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How to Get Started with FPM

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How to Get Started with FPM

FPM is a powerful wrapper that allows you to create packages for multiple programs in multiple operating systems.

In this tutorial I will show you how you can replace some of the tedious packaging of third party applications.

What You Need to Complete this Tutorial

  • A Linux distribution (I used Fedora but this works with anything)
  • Elevated privileges (if you want to install your own packages)

When Your Package Manager Isn’t Simple Enough

Often times, you’ll want to have the ultimate control over how you package an application. But there are a few occasions when this may be overkill:

  1. The third party application is simple or small enough than a tar would be good enough to install it. Yet you want to enjoy the benefits of upgrades and roll-back, like the ones offered by RPM.
  2. You need or want to package an application from one format (say .tar.gz) to Debian ‘.deb’ or RPM.
  3. You have to package multiple applications that are only offered in Source format or pre-packaged binaries, like when upgrading the operating system. And you don’t want to spend an eternity re-packaging the third party applications.

How to Package an Existing Application the Old Way

I wrote an small demo application that dumps system facts (like disk utilization) in JSON format, called jdumpertools. The application is very simple, is written in C, and has an RPM spec file that you can use to package the software.

There are a few manual steps required to create the RPM:

  1. Download the source distribution (or binary): git clone https://github.com/josevnz/jdumpertools.git
  2. Prepare the RPM spec file, which should take care of compilation (or just packaging) of the software, as well the location for the installation
  3. Lint the spec file, fix common errors

So let’s see how jdumbertools‘s RPM spec file works.

First, take a look at the spec file:

Name:           jdumpertools
# TODO: Figure out a better way to update version here and on Makefile
%global major 0
Version:        v%{major}.2
Release:        1%{?dist}
Summary:        Programs that can be used to dump Linux usage data in JSON format

License:        ASL 2.0
URL:            https://github.com/josevnz/jdumpertools
Source0:        %{name}-%{version}.tar.gz

BuildRequires:  bash,tar,gzip,rpmdevtools,rpmlint,make,gcc >= 10.2.1
Requires:       bash

%global debug_package %{nil}

%description

Jdumpertools is a collection of programs that can be used to dump
linux usage data in JSON format, so it can be ingested by other tools.

* jdu: Similar to UNIX '/bin/du' command.
* jutmp: UTMP database dumper

%prep
%setup -q -n jdumpertools

%build
make all

%install

/usr/bin/mkdir -p %{buildroot}/%{_bindir}
/usr/bin/mkdir -p %{buildroot}/%{_mandir}/man8
/usr/bin/cp -v -p jdu jutmp %{buildroot}/%{_bindir}
/usr/bin/cp -v -p jdu.1 jutmp.1 %{buildroot}/%{_mandir}/man8/
/usr/bin/gzip %{buildroot}/%{_mandir}/man8/*
/usr/bin/mkdir -p %{buildroot}/%{_libdir}
/usr/bin/cp -v -p libjdumpertools.so.%{major} %{buildroot}/%{_libdir}
/usr/bin/strip %{buildroot}/%{_bindir}/{jdu,jutmp}
/usr/bin/strip %{buildroot}/%{_libdir}/*

%clean
rm -rf %{buildroot}

%files
%{_bindir}/jdu
%{_bindir}/jutmp
%{_libdir}/libjdumpertools.so.%{major}
%{_libdir}/libjdumpertools.so
%license LICENSE
%doc README.md
%doc %{_mandir}/man8/jdu.1.gz
%doc %{_mandir}/man8/jutmp.1.gz


%changelog
* Sun Oct  3 2021 Jose Vicente Nunez <[email protected]> - v0.2-1
- Applied fixes from rpmlint: man page, typos on spec file, striped binaries, etc.
* Mon Jan  4 2021 Jose Vicente Nunez <[email protected]> - v0.1-1
- First version being packaged

And now let’s build it:

[josevnz@dmaf5 jdumpertools]$ sudo dnf install -y rpmdevtools rpmlint
...
[josevnz@dmaf5 test]$ git clone https://github.com/josevnz/jdumpertools.git
Cloning into 'jdumpertools'...
remote: Enumerating objects: 228, done.
remote: Counting objects: 100% (228/228), done.
remote: Compressing objects: 100% (137/137), done.
remote: Total 228 (delta 132), reused 157 (delta 79), pack-reused 0
Receiving objects: 100% (228/228), 3.15 MiB | 9.67 MiB/s, done.
Resolving deltas: 100% (132/132), done.

[josevnz@dmaf5 test]$ cd jdumpertools/
[josevnz@dmaf5 jdumpertools]$ rpmbuild -ba jdumpertools.spec
...
+ exit 0
Provides: jdumpertools = v0.2-1.fc37 jdumpertools(x86-64) = v0.2-1.fc37 libjdumpertools.so()(64bit)
Requires(rpmlib): rpmlib(CompressedFileNames) <= 3.0.4-1 rpmlib(FileDigests) <= 4.6.0-1 rpmlib(PayloadFilesHavePrefix) <= 4.0-1
Requires: libc.so.6()(64bit) libc.so.6(GLIBC_2.2.5)(64bit) libc.so.6(GLIBC_2.3)(64bit) libjdumpertools.so()(64bit) rtld(GNU_HASH)
Checking for unpackaged file(s): /usr/lib/rpm/check-files /home/josevnz/rpmbuild/BUILDROOT/jdumpertools-v0.2-1.fc37.x86_64
Wrote: /home/josevnz/rpmbuild/SRPMS/jdumpertools-v0.2-1.fc37.src.rpm
Wrote: /home/josevnz/rpmbuild/RPMS/x86_64/jdumpertools-v0.2-1.fc37.x86_64.rpm
Executing(%clean): /bin/sh -e /var/tmp/rpm-tmp.42keBq
+ umask 022
+ cd /home/josevnz/rpmbuild/BUILD
+ cd jdumpertools
+ rm -rf /home/josevnz/rpmbuild/BUILDROOT/jdumpertools-v0.2-1.fc37.x86_64
+ RPM_EC=0
++ jobs -p
+ exit 0
Executing(rmbuild): /bin/sh -e /var/tmp/rpm-tmp.aZjb6s
+ umask 022
+ cd /home/josevnz/rpmbuild/BUILD
+ rm -rf jdumpertools jdumpertools.gemspec
+ RPM_EC=0
++ jobs -p
+ exit 0
...
[josevnz@dmaf5 jdumpertools]$ ls -l $HOME/rpmbuild/RPMS/x86_64/jdumpertools-v0.2-1.fc37.x86_64.rpm
-rw-r--r--. 1 josevnz josevnz 22118 Jun  2 14:03 /home/josevnz/rpmbuild/RPMS/x86_64/jdumpertools-v0.2-1.fc37.x86_64.rpm

Then you install the RPM like any other RPM:

[josevnz@dmaf5 jdumpertools]$ sudo dnf install -y $HOME/rpmbuild/RPMS/x86_64/jdumpertools-v0.2-1.fc37.x86_64.rpm
Last metadata expiration check: 1:36:46 ago on Fri 02 Jun 2023 12:30:31 PM EDT.
Dependencies resolved.
=================================================================================================================================
 Package                         Architecture              Version                         Repository                       Size
=================================================================================================================================
Installing:
 jdumpertools                    x86_64                    v0.2-1.fc37                     @commandline                     22 k

Transaction Summary
=================================================================================================================================
Install  1 Package

Total size: 22 k
Installed size: 57 k
Downloading Packages:
Running transaction check
Transaction check succeeded.
Running transaction test
Transaction test succeeded.
Running transaction
  Preparing        :                                                                                                         1/1 
  Installing       : jdumpertools-v0.2-1.fc37.x86_64                                                                         1/1 
  Running scriptlet: jdumpertools-v0.2-1.fc37.x86_64                                                                         1/1 
  Verifying        : jdumpertools-v0.2-1.fc37.x86_64                                                                         1/1 

Installed:
  jdumpertools-v0.2-1.fc37.x86_64                                                                                                

Complete!

It’s not terrible, specially if you plan to make updates – but can we do this in an easier way?

How to Install FPM

The getting started document the simplest reference you can refer to in order to get FPM up and running.

First you’ll install some dependencies, for example in Fedora:

[josevnz@dmaf5 jdumpertools]$ sudo dnf install -y gem
[josevnz@dmaf5 jdumpertools]$ sudo dnf install -y rpm-build squashfs-tools

And then you’ll install FPM itself:

[josevnz@dmaf5 jdumpertools]$ gem install --user-install fpm
Fetching insist-1.0.0.gem
Fetching clamp-1.0.1.gem
Fetching stud-0.0.23.gem
Fetching rexml-3.2.5.gem
Fetching mustache-0.99.8.gem
Fetching dotenv-2.8.1.gem
Fetching cabin-0.9.0.gem
Fetching pleaserun-0.0.32.gem
Fetching fpm-1.15.1.gem
Fetching backports-3.24.1.gem
...
Done installing documentation for stud, rexml, mustache, insist, dotenv, clamp, cabin, pleaserun, backports, arr-pm, fpm after 5 seconds
11 gems installed

Well, we need some files to package. This distribution comes with a Makefile, so easy as pie we do:

[josevnz@dmaf5 jdumpertools]$ make
gcc -Wall -g -Og -Wextra -Werror -Werror=format-security -std=c11   -DJDUMPERTOOLS_VERSION=v0.2 -fPIC jdumpertools.h jdumpertools.c -I /home/josevnz/test/jdumpertools -shared -Wl,-soname,libjdumpertools.so -o libjdumpertools.so.0
gcc jdumpertools.h jdu.c libjdumpertools.so.0 -Wall -g -Og -Wextra -Werror -Werror=format-security -std=c11   -DJDUMPERTOOLS_VERSION=v0.2 -L /home/josevnz/test/jdumpertools -l jdumpertools -o jdu
gcc jdumpertools.h jutmp.c -Wall -g -Og -Wextra -Werror -Werror=format-security -std=c11   -DJDUMPERTOOLS_VERSION=v0.2 -L /home/josevnz/test/jdumpertools -l jdumpertools -o jutmp
...
[josevnz@dmaf5 jdumpertools]$ ls
CODE_OF_CONDUCT.md  INSTALL.md  jdu.c           jdumpertools.spec  jutmp.c               Makefile        SECURITY.md
CONTRIBUTING.md     jdu         jdumpertools.c  jutmp              libjdumpertools.so.0  mazinger-z.png
Dockerfile          jdu.1       jdumpertools.h  jutmp.1            LICENSE               README.md
[josevnz@dmaf5 jdumpertools]$ fpm -t rpm -s dir --name jdumpertools --rpm-autoreq --rpm-os linux --rpm-summary 'Programs that can be used to dump Linux usage data in JSON format' --license 'ASL 2.0' --version v0.21 --depends bash --maintainer 'Jose Vicente Nunez <[email protected]>' --url https://github.com/josevnz/jdumpertools jdu=/usr/bin/jdu jutmp=/usr/bin/jutmp jdu.1=/usr/share/man/man1/jdu.1.gz jutmp.1=/usr/share/man/man8/jutmp.1.gz
Created package {:path=>"jdumpertools-v0.21-1.x86_64.rpm"}

So no spec file, and we’ve got ourselves an RPM.

What if I want to create packages for other distributions? I just need to make a few changes on the command line:

Debian package:

[josevnz@dmaf5 jdumpertools]$ fpm -t deb -s dir --name jdumpertools --rpm-autoreq --rpm-os linux --rpm-summary 'Programs that can be used to dump Linux usage data in JSON format' --license 'ASL 2.0' --version v0.21 --depends bash --maintainer 'Jose Vicente Nunez <[email protected]>' --url https://github.com/josevnz/jdumpertools jdu=/usr/bin/jdu jutmp=/usr/bin/jutmp jdu.1=/usr/share/man/man1/jdu.1.gz jutmp.1=/usr/share/man/man8/jutmp.1.gz
Debian 'Version' field needs to start with a digit. I was provided 'v0.21' which seems like it just has a 'v' prefix to an otherwise-valid Debian version, I'll remove the 'v' for you. {:level=>:warn}
Created package {:path=>"jdumpertools_0.21_amd64.deb"}

Self extracting script:

[josevnz@dmaf5 jdumpertools]$ fpm -t sh -s dir --name jdumpertools --rpm-autoreq --rpm-os linux --rpm-summary 'Programs that can be used to dump Linux usage data in JSON format' --license 'ASL 2.0' --version v0.21 --depends bash --maintainer 'Jose Vicente Nunez <[email protected]>' --url https://github.com/josevnz/jdumpertools jdu=/usr/bin/jdu jutmp=/usr/bin/jutmp jdu.1=/usr/share/man/man1/jdu.1.gz jutmp.1=/usr/share/man/man8/jutmp.1.gz
Created package {:path=>"jdumpertools.sh"}

tar file:

[josevnz@dmaf5 jdumpertools]$ fpm -t tar -s dir --name jdumpertools --rpm-autoreq --rpm-os linux --rpm-summary 'Programs that can be used to dump Linux usage data in JSON format' --license 'ASL 2.0' --version v0.21 --depends bash --maintainer 'Jose Vicente Nunez <[email protected]>' --url https://github.com/josevnz/jdumpertools jdu=/usr/bin/jdu jutmp=/usr/bin/jutmp jdu.1=/usr/share/man/man1/jdu.1.gz jutmp.1=/usr/share/man/man8/jutmp.1.gz
Created package {:path=>"jdumpertools.tar"}

This is already very convenient. Now I want to show you another use case for FPM.

How to Repackage Existing Software

Say that you want to distribute a CPAN module which doesn’t have an RPM. You could spend quality time, or you could use FPM to do the work for you.

First, let’s install a new dependency for Fedora:

[josevnz@dmaf5 jdumpertools]$ sudo dnf install -y perl-App-cpanminus

And then let’s build our RPM

[josevnz@dmaf5 jdumpertools]$ fpm -t rpm -s cpan Archive::Tar
Created package {:path=>"perl-Archive-Tar-3.02-1.noarch.rpm"}

Did it work?

[josevnz@dmaf5 jdumpertools]$ rpm -qil perl-Archive-Tar-3.02-1.noarch.rpm
Name        : perl-Archive-Tar
Version     : 3.02
Release     : 1
Architecture: noarch
Install Date: (not installed)
Group       : default
Size        : 177677
License     : perl_5
Signature   : (none)
Source RPM  : perl-Archive-Tar-3.02-1.src.rpm
Build Date  : Fri 02 Jun 2023 04:36:45 PM EDT
Build Host  : dmaf5
Relocations : / 
Packager    : <josevnz@dmaf5>
Vendor      : Jos Boumans <kane[at]cpan.org>
URL         : http://example.com/no-uri-given
Summary     : Manipulates TAR archives
Description :
Manipulates TAR archives
/usr/local/bin/ptar
/usr/local/bin/ptardiff
/usr/local/bin/ptargrep
/usr/local/share/man/man1/ptar.1
/usr/local/share/man/man1/ptardiff.1
/usr/local/share/man/man1/ptargrep.1
/usr/local/share/man/man3/Archive::Tar.3pm
/usr/local/share/man/man3/Archive::Tar::File.3pm
/usr/local/share/perl5/5.36/Archive/Tar.pm
/usr/local/share/perl5/5.36/Archive/Tar/Constant.pm
/usr/local/share/perl5/5.36/Archive/Tar/File.pm

Now I’m going to show you how to package the clickhouse-driver module from PyPi.

[josevnz@dmaf5 jdumpertools]$ fpm -t rpm -s python 'clickhouse-driver'
Created package {:path=>"python-clickhouse-driver-0.2.6-1.x86_64.rpm"}

Say that now you want to create an RPM for OpenJDK 17. No problem, get the tar file and package it with a little help:

[josevnz@dmaf5 jdumpertools]$ curl --fail --location --remote-name https://github.com/adoptium/temurin17-binaries/releases/download/jdk-17.0.7%2B7/OpenJDK17U-jdk_x64_linux_hotspot_17.0.7_7.tar.gz
  % Total    % Received % Xferd  Average Speed   Time    Time     Time  Current
                                 Dload  Upload   Total   Spent    Left  Speed
  0     0    0     0    0     0      0      0 --:--:-- --:--:-- --:--:--     0
100  182M  100  182M    0     0  10.9M      0  0:00:16  0:00:16 --:--:-- 11.1M
[josevnz@dmaf5 jdumpertools]$ fpm -t rpm -s tar --url 'https://adoptium.net/' --description 'Eclipse Temurin is the name of the OpenJDK distribution from Adoptium' --version '17.0.7+7' --prefix /usr/local/openjdk OpenJDK17U-jdk_x64_linux_hotspot_17.0.7_7.tar.gz
[josevnz@dmaf5 jdumpertools]$ rpm -qil OpenJDK17U-jdk_x64_linux_hotspot_17-17.0.7+7-1.x86_64.rpm
Name        : OpenJDK17U-jdk_x64_linux_hotspot_17
Version     : 17.0.7+7
Release     : 1
Architecture: x86_64
Install Date: (not installed)
Group       : default
Size        : 329508762
License     : unknown
Signature   : (none)
Source RPM  : OpenJDK17U-jdk_x64_linux_hotspot_17-17.0.7+7-1.src.rpm
Build Date  : Fri 02 Jun 2023 05:05:05 PM EDT
Build Host  : dmaf5
Relocations : /usr/local/openjdk 
Packager    : <josevnz@dmaf5>
Vendor      : none
URL         : https://adoptium.net/
Summary     : Eclipse Temurin is the name of the OpenJDK distribution from Adoptium
Description :
Eclipse Temurin is the name of the OpenJDK distribution from Adoptium
/usr/local/openjdk/jdk-17.0.7+7/NOTICE
/usr/local/openjdk/jdk-17.0.7+7/bin/jar
/usr/local/openjdk/jdk-17.0.7+7/bin/jarsigner
/usr/local/openjdk/jdk-17.0.7+7/bin/java
...

I could keep going but I think you get the idea how much you can to with FPM.

What’s Next?

We covered some important use cases, but the tool has much more to offer:

  • FPM has many other usages, including transforming existing packages from other formats to the one you want.
  • FPM also supports configuration files. If you are using it often then you should read how to use a configuration file for FPM as opposed to use a lengthy command line.
  • You may also consider running FPM from inside a container, to avoid installing dependencies.
  • If you are curious about how to run the jumpertools binaries, you can take a look at the README.md from the repository.

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