Building Instructions

Getting Started


There are some concepts you should internalize before you begin making builds. Koji has a concept called tags. A tag is essentially a grouping of package builds. Pulp uses one Koji tag per Pulp X.Y release stream, per distribution, per architecture. For example, the 2.6 releases of pulp will build into the pulp-2.6-<distribution> tags in koji. You can see the full list of Pulp’s Koji tags here.

Pulp release and testing builds are collections of components that are versioned independently. For example, the core Pulp server may be at version 2.6 while pulp_docker may be at version 1.0. This assembly is accomplished using release definitions specified in the pulp_packaging/ci/config/releases/<build-name>.yaml files. Each file specifies the details of a build that the Pulp build scripts can later assemble. The components within that file specify the target koji tag as well as the individual git repositories and branches that will be assembled as part of a build. In addition it specifies the directories within where the build results will be published. The file has the following format:

koji-target-prefix: pulp-2.9
rsync-target-dir: 2.9/dev
tsync-tested-dir: 2.9/stage
  - name: pulp
    external_deps: deps/external_deps.json
    git_branch: 2.9-dev
    version: 2.9.0-0.7.beta

koji-target-prefix: This target needs to exist in koji.

rsync-target-dir: The directory to rsync the RPMs to when the build is complete.

rsync-tested-dir: The directory to rsync the RPMs to when the build is complete and passes automated testing.

repositories: describes a list of Git repositories to include in the build.

Each repository has the following fields:

name: name of the project in repository. This should be the same as the name of the root directory of a project.

external_deps: path inside root directory of repository of the json file describing external dependencies that need to be included in the RPM repository at the end of build process.

git_url: URL used to clone a project

git_branch: Branch or tag to checkout after cloning the git repository

parent_branch: This is only used when a project is being built from a hotfix branch. This value specifies which branch the current branch should be merged into.

version: The version that is being built. When building an alpha, beta, or RC the format is the following: X.Y.Z-0.<build_number>.<alpha,beta,rc> When building a GA version the format is X.Y.Z-<build_number>


For pre-release builds, Pulp uses the build number as the release field. The first pre-release build will always be 0.1, and every build thereafter prior to the release will be the last release plus 0.1, even when switching from alpha to beta. For example, if we have built 7 2.5.0 alphas and it is time for the first beta, we would be going from 2.5.0-0.7.alpha to 2.5.0-0.8.beta. For release builds, use whole numbers for the build number. We loosely follow the Fedora Package Versioning Scheme.

Another thing to know about Koji is that once a particular NEVRA (Name, Epoch, Version, Release, Architecture) is built in Koji, it cannot be built again. However, it can be included in multiple Koji tags. For example, if python-celery-3.1.11-1.el7.x86_64 is built into the pulp-2.4-rhel7 tag and you wish to add that exact package in the pulp-2.5-rhel7 tag, you must indicate the build to use in the version field of the release stream’s definition file, 2.5-dev.yaml in this case.

Because there is no way to automatically determine when a particular component needs to be rebuilt or what that version should be, the build-infrastructure assumes that whatever version is specified in the yaml file is the final version that is required. If a release build of that version had already been built in koji then those RPMs will be used. If the version specified in the yaml file does not match the version in the spec file, the spec file will be updated and the change will be merged forward using the ‘ours’ strategy.

Information about the release configs, and which config to use for building, can be found in the config README, located next to the

When to build from a -dev branch, a tag or hotfix branch

All alphas and betas are built from the -dev branch of each project. As changes are added to the -dev branch of a project, those changes are released with the next alpha or beta. Once a beta is considered stable, the release candidate should be built from the tag that was generated during the build process of the stable beta. This guarantees that the RPMs generated will be exactly the same as the ones that were part of the stable beta. Similarly, a GA release should be built from the tag created by the release candidate.

In some situations you want to include something extra on top of the stable beta. This could be documentation changes or a particular fix for an issue that was found after releasing the first release candidate. In these situations either a -dev branch or a hotfix branch is used to do the build. The -dev branch can be used only if it contains exactly the changes you’d want to have in the build and nothing more. If other changes have been made to the -dev branch, then the changes that need to be included in the next release candidate should be put on a hotfix branch that is created from the tag that was created when building the previous release candidate. In the situation where a hotfix branch is used, the yaml config should include a parent_branch. The parent_branch in this case should be the name of the -dev branch that was used to build the betas.

Tools used when building

Test or release builds (with the exclusion of the signing step) may be performed using Jenkins. There are automated jobs that will run nightly which build repositories that can be used for validation. When those jobs are initiated manually there is a parameter to enable the release build process in koji. If a release build is performed with Jenkins you will still need to sign the rpms and manually push them to the final location on fedorapeople.

Pulp has some helper scripts in the pulp_packaging/ci directory to assist with builds. These wrapper scripts call tito and koji to do the actual tagging and build work.

Both packages are in Fedora and EPEL so you should not need to install from source. Technically you do not need to ever call these scripts directly. However, some familiarity with both tito and koji is good, especially when debugging build issues.

What you will need

In order to build Pulp, you will need the following from the Foreman team:

  1. An account on Foreman’s Koji instance
  2. A client certificate for your account
  3. The Katello CA certificate

See the Foreman Wiki to get these items.

In order to publish builds to the Pulp repository, you will need the SSH keypair used to upload packages to the repository. You can get this from members of the Pulp team.

Additionally you will need to install the following packages on the machine you will be building from, using dnf or yum:

  • createrepo
  • koji
  • tito

Configuring your build environment

If you are interested in building Pulp, it is strongly recommended that you use a separate checkout from your normal development environment to avoid any potential errors such as building in local changes, or building the wrong branches. It is also a good idea to use a build host in a location with good outbound bandwidth, as the repository publish can be at or over 250 MB. Thus, the first step is to make a clean checkout of the pulp_packging somewhere away from your other checkouts:

$ mkdir ~/pulp_build
$ cd ~/pulp_build
$ git clone

The next step is to install and configure the Koji client on your machine. You will need to put the Katello CA certificate and your client certificate in your home folder.

Here is an example $HOME/.koji/config file you can use:


;configuration for koji cli tool

;url of XMLRPC server
server =

;url of web interface
weburl =

;url of package download site
topurl =

;path to the koji top directory
;topdir = /mnt/koji

;configuration for SSL athentication

;client certificate
cert = ~/.katello.cert

;certificate of the CA that issued the client certificate
ca = ~/.katello-ca.cert

;certificate of the CA that issued the HTTP server certificate
serverca = ~/.katello-ca.cert

Make sure you install your Katello CA certificate and client certificate to the paths listed in the example above:

$ cp <katello CA> ~/.katello-ca.cert
$ cp <katello client cert> ~/.katello.cert

If all went well, you should be able to say hello to Koji:

$ [rbarlow@notepad]~% koji moshimoshi
olá, rbarlow!

You are using the hub at

Now you are ready to begin building.

Building Dependencies

If you wish to add or update the version or release of one of our dependencies, you should begin by adding/updating the dependency’s tarball, patches, and spec file in the Pulp git repository as appropriate for the task at hand. Don’t forget to set the version/release in the spec file. Once you have finished that work, you are ready to test the changes. In the directory that contains the dependency, use tito to build a test RPM. For example, for python-celery:

$ cd deps/python-celery
$ tito build --test --rpm

Pay attention to the output from tito. There may be errors you will need to respond to. If all goes well, it should tell you the location that it placed some RPMs. You should install these RPMs and test them to make sure they work with Pulp and that you want to introduce this change to the repository.

If you are confident in your changes, submit a pull request with the changes you have made so far. Once someone approves the changes, merge the pull request. Once you have done this, you are ready to tag the git repository with your changes:

$ tito tag --keep-version

Pay attention to the output of tito here as well. It will instruct you to push your branch and the new tag to GitHub.


It is very important that you perform the steps that tito instructs you to do. If you do not, others will not be able to reproduce the changes you have made!

At this point the dependency will automatically be built during all test builds of Pulp and will automatically have a release build performed when the next release build containing this dependency is performed.

Test Building Pulp and the plugins

Are you ready to build something? The next step is to ensure that the build that you are going to do has an appropriate yaml file in pulp_packaging/ci/config/releases/<build-name>.yaml (explained in detail above). Double check for each repository that the git_branch field points to the branch or tag that you wish to build from and that the version field is correct. The pulp_packaging/ci/ script which will perform the following actions:

  1. Load the specified configuration from pulp_packaging/ci/config/releases.
  2. Clone all the required git repositories to the working/<repo_name> directory.
  3. Check out the appropriate branch or tag for each of git repos.
  4. If branch, check that the branch has been merged forward.
  5. Update version in main spec file to match version in yaml config provided.
  6. If on branch, merge forward the spec change using -ours strategy
  7. Find all the spec files in the repositories.
  8. Check koji to determine if the version in the spec already exists in koji.
  9. Test build all the packages that do not already exist in koji.
  10. Optionally (if --release is passed), create tag and push it to GitHub.
  11. Optionally (if --release is passed), release build all the packages that do not already exist in Koji.
  12. Download the already existing packages from koji.
  13. Download the scratch built packages from koji.
  14. Assemble the repositories for all the associated distributions.
  15. Optionally (if --disable-push is not passed) push the repositories to fedorapeople.

Run the build script with the following syntax:

$ ./ <name of yaml file> [options]

For example, to perform a test build of the 2.6-build release as specified in pulp_packaging/ci/config/releases/ where the results are not pushed to fedorapeople:

$ ./ 2.6-dev --disable-push

Reconcile Redmine Issues

Before starting a release build, ensure that there are no issues blocking the version of Pulp about to be released by checking the Open Blockers report in Redmine.

If a release is not blocked, make sure that any issues in a MODIFIED state that apply to the branch being released have the Platform Release field set correctly. See the MODIFIED - No Release report in Redmine for a list of issues that are MODIFIED but not value for the Platform Release field.

All MODIFIED issues should include a link to the pull request for the related bugfix or feature. The target release can be determined by examining the destination branch of the pull request:

  • Changes made on an x.y-dev branch belong in the next bugfix (Z) release.
  • Changes made on master go into the next feature (Y) release.

If in doubt, check with the developer that fixed the issue to determine which target release is appropriate.

Similarly, if there are any issues that are NEW, ASSIGNED, or POST and inappropriately given a Platform Release, set the Platform Release field to none on those issues.

Submit to Koji

We are now prepared to submit the build to Koji. This task is simple:

$ cd pulp_packaging/ci
$ ./ 2.6-build --release

This command will build SRPMs, upload them to Koji, and monitor the resulting builds. If any of them fail, you can view the failed builds to see what went wrong. If the build was successful, it will automatically download the results into a new folder called mash that will be a peer to the pulp_packaging directory.

At the end it will automatically upload the resulting build to fedorapeople in the directory specified in the release config file. You can disable the push to fedorapeople by supplying –disable-push flag.

If you want to start our Jenkins builder to run the unit tests in all the supported operating systems, you should wait until the build script is finished so that it can push the correct tag to GitHub. You can configure Jenkins to run the tests in the git branch or tag that you are building. Make sure these pass before publishing the build.

After the repositories are built, the next step is to merge the tag changes you have made all the way forward to master.


Do not use the ours strategy, as that will drop the changelog entries. You must manually resolve the conflicts!

You will experience conflicts with this step if you are building a stream that is not the latest stream. Be sure to merge forward on all of the repositories, keeping the changelog entries in chronological order. Be cautious not to clobber the versions in the spec file! Then you can git push <branch>:<branch> after you check the diff to make sure it is correct. Lastly, do a new git checkout elsewhere and check that tito build --srpm is tagged correctly and builds.

Updating Versions

We use Jenkins to make nightly builds, so once you have built the package successfully and merged the changelog forward, you should update the yaml file that Jenkins uses and bump the versions of all the projects that were included in this build. You can use to update the versions. This script checks out all the projects and updates the version in the spec file and in all of the files.

This script should be run on dev branches after the first prerelease (beta and rc releases) of a given version to ensure that the nightly builds for that branch are clearly newer than the current release in progress. This means that the versions of packages building from -dev branches in the x.y-dev config should be higher than the versions of those same pages in the corresponding x.y-build and x.y-release configs.

At this point you can inspect the files to ensure the versions are as you expect. You can rerun the script with --push flag to push the changes to Github.

You should also push the changes in the release config yaml file to Github.

Updating Docs

When releasing a new X or Y release, ensure the following:

  • The release config must exist and be up to date in the packaging repo. For pre-releases this is expected to be named x.y-build, and for GA releases it is expected to be named x.y-release config.
  • The Jenkins docs buiding job for the release config must also exist. If it doesn’t, update the Jenkins job builder definitions to include the release config. Use Jenkins Job Builder to push the job to Jenkins.
  • For GA releases, check that the LATEST variable is up to date. This ensures the latest GA docs will be published at the root of the site.

Once the above changes are merged and the docs building job for the release exists, run the docs building job for that release from the Docs Builders page. This should be done for pre-releases (using the x.y-build release config) and GA releases (using the x.y-release config).

Testing the Build

In order to test the build you have just made, you can publish it to the Pulp testing repositories. Be sure to add the shared SSH keypair to your ssh-agent, and cd into the mash directory:

$ ssh-add /path/to/key
$ cd mash/
$ rsync -avz --delete *<X.Y>/

For our 2.4 beta example, the rsync command would be:

$ rsync -avz –delete *

You can now run the automated QE suite against the testing repository to ensure that the build is stable and has no known issues. We have a Jenkins server for this purpose, and you can configure it to test the repository you just published.

Signing the RPMS

Before signing RPMs, you will need access to the Pulp signing key. Someone on the Pulp team can provide you with this. Additionally you should be familiar with the concepts in the Creating GPG Keys guide.

All alpha, beta and GA RPMs should be signed with the Pulp team’s GPG key. A new key is created for each X release (3.0.0, 4.0.0, etc). If you are doing a new X release, a new key needs to be created. To create a new key, run gpg --gen-key and follow the prompts. We usually set “Real Name” to “Pulp (3)” and “Email address” to “”. Key expiriation should occur five years after the key’s creation date. After creating the key, export both the private and public keys. The public key should be saved as GPG-RPM-KEY-pulp-3 and the private as pulp-3.private.asc. The password can go into pulp-3-password.txt. Please update and as well to include the new private key and password file. Run to encrypt the new keys.


If you are making an update to the key repo, be sure to always verify that you are not committing the unencrypted private key or password file!


If you are adding a new team member, just add their key to and, then re-encrypt the keys and commit. The new team member will also need to obtain the “sign” permission in koji.

The GPG-RPM-KEY-pulp-3 file should be made available under

If you are simply creating a new build in an existing X stream release, you need to perform some one-time setup steps in your local environment. First, create or update your ~/.rpmmacros file to include content like so, substituting X with your intended release:

%_gpg_name Pulp (X)

Next, run the following from your mash directory:

$ find -name "*.rpm" | xargs rpm --addsign

This will sign all of the RPMs in the mash. You then need to import signatures into koji:

$ find -name "*.rpm" | xargs koji import-sig


Koji does not store the entire signed RPM. It merely stores the additional signature metadata, and then re-creates a signed RPM in a different directory when the write-signed-rpm command is issued. The original unsigned RPM will remain untouched.

As list-signed does not seem to work, do a random check in that<name>/<version>/<release>/data/sigcache/<sig-hash>/ exists and has some content in it. Once this is complete, you will need to tell koji to write out the signed RPMs (both commands are run from your mash dir):

$ for r in `find -name "*src.rpm"`; do basename $r; done | sort | uniq | sed s/\.src\.rpm//g > /tmp/builds
$ for x in `cat /tmp/builds`; do koji write-signed-rpm <SIGNATURE-HASH> $x; done

Sync down your mash one more time (run from the pulp_packaging/ci dir):

$ ./ <release_config> --disable-push --rpmsig <SIGNATURE-HASH>


This command does not download signed RPMs for RHEL 5, due to bugs in RHEL 5 related to signature verification. While we sign all RPMs including RHEL 5, we do not publish the signed RPMs for this particular platform.

Finally, verify the downloaded signatures of the rpms in your mash directory:

$ find . -name "*.rpm" | xargs rpm --checksig || echo 'Bad signatures!'

RPMs with invalid signatures will be reported in the output, but can be easy to miss with all the output the scrolls by. xargs will exit with a non-zero exit code if any of the calls to xargs rpm fail, which will trigger the echo of “Bad Signatures!” to the shell. Failing RPMs may need to be re-signed.

After it is synced down and verified, you can publish the build.

Publishing the Build

Alpha builds should only be published to the testing repository. If you have a beta or stable build that has passed tests in the testing repository, and you wish to promote it to the appropriate place, you can use a similar rsync command to do so:

$ rsync -avz --delete *<stream>/<X.Y>/ --dry-run

Replace <stream> with “beta” or “stable”, and <X.Y> with the correct version. For our 2.4 beta example:

$ rsync -avz --delete * --dry-run

Note the --dry-run argument. This causes rsync to print out what it would do. Review its output to ensure that it is correct. If it is, run the command again while omitting that flag.


Be sure to check that you are publishing the build to the correct repository. It’s important to never publish an alpha build to anything other than a testing repository. A beta build can go to testing or the beta repository (but never the stable repository), and a stable build can go to a testing or a stable repository.

If you have published a beta build, you must move all issues and stories for the target release from MODIFIED to ON_QA. If this is the first beta build for this version, you must also update versions on the branch as described above.

If you are publishing a beta or release candidate build, ensure that the build documentation is listed and linked to on the documentation page of

After publishing a beta build, email to announce the beta. Here is a typical email you can use:

Subject: [devel] Pulp beta <version> is available

Pulp <version> has been published to the beta repositories[0]. This fixes <add some text here>.


Additional information, such as update instructions and issues addressed, can be included in these release notes. If a security-related issue (probably assigned a CVE number) is included in this release, information about the vulnerability and what can be done to address it must be included in this announcement. This information should already be in the release notes for the release being built and can be copied from there.

Hotfix releases should mention the specific issues that caused a hotfix to be created, and feature releases should mention notable new features of interest.

To easily generate a list of issues, start with a redmine report of issues for the current release (such as the Next Bugfix Release report). Then, under the Redmine filter options, group the results by Project, remove everything but “Subject” from the list of selected columns, and Apply the new options. This creates a list of issues that’s very easy to copy and paste into a release announcement. It also generates a URL that can be included in the release announcement. This URL is very long, so a URL shortener should be used to make the URL fit into the announcement.

If you have published a stable build, there are a few more items to take care of:

  1. Update the “latest release” text on
  2. Run the Jenkins job to update the documentation for this version.
  3. Update the channel topic in #pulp on Freenode with the new release.
  4. Move all bugs that were in the MODIFIED, ON_QA, or VERIFIED state for this target release to CLOSED CURRENTRELEASE.
  5. Update the Redmine report for this release type for the next release of that type. For example, if this was a z-stream bugfix release, update the ‘Next Bugfix Release’ to point to the next version to be released in that stream. Redmine may need to have that version added before the report can be updated.
  6. Update the pulp website with a blog post announcing the release, using the template below
  7. Mail to announce the new release, using the template below

Here is an email template you can use for release announcements:

Subject: Pulp <version> is available!

The Pulp team is pleased to announce that we have released <version>
to our stable repositories[0]. <Say if it's just bugfixes or bugs and features>.

Please see the release notes[1][2][3] if you are interested in reading about
the fixes that are included. Happy upgrading!

[0] link to pulp release notes (if updated)
[0] link to pulp-rpm release notes (if updated)
[0] link to pulp-puppet release notes (if updated)

Please ensure that the release notes have in fact been updated before sending the email out. Ideally, the release notes will have been updated before the first beta build of a release.

New Stable Major/Minor Versions

If you are publishing a new stable <X.Y> build that hasn’t been published before (i.e., X.Y.0-1), you must also update the symlinks in the repository. There is no automated tool to perform this step. ssh into using the SSH keypair, and perform the task manually. Ensure that the “X” symlink points at the latest X.Y release, and ensure that the “latest” symlink points at that largest “X” symlink. For example, if you just published 3.1.0, and the latest 2.Y version was 2.5, the stable folder should look similar to this:

[pulpadmin@people03 pulp]$ ls -lah stable/
total 24K
drwxrwxr-x. 6 pulpadmin pulpadmin 4.0K Sep 17 18:26 .
drwxrwxr-x. 7 jdob      gitpulp   4.0K Sep  8 22:40 ..
lrwxrwxrwx. 1 pulpadmin pulpadmin    3 Aug  9 06:35 2 -> 2.5
drwxrwxr-x. 7 pulpadmin pulpadmin 4.0K Aug 15  2013 2.1
drwxrwxr-x. 7 pulpadmin pulpadmin 4.0K Sep  6  2013 2.2
drwxrwxr-x. 7 pulpadmin pulpadmin 4.0K Dec  5  2013 2.3
drwxrwxr-x. 7 pulpadmin pulpadmin 4.0K Aug  9 06:32 2.4
drwxrwxr-x. 7 pulpadmin pulpadmin 4.0K Aug 19 06:32 2.5
drwxrwxr-x. 7 pulpadmin pulpadmin 4.0K Aug 20 06:32 3.0
drwxrwxr-x. 7 pulpadmin pulpadmin 4.0K Aug 24 06:32 3.1
lrwxrwxrwx. 1 pulpadmin pulpadmin    3 Aug 24 06:35 3 -> 3.1
lrwxrwxrwx. 1 pulpadmin pulpadmin   29 Aug 20 06:32 latest -> /srv/repos/pulp/pulp/stable/3

The rhel-pulp.repo and fedora-pulp.repo files also need to be updated for the new GPG public key location if you are creating a new X release.

Also the X.Y-1 needs to be added to the “Older, Stable” section of the documentation page of