rel-eng and request that that package is added as a buildroot override. For packages in EPEL, you have to use the component epel to get the request to the right persons.

You can learn more about koji via:

koji --help            # General help
koji --help-commands   # list of koji commands
koji COMMAND --help    # help on command COMMAND

Using the Koji build system has more information about using Koji.

Adding a new package

Getting Help

We know that this process can be as clear as mud sometimes, and we’re always trying to make it better. If you run into any problems, or have any questions please ask on the devel mailing list or on Libera.

One-off contributions

Changes to existing packages can be suggested by submitting pull requests. You must have a Fedora account to create a pull request. See using fedpkg anonymously for instructions and Infrastructure/HTTPS-commits for more information.