Awesome Open Source
Awesome Open Source

======= rpmvenv

RPM package helper which support packaging Python virtual environments.

  • Basic Usage <#basic-usage>_

  • Customizing <#customizing>_

    • Core <#core>_

    • Blocks <#blocks>_

    • File Permissions <#file-permissions>_

    • Additional Files <#additional-files>_

    • Python Virtualenv <#python-virtualenv>_

    • CLI Flags And Environment Variables <#cli-flags-and-environment-variables>_

    • Additional Options <#additional-options>_

  • NOTE: manylinux <#note-manylinux>_

  • NOTE: unicode <#note-unicode>_

  • NOTE: system python <#note-system-python>_

  • NOTE: bdist eggs with scripts <#note-bdist-eggs-with-scripts>_

  • Testing <#testing>_

  • License <#license>_

  • Contributing <#contributing>_

Basic Usage

In order to package a Python project in an RPM containing a virtualenv drop a file in your repository root with a '.json' extensions and the following content. Change the values where appropriate.

.. code-block:: javascript

    "extensions": {
        "enabled": [
    "core": {
        "group": "Application/System",
        "license": "MIT",
        "name": "some-rpm-package-name",
        "summary": "short package summary",
        "version": "1.2.3"
    "python_venv": {
        "name": "name_of_venv_dir_to_create",
        "path": "/path/where/to/install/venv"
    "blocks": {
        "desc": [
            "some long package description",
            "each array element is a new line"

Make sure rpmbuild <>_ is installed. With the configuration file in place run the command line tool installed with the package to generate the RPM.

.. code-block:: shell

rpmvenv path/to/the/config.json

This will generate a new RPM and place it in your current working directory.


While the above example will generate an installable RPM it has limitations. For example, it does not set the user/group ownership of the packaged files, it does not include non-Python files such as init scripts, and it does not perform any post install actions. This project uses a plugin system for adding and enabling extra functionality. For convenience, some features ship with the project already.


The 'core' extension is always enabled. This extension provides the options for interacting with all the required RPM SPEC file tags like "Version" or "Url". Current core options:

.. code-block:: javascript

    // The name of the RPM file which is generated.
    "name": "some-pkg-name",
    // The RPM version to build.
    "version": "1.2.3",
    // The release number for the RPM. Default is 1.
    "release": "1",
    // The short package summary.
    "summary": "a package for code",
    // The RPM package group in which this package belongs.
    "group": "Application/System",
    // The license under which the package is distributed.
    "license": "MIT",
    // The URL of the package source.
    "url": "",
    // The path to the package source. Defaults to the parent of the config.
    "source": "/path/to/my/source",
    // The name of the buildroot directory to use. Default is random temp dir.
    "buildroot": "%(mktemp -ud %{_tmppath}/%{SOURCE0}-%{version}-%{release}-XXXXXX)",
    // System dependencies.
    "requires": [],
    // Conflicting packages.
    "conflicts": [],
    // Packages to mark as obsolete.
    "obsoletes": [],
    // Virtual packages satisfied by this RPM.
    "provides": []


RPM files contain several sections, or blocks, which can contain multi-line content. Most blocks contain shell code used to build and install a project. This extension is enabled by adding 'blocks' to the list of enabled extensions. Each block configuration item is a list of strings. Each string represents a line in the body of the block.

.. code-block:: javascript

{"blocks" {
    // Shell to execute on post-install.
    "post": [],
    // Shell to execute on post-uninstall.
    "postun": [],
    // Shell to execute on pre-install.
    "pre": [],
    // Shell to execute on pre-uninstall.
    "preun": [],
    // Shell to execute during the prep phase.
    "prep": [],
    // Shell to execute during the build phase.
    "build": [],
    // Shell to execute during the install phase.
    "install": [],
    // Shell to execute during the clean phase.
    "clean": [],
    // Long form description of the package.
    "desc": [],
    // A list of files which are included in the package.
    "files": [],
    // A list of the changes that have been done
    "changelog": [],

File Permissions

This extension will set the user and group ownership properties of all files included with the package. It is enabled by adding 'file_permissions' to the list of enabled extensions.

.. code-block:: javascript

{"file_permissions": {
    // The name of the user who should own the files.
    "user": "webserver",
    // The name of the group which should own the files.
    "group": "webserver",
    // If true, the user will be created during install if missing.
    "create_user": false,
    // If true, the group will be created during install if missing.
    "create_group": false,

Additional Files

This extension will allow for packaging any files even if they are not a part of the built project. This extension is enabled by adding "file_extras" in the list of enabled extensions. This extension also requires that 'file_permissions' be enabled. It uses the same user and group to assign ownership of the extra files. Source paths are relative to the root.

.. code-block:: javascript

{"file_extras": {
    "files": [
            "src": "somedir/project_init_script",
            "dest": "etc/init.d/project",
            "src": "somedir/readme",
            "dest": "usr/share/doc/project/readme",
            "doc": true
            "src": "somedir/project.conf",
            "dest": "etc/project.conf",
            // valid options include true, "noreplace", and "missingok"
            "config": "noreplace"
        // source:destination pairs (deprecated)

Python Virtualenv

This extension automates generating an RPM from a Python virtualenv. It is enabled by adding 'python_venv' to the list of enabled extensions.

.. code-block:: javascript

{"python_venv": {
    // The executable to use for creating a venv.
    "cmd": "virtualenv",
    // Flags to pass to the venv during creation.
    "flags": ["--always-copy"],
    // The name of the installed venv.
    "name": "project_venv",
    // The path in which to install the venv.
    "path": "/usr/share/python",
    // The python executable to use in the venv.
    "python": "python2.7",
    // Optional flag to enable building an rpm with, without a file. Default is true if not present.
    "require_setup_py": true,
    // Names of requirements files to install in the venv.
    "requirements": ["requirements.txt"],
    // Flags to pass to pip during pip install calls.
    "pip_flags": "--index-url",
    // Optional flag to enable, disable binary striping. Default is true if not present.
    "strip_binaries": true,
    // Optional flag to install the distribution into the venv with
    // pip install, rather than install. Default is false if
    // not present.
    "use_pip_install": false,
    // Optional flag to remove compiled bytecode from venv.
    // It will reduce size of resulting package. Default is false if not present.
    "remove_pycache": false,

CLI Flags And Environment Variables

In addition to adding the above sections to a configuration file, all values may also be given as command line flags to the 'rpmvenv' command as well as environment variables.

Command line flags follow a common pattern: '--extension_name_option_name'. A common use for this feature is setting the RPM package version over the CLI rather than hard coding it into a configuration file.

.. code-block:: shell

rpmvenv /path/to/some/config.json --core_version="$(date -u +%Y.%m.%d.%H.%M.%S)"

This CLI argument pattern may be used to set any options. Alternatively, environment variables can also be set using a similar naming scheme: 'export RPMVENV_EXTENSION_NAME_OPTION_NAME=""'. Setting the version with environment variables, for example:

.. code-block:: shell

RPMVENV_CORE_VERSION="$(date -u +%Y.%m.%d.%H.%M.%S)" \
rpmvenv /path/to/some/config.json

The precedence order for options is configuration file, environment variables, then CLI flags. That is, environment variables will always override items in the configuration file and CLI flags will override both the file and the environment variables.

Additional Options

In addition to the options for modifying the spec file, the following are also available as CLI flags:

  • --source

    The path to a Python source repository. By default, this value resolves to the directory containing the specified configuration file. It can be overridden if the Python source is not adjacent the configuration file.

  • --destination

    The directory in which to place the RPM. The default value is the current working directory.

  • --spec

    This flag disables the actual build in favour of printing the spec file contents to stdout. Use this option if you need to manually verify the spec file before running a build.

  • --verbose

    Normally, the stdout and stderr of the rpmbuild call are captured unless there is an exception. Adding this flag enables the real-time output from the rpmbuild command.

NOTE: manylinux

As of 2019-05-26, the issue with packages generated as part of the manylinux <>_ project appears to have been resolved. This means wheels containing universal linux binaries should work as expected without any special options being enabled for rpmvenv.

For background, an issue was opened on 2017-02-01 that reported broken builds when one of the project dependencies was built using manylinux. The root cause appeared to be an incompatiblity between manylinux binaries and the standard strip system utility. Without being able to strip the binaries we were unable to remove metadata from those files which included the temporary RPM build root. RPM builds automatically fail if any file within the package contains a reference to the build root.

A test has been added to this project's suite that will fail if the manylinux project issue with strip regresses. If the issues does regress you can restore your builds by adding strip_binaries=false to the venv section of your configuration and setting the QA_SKIP_BUILD_ROOT=1 environment variable before running rpmvenv. The strip_binaries=false disables the call to strip and the QA_SKIP_BUILD_ROOT=1 variable disables the RPM tool's check for build root.

NOTE: unicode

An issue was opened on 2018-09-01 showing a conflict between some Python packages and some environments. Notably, CentOS (and possibly others) default to having a global system encoding value set to ASCII rather than UTF-8. Python2.X opens files using the system encoding which results in several errors if any of the source code files contain non-ASCII characters. If you encounter this issue then the easiest way to resolve it is to set the LC_ALL=en_US.UTF-8 variable before running rpmvenv. This will adjust the global setting and enable processing of non-ASCII encoded files.

NOTE: system python

An issue was opened on 2017-05-18 showing a build failure wnen using the default Python installations for some versions of CentOS, Fedora, and RedHat. The issue manifests during the creation of the virtualenv and appears as something like ImportError: No module named \'time\' or other error messages referencing Python built-ins. The cause appears to related to an unresolved issue <>_ between the affected system distribution provided Python installations and virtualenv. The only known fix for this issue is to re-build Python from source for any affected system.

NOTE: bdist eggs with scripts

An issue was opened on 2019-01-28 showing a build failure whenever the usual python install line was executed for a project that both contained scripts and triggered the bdist packaging path for an egg. For unknown reasons, the bdist egg package both installs scripts in the relevant bin directory and retrains a copy within the egg directory. rpmvenv rewrites the shebang paths in bin but does not account for the second copy in the bdist egg directory. The result is a build failure because the build root is referenced in a file.

The way to resolve this issue is to use the "use_pip_install": true option which switches the installation method from python install to pip install .. These two methods result in different installation behavior because pip will always generate a wheel rather than an egg which does not suffer from this issue.


The included tests are written using py.test. There is also an included tox.ini which is configured to run the tests in addition to style checks. By default, the integration tests run using rpmvenv as the target project to build. However, any project with a requirements.txt file in the repository root can be specified with the '--python-git-url' flag while running the tests.



(MIT License)

Copyright (C) 2015 Kevin Conway

Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy
of this software and associated documentation files (the "Software"), to
deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the
rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or
sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is
furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:

The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in
all copies or substantial portions of the Software.



All contributions to this project are protected under the agreement found in the CONTRIBUTING file. All contributors should read the agreement but, as a summary::

You give us the rights to maintain and distribute your code and we promise
to maintain an open source distribution of anything you contribute.

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