# Build RPM using source directory, not tarball

In my organization, we deploy all our software to our production machines using RPM. Our build process (which is automated) involves checking out the source from version control, tarring that source directory up, then running rpmbuild using that source tarball. rpmbuild only uses that tarball to untar the sources to work on them. So, it seem like the whole taring and untaring business is just an unneeded extra step in the build process. Is there was a way to just specify the source directory in the spec file, avoiding those extra steps?

Yes, you can do that. Do not list any Sources. In the %prep section do not use the %setup macro (which untars the source); rather, just check out the source.

Note that you will not be able to build SRPMs if you do this.

• This does it. I just need to modify the build procedure to check things out to the rpm BUILD directory instead. Thanks! – Eddie Sep 14 '11 at 21:41

This question is a bit old, but in case other people find it in search there is a more correct way to do this that does also allow the creation of an SRPM.

In the prep section, instead of using the setup macro, you should instead just type out yourself what you want it to do, namely copying the source directory from SOURCES to BUILD, instead of unpacking an archive. I found that you also then have to add a cd into your source directory in the build and install sections.

Example snippet

%prep
# Don't use the setup macro anymore, replace it with typed-out commands
#%setup -q -n myapp-%{version}
cd %{_topdir}/BUILD
rm -rf myapp-%{version}
cp -rf %{_topdir}/SOURCES/myapp-%{version} .
cd myapp-%{version}
/usr/bin/chmod -Rf a+rX,u+w,g-w,o-w .

%patch1 -p1 -b .cert-config
%patch2

%build
cd myapp-%{version}

%install
cd myapp-%{version}

• Should %{_topdir}/SOURCES be %{_sourcedir}? And %{_topdir}/BUILD could be %{buildroot}? (As an aside, for similar-but-different situations where you're trying to add extra files to override those extracted from %setup, the Fedora docs recommend using %{SOURCE2} etc - fedoraproject.org/wiki/Packaging:RPM_Source_Dir) – IBBoard May 18 at 14:43