The fastest way to pack a Python2 module for ROSA is to use bdist_rpm5 class extending standard bdist_rpm and intended to create RPMv5 packages for ROSA.

To use it, you should specify bdistr_rpm5 option for

python bdist_rpm5

If everything goes fine, you will find ready-to-use SRPM inside the dist folder which contains spec file conforming to ROSA Python policy (and the rest of this document is just for your interest then).

If the tool fails to automatically detect values for some tags (license, description, etc.), it will set these fields to 'UNKNOWN' value.

Please look for 'UNKNOWN' words in the generated spec and fix them manually.

bdist_rpm5 for Python3 does not exist yet.


Py2pack script can be used to generate RPM spec file from Python modules using Python Package Index (PyPI). Currently py2pack can only generate spec files for OpenSUSE and Fedora, but one may use generated spec as a basis for the ROSA one.



The name of a package with Python2 module 'foo' that provides an extension for Python2 library must be of the form python-foo, with foo being lower case. For packages with Python3 modules, 'python3' prefix should be used - python3-foo. If the upstream name 'foo' already contains "python", that should be dropped from the name.

Rationale: using a prefix is serving as a name space, and clearly shows how to find python modules.

Having everything in lower case is easier to read, and offers a consistent sorting.

Note: User-level applications written in Python do not need to follow these naming rules.


Build Requires


Rpm macro

The following macros are available for Python packagers:

Macro (Python2) Analogue for Python3 Description
%py_ver %py3_ver Get Python version (as reported by invoking 'python -V')
%py_incdir %py3_incdir Path to Python include files (necessary to compile C extensions)
%py_puresitedir %py3_puresitedir Directory for the installation of third-party extensions which are platform-independent (written in pure Python)
%py_platsitedir %py3_platsitedir Directory for the installation of third-party extensions which are platform-dependent (C extensions)
%py_platlibdir N/A yet Platform-dependent directory for the installation for the standard library
%py_purelibdir N/A yet Platform-independent directory for the installation for the standard library
%py_prefix %py3_prefix Site-specific directory prefix where the platform independent Python files are installed (sys.prefix)
%py_compile(O) N/A yet Create .pyc files, dropping existing ones, if any. If -O option is specified, the same is performed for .pyo files.

%py_(pure|plat)(site|lib)dir are intended to be used instead of single %py_(site|lib)dir in order to place pure Python modules (that are architecture independent) in the same place on all hardware platforms, while putting compiled C extensions to arch-specific folders. For example, pure Python modules will go to /usr/lib/python on both x86 and x86-64, while compiled extensions will go to /usr/lib/python/ on x86 and /usr/lib64/python/ on x86-64. This allows packaging software consisting of pure Python modules only as noarch packages suitable for installing on all platforms.

For those familiar with Python distutils - %py_(pure|plat)(site|lib)dir correspond to results of distutils.sysconfig.get_python_lib() with appropriate parameter (plat_specific, standard _lib).

See for more discussions.

Deprecated Macros

The following macros are also available but marked as deprecated and not recommended:

Macro Description
%py_libdir The same as %py_purelibdir
%py_sitedir The same as %py_puresitedir
%python_sitearch The same as %py_platsitedir
%python_sitelib The same as %py_puresitedir
%python_version The same as %py_ver
%py_requires(d) Insert build dependency on python; if '-d' option is specified then add build dependency on python-devel, as well.
For now, it is recommended to explicitly specify BuildRequires: python and BuildRequires: python-devel.

pyc/pyo policy

Files should be compiled before rpm creation and includes as they will otherwise be created if a package is run as root, and therefore created weird bug ( ie, module removed but still here, unowned files ).

To compile the .py moudles, add the following macros to the beginning of the spec:

%define python_compile_opt python -O -c "import compileall; compileall.compile_dir('.')"
%define python_compile     python -c "import compileall; compileall.compile_dir('.')"

Then in the %install section:

dir -d %{buildroot}%{py_platsitedir}/%{name}
install *.pyc *.pyo %{buildroot}%{py_platsitedir}/%{name}

This will create a directory for the software under the platform sitedir, compile the python modules, then copy them to the directory created before. You may use 'pushd directory' before that code and 'popd' after the code if the python modules are in a directory below the root of the tarball.

And finally in the %files section:



If egg-info files or directories are generated by the module's build scripts they must be included in the package because they might be needed by other applications and modules at runtime. So the %files section should contain something like this:


Automated setup

If you use automated setup and invoke something like 'python install', you may set PYTHONDONTWRITEBYTECODE to zero or empty value to keep all files generated during installation. In addition, you may ask python to record names of installed files and then use the recorded list in the %files section:

PYTHONDONTWRITEBYTECODE= python install --root=%{buildroot} --record=FILELIST

%files -f FILELIST

Note, however, that automatically created file lists may contain duplicates from rpm5 point of view - more particular, it can contain a directory followed by the whole directory contents, sich as:


However, for modern rpm5 it is enough to mention /usr/lib/python2.7/site-packages/Jinja2-2.6-py2.7.egg-info only. You can filter out extra records using grep:

cat FILELIST | grep -v "egg-info/" > NEW_FILELIST

Example spec file

%define module	mymodule

Summary: 	Example module
Name: 	 	python-%{module}
Version: 	1.0
Release: 	1
Source:         %{module}-%{version}.tar.gz
License:	Apache License
Group:		Development/Python
BuildRequires:	python-devel
BuildArch:	noarch

Example Python module

%setup -q

PYTHONDONTWRITEBYTECODE=  python install --root=%{buildroot} --record=FILELIST

%files -f FILELIST
%doc *.txt

Rebuild policy

It is known that Python is not completely backward compatible (so if you update e.g. from 2.6 to 2.7, some modules may become broken). Due to this 'python(abi)' dependency is set to particular Python version.

As a result, when Python itself is updated all dependent packages should be rebuilt to handle pick up the new version.

Policy in other distributions