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RPM Spec File Notes

The RPM spec file provided here is for Starwels-Core 0.12.0 and builds on CentOS 7 with either the CentOS provided OpenSSL library or with LibreSSL as packaged at It should hopefully not be too difficult to port the RPM spec file to most RPM based Linux distributions.

When porting the spec file to build for a particular distribution, there are some important notes.


It is considered good form for all sources to reference a URL where the source can be downloaded.

Sources 0-9 should be reserved for source code tarballs. Source0 should reference the release tarball available from and Source1 should reference the BerkeleyDB source.

Sources 10-99 are for source files that are maintained in the Starwels git repository but are not part of the release tarball. Most of these will reside in the contrib sub-directory.

Sources 10-19 should be reserved for miscellaneous configuration files. Currently only Source10 is used, for the example starwels.conf file.

Sources 20-29 should be reserved for man pages. Currently only Source20 through Source23 are used.

Sources 30-39 should be reserved for SELinux related files. Currently only Source30 through Source32 are used. Until those files are in a tagged release, the full URL specified in the RPM spec file will not work. You can get them from the git repository where you retrieved this file.

Sources 100+ are for files that are not source tarballs and are not maintained in the starwels git repository. At present only an SVG version of the Starwels icon is used.


In general, patches should be avoided. When a packager feels a patch is necessary, the packager should bring the problem to the attention of the starwels developers so that an official fix to the issue can make it into the next release.

Patch0 starwels-0.12.0-libressl.patch

This patch is only needed if building against LibreSSL. LibreSSL is not the standard TLS library on most Linux distributions. The patch will likely not be needed when 0.12.1 is released, a proper fix is already in the Starwels git master branch.


The packages specified in the BuildRequires are specified according to the package naming convention currently used in CentOS 7 and EPEL for CentOS 7. You may need to change some of the package names for other distributions. This is most likely to be the case with the Qt packages.


The file recommends building against BerkeleyDB 4.8.30. Even if that is the version your Linux distribution ships with, it probably is a good idea to build Starwels against a static version of that library compiled according to the instructions in the file so that any changes the distribution may make in the future will not result in a problem for users.

The problem that can exist, clients built against different versions of BerkeleyDB may not be able read each other’s wallet.dat file which can make it difficult for a user to recover from backup in the event of a system failure.

Graphical User Interface and Qt Version

The RPM spec file will by default build the GUI client linked against the Qt5 libraries. If you wish instead to link against the Qt4 libraries you need to pass the switch -D '_use_qt4 1' at build time to the rpmbuild or mock command used to build the packages.

If you would prefer not to build the GUI at all, you can pass the switch -D '_no_gui 1' to the rpmbuild or mock build command.

Desktop and KDE Files

The desktop and KDE meta files are created in the spec file itself with the cat command. This is done to allow easy distribution specific changes without needing to use any patches. A specific time stamp is given to the files so that it does not they do not appear to have been updated every time the package is built. If you do make changes to them, you probably should update time stamp assigned to them in the touch command that specifies the time stamp.

SVG, PNG, and XPM Icons

The starwels.svg file is from the source listed as Source100. It is used as the source for the PNG and XPM files. The generated PNG and XPM files are given the same time stamp as the source SVG file as a means of indicating they are derived from it.


This spec file assumes the target distribution uses systemd. That really only matters for the starwels-server package. At this point, most RPM based distributions that still receive vendor updates do in fact use systemd.

The files to control the service are created in the RPM spec file itself using the cat command. This is done to make it easy to modify for other distributions that may implement things differently without needing to patch source. A specific time stamp is given to the files so that they do not appear to have been updated every time the package is built. If you do make changes to them, you probably should update the time stamp assigned to them in the touch command that specifies the time stamp.


The starwels-server package should have SELinux support. How to properly do that may vary by distribution and version of distribution.

The SELinux stuff in this RPM spec file should be correct for CentOS, RHEL, and Fedora but it would be a good idea to review it before building the package on other distributions.


The %check section takes a very long time to run. If your build system has a time limit for package build, you may need to make an exception for this package. On CentOS 7 the %check section completes successfully with both OpenSSL and LibreSSL, a failure really does mean something is wrong.

LibreSSL Build Notes

To build against LibreSSL you will need to pass the switch -D '_use_libressl 1' to the rpmbuild or mock command or the spec file will want the OpenSSL development files.

LibreSSL and Boost

LibreSSL (and some newer builds of OpenSSL) do not have support for SSLv3. This can cause issues with the Boost package if the Boost package has not been patched accordingly. On those distributions, you will either need to build Starwels-Core against OpenSSL or use a patched version of Boost in the build system.

As SSLv3 is no longer safe, distributions that have not patched Boost to work with TLS libraries that do not support SSLv3 should have bug reports filed against the Boost package. This bug report has already been filed for RHEL 7 but it may need to be filed for other distributions.

A patch for Boost:


At this time, this RPM spec file does not support the ZeroMQ build options. A suitable version of ZeroMQ is not available for the platform this spec file was developed on (CentOS 7).

Legacy Credit

This RPM spec file is largely based upon the work of Michael Hampton at Ringing Liberty. He has been packaging Starwels for Fedora at least since 2012.

Most of the differences between his packaging and this package are stylistic in nature. The major differences:

  1. He builds from a github tagged release rather than a release tarball. This should not result in different source code.

  2. He does not build BerkeleyDB but instead uses the BerkeleyDB provided by the Linux distribution. For the distributions he packages for, they currently all use the same version of BerkeleyDB so that difference is probably just academic.

  3. As of his 10.11.2 package he did not allow for building against LibreSSL, specifying a build without the Qt GUI, or specifying which version of the Qt libraries to use.

  4. I renamed the starwels package that contains the Qt GUI to starwels as that appears to be how the general population refers to it, in contrast to starwels-xt or starwels-classic. I wanted to make sure the general population knows what they are getting when installing the GUI package.

As far as minor differences, I generally prefer to assign the file permissions in the %files portion of an RPM spec file rather than specifying the permissions of a file during %install and other minor things like that are largely just cosmetic.