Creating your first package

In order to test what list2pkg can do, we are going to create a test package. A testing directory is included with list2pkg . Among other things, it contains some dummy files that can be used to create a package. First, cd to it.

  $ cd testing

The file list

list2pkg takes two arguments: a list of the files that will belong to the package, and the package file we will create. List2pkg can also read a file list from standard input.

The format of a list is very simple: each line must contains the path to a file. This path can either be absolute (recommended) or relative to the directory from which list2pkg is invoked.

For this first example, we are going to use the list of files in filelist, which contains files in src. Feel free to look around.

    $ cat filelist
    $ ls -lR src

Note an important detail: if directories are given in the file list, they will not be copied recursively. This means that if the file /home is in your list, the package will not contain all files from all home directories, but only an empty /home directory.

The package tree

list2pkg does not create the slackware package directly using the files that are given in the list. Instead, it copies those files to a temporary directory, do some adjustments there, and then call makepkg, which is Slackware's standard tool for package creation. This temporary directory is called the package tree directory by list2pkg .

If the user does not specify one, list2pkg creates a temporary directory in e.g /var/tmp, do its stuff and then remove the directory. If a package tree directory is given on the command line, the package structure is created inside instead, and it is not deleted at the end of the process.

Since you want to have a clue what is going on, we are going to use our own package tree directory.

    $ mkdir treedir

The package file

Following Slackware package's convention, the file name must have several information in it: the program's name, the version, the machine it was compiled for, and the creator's name along with the build version. Each of these fields must be separated by a dash. After this, the file extension, .tgz must follow. For more information on Slackware package naming, see The Perfect Package

As an example, we will use test-0.1-noarch-2usr.tgz as a package name.

Putting it all together

It's now time to run the package-creating command

    $ sudo list2pkg --treedir=treedir --verbose filelist \

The command should finish without errors, and a test-0.1-noarch-2usr.tgz file should have been created. Note that you need root privilege, because otherwise some owner and groups information might not be saved correctly. You can check that all files in the file list have been packed correctly (there are subtleties related to symlinks that are explained in the section called “Tricky cases”)

    $ tar --list --verbose -f test-0.1-noarch-2usr.tgz
    $ ls -lR treedir

The package's content

Notice that an install/ directory with the necessary files has been created automatically. A minimalist install/slack-desc file was created, along with a script. This file deserves special attention. You should see some special commands between the #BEGIN: AUTO_LIST2PKG and #END: AUTO_LIST2PKG comments. Here is what mine looks like.

    groupadd john || (if test $? -ne 9; then exit 1; fi)
    useradd john || (if test $? -ne 9; then exit 1; fi)
    chown -v john home/john || exit 1
    chgrp -v john home/john || exit 1
    chmod -v 755 home/john || exit 1
    chown -v john home/john/rep || exit 1
    chgrp -v john home/john/rep || exit 1
    chmod -v 775 home/john/rep || exit 1
    chown -v john home/john/rep/list2pkg || exit 1
    chgrp -v john home/john/rep/list2pkg || exit 1
    chmod -v 775 home/john/rep/list2pkg || exit 1
    chown -v john home/john/rep/list2pkg/testing || exit 1
    chgrp -v john home/john/rep/list2pkg/testing || exit 1
    chmod -v 775 home/john/rep/list2pkg/testing || exit 1
    chown -v john home/john/rep/list2pkg/testing/src || exit 1
    chgrp -v john home/john/rep/list2pkg/testing/src || exit 1
    chmod -v 775 home/john/rep/list2pkg/testing/src || exit 1
    chown -v john home/john/rep/list2pkg/testing/src/dir2 || exit 1
    chgrp -v john home/john/rep/list2pkg/testing/src/dir2 || exit 1
    chmod -v 775 home/john/rep/list2pkg/testing/src/dir2 || exit 1
    chown -v john home/john/rep/list2pkg/testing/src/dir1 || exit 1
    chgrp -v john home/john/rep/list2pkg/testing/src/dir1 || exit 1
    chmod -v 775 home/john/rep/list2pkg/testing/src/dir1 || exit 1
    chown -v john home/john/rep/list2pkg/testing/src/dir3 || exit 1
    chgrp -v john home/john/rep/list2pkg/testing/src/dir3 || exit 1
    chmod -v 775 home/john/rep/list2pkg/testing/src/dir3 || exit 1
    chown -v john home/john/rep/list2pkg/testing/src/dir3/dir4 || exit 1
    chgrp -v john home/john/rep/list2pkg/testing/src/dir3/dir4 || exit 1
    chmod -v 775 home/john/rep/list2pkg/testing/src/dir3/dir4 || exit 1

(yes, my username is john). This script actually tries to recreate the owners and groups of the package's file, in case they do not exist on the target system. If you don't like this, you can use the list2pkg.conf file. See the section called “Users and groups handling” for more information.