Packaging a Python program for Fedora

Being a Fedora contributor is one of my long term goals. Recently I took the first step by submitting the Redmine CLI to Fedora. Creating spec file is a bit hard, even for a trivial command line application. So I’ll document the steps others to benefit.

Spec file

%global pypi_name redminecli

%{?python_enable_dependency_generator}

Name:           %{pypi_name}
Version:        1.1.8
Release:        1%{?dist}
Summary:        Command line interface for Redmine

License:        GPLv3
URL:            https://github.com/egegunes/redmine-cli
Source0:        %{pypi_source}

BuildArch:      noarch
BuildRequires:  python3-devel
BuildRequires:  python3-setuptools
BuildRequires:  python3-pytest
BuildRequires:  python3-click
BuildRequires:  python3-requests

%description
`redminecli` is a command line interface for Redmine.

%prep
%autosetup -n %{pypi_name}-%{version}

%build
%py3_build

%install
%py3_install

%files
%doc README.md
%{_bindir}/redmine
%{python3_sitelib}/redmine/
%{python3_sitelib}/%{pypi_name}-*.egg-info/

%check
%{__python3} -m pytest

%changelog
* Thu Sep 26 2019 Ege Güneş <egegunes@gmail.com> - 1.1.8-1
- Bump to 1.1.8

* Thu Sep 26 2019 Ege Güneş <egegunes@gmail.com> - 1.1.7-1
- Bump to 1.1.7

* Tue Aug 27 2019 Ege Güneş <egegunes@gmail.com> - 1.1.6-1
- Bump to 1.1.6

* Sun Aug 25 2019 Ege Güneş <egegunes@gmail.com> - 1.1.5-1
- Bump to 1.1.5

* Sun Aug 11 2019 Ege Güneş <egegunes@gmail.com> - 1.1.4-1
- Bump to 1.1.4

* Sat Aug 10 2019 Ege Güneş <egegunes@gmail.com>
- Initial package

Most of the spec is straight forward, but some settings may require explanation:

python_enable_dependency_generator: In spec, you define two types of dependencies: build dependency and runtime dependency. I defined build dependencies with BuildRequires but there is no Requires as you can see. This setting automatically generates runtime dependencies from package metadata.

BuildArch: Package’s targeted architecture (ie. x86_64). Since package is a Python program it should be run on all.

py3_build: It’s a smart macro for python3 setup.py build.

py3_install: It’s a smart macro for python3 setup.py install.

%files: Files listed under this section is important. All files installed to the system by package MUST be listed here. If your package installs a file not listed build fails.

%check: If the package has tests this is the place to run them. Tests really confused me. My reviewer demanded to run tests but tests depend on some runtime dependencies and Fedora Python Packaging Guidelines explicitly declares “Python modules must not download any dependencies during the build process.” But the reviewer said it’s OK to add them as build dependency for tests. Initially, I had only python3-devel and python3-setuptools as BuildRequires but for tests I added python3-pytest, python3-requests and python3-click too.

%changelog: This section is for documenting the changes to spec not the upstream program.

After you create the spec, you’ll create a source RPM from it. There is a nice post about source RPM on Fedora Magazine.

First, you need to prepare your system:

$ dnf install fedora-packager
$ rpmdev-setuptree
$ tree rpmbuild/
rpmbuild/
├── BUILD
├── RPMS
├── SOURCES
├── SPECS
└── SRPMS

5 directories, 0 files

Then, download source from PyPI to ~/rpmbuild/SOURCES and build source RPM:

$ rpmbuild -bs redminecli.spec
$ tree rpmbuild/
rpmbuild/
├── BUILD
├── BUILDROOT
├── RPMS
├── SOURCES
│   └── redminecli-1.1.8.tar.gz
├── SPECS
│   └── redminecli.spec
└── SRPMS
    └── redminecli-1.1.8-1.fc30.src.rpm

6 directories, 3 files

FAS Account

You need to have a FAS account to submit packages to Fedora.

Koji

Koji is Fedora’s RPM build system. You can build packages against specific architectures and Fedora releases.

First, you need to get a Kerberos ticket:

$ KRB5_TRACE=/dev/stdout kinit your_fas_username@FEDORAPROJECT.ORG

Then, you can start a build from command line:

$ koji build --scratch f30 ~/rpmbuild/SRPMS/redminecli-1.1.8-1.fc30.src.rpm

You can see the build status on the web UI and if build fails you can check build logs for errors.

COPR

To submit a package review request, the spec and the source RPM have to publicly accessible for reviewers. COPR is for building and creating third party RPM packages and repositories. You can build your package on COPR and point reviewers to your repository.

Bugzilla

After all these steps, you need to open a Bugzilla ticket and request a review for your package. Add SRPM and Spec urls and latest successful Koji build url to description.

Then, you’ll wait for someone to review your package. You may need to make changes on the spec if a reviewer demands it till someone from packager group approves your package.

Next steps

If it’s your first package, after it’s approved you need to find a sponsor to join the packagers group. See documentation about sponsorship process.

Now, Redmine CLI is approved and I need to find a sponsor. This post is a first step to find one. Then, I’m going to do some informal reviews to show I understand packaging process and most of the best practices.