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Each recipe consists of 3 main parts: defining identifiers, setting build variables, and defining build commands.

The package "mylib" will be used here as an example

General tips:

  • mylib_foo is written as $(package)_foo in order to make recipes more similar.


Each package is required to define at least these variables:

Version of the upstream library or program. If there is no version, a
placeholder such as 1.0 can be used.

Location of the upstream source, without the file-name. Usually http or

The upstream source filename available at the download path.

The sha256 hash of the upstream file

These variables are optional:

cd to this dir before running configure/build/stage commands.

The file-name of the upstream source if it differs from how it should be
stored locally. This can be used to avoid storing file-names with strange

Names of any other packages that this one depends on.

Filenames of any patches needed to build the package

Any extra files that will be fetched via $(package)_fetch_cmds. These are
specified so that they can be fetched and verified via 'make download'.

Build Variables:

After defining the main identifiers, build variables may be added or customized before running the build commands. They should be added to a function called $(package)_set_vars. For example:

define $(package)_set_vars

Most variables can be prefixed with the host, architecture, or both, to make the modifications specific to that case. For example:

Universal:     $(package)_cc=gcc
Linux only:    $(package)_linux_cc=gcc
x86_64 only:       $(package)_x86_64_cc = gcc
x86_64 linux only: $(package)_x86_64_linux_cc = gcc

These variables may be set to override or append their default values.


The *_env variables are used to add environment variables to the respective commands.

Many variables respect a debug/release suffix as well, in order to use them for only the appropriate build config. For example:

$(package)_cflags_release = -O3
$(package)_cflags_i686_debug = -g
$(package)_config_opts_release = --disable-debug

These will be used in addition to the options that do not specify debug/release. All builds are considered to be release unless DEBUG=1 is set by the user. Other variables may be defined as needed.

Build commands:

For each build, a unique build dir and staging dir are created. For example, work/build/mylib/1.0-1adac830f6e and work/staging/mylib/1.0-1adac830f6e.

The following build commands are available for each recipe:

Runs from: build dir
Fetch the source file. If undefined, it will be fetched and verified
against its hash.

Runs from: build dir
Verify the source file against its hash and extract it. If undefined, the
source is assumed to be a tarball.

Runs from: build dir/$(package)_build_subdir
Preprocess the source as necessary. If undefined, does nothing.

Runs from: build dir/$(package)_build_subdir
Configure the source. If undefined, does nothing.

Runs from: build dir/$(package)_build_subdir
Build the source. If undefined, does nothing.

Runs from: build dir/$(package)_build_subdir
Stage the build results. If undefined, does nothing.

The following variables are available for each recipe:

$(1)_staging_dir: package's destination sysroot path
$(1)_staging_prefix_dir: prefix path inside of the package's staging dir
$(1)_extract_dir: path to the package's extracted sources
$(1)_build_dir: path where configure/build/stage commands will be run
$(1)_patch_dir: path where the package's patches (if any) are found

Notes on build commands:

For packages built with autotools, $($(package)_autoconf) can be used in the configure step to (usually) correctly configure automatically. Any $($(package)_config_opts) will be appended.

Most autotools projects can be properly staged using:

$(MAKE) DESTDIR=$($(package)_staging_dir) install