bdist_rpm and bdist_rpm5

The fastest way to pack a Python module for ROSA is to use a standard bdist_rpm python class:

python setup.py bdist_rpm

Prior to rosa2019.1 and switch to rpm4, one should use bdist-rpm5 instead:

python setup.py 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.

Note that bdist_rpm5 worked only for Python2, while bdist_rpm works fine for both Python2 and Python3. However, starting from rosa2019.1 platform for most modules there is no need to build Python2 versions anymore, only Python3 ones should be left.


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 python2-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.

It is recommended to name the project with python module as python-foo and define python3-foo and python2-foo subpackages. Python2 subpackages are not required and should only be built if the module is used by software which is not ported to Python2.

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
%py2_ver %py3_ver Get Python version (as reported by invoking 'python -V')
%py2_incdir %py3_incdir Path to Python include files (necessary to compile C extensions)
%python2_sitelib %python3_sitelib Directory for the installation of third-party extensions which are platform-independent (written in pure Python)
%python2_sitearch %python3_sitearch Directory for the installation of third-party extensions which are platform-dependent (C extensions)
%py2_platlibdir N/A yet Platform-dependent directory for the installation for the standard library
%py2_purelibdir N/A yet Platform-independent directory for the installation for the standard library
%py2_prefix %py3_prefix Site-specific directory prefix where the platform independent Python files are installed (sys.prefix)
%py2_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 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 http://archives.mandrivalinux.com/cooker/2006-01/msg01404.php for more discussions.

Deprecated Macros

Starting with rosa2019.1 platform, all macros with unversioned %py_ prefix are not allowed to be used - one should explicitly specify either %py2_ or %py3_.

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

Macro Description
%py2_libdir The same as %py2_purelibdir
%py2_sitedir The same as %py2_puresitedir
%py2_platsitedir %python2_sitearch}
%py2_puresitedir The same as %python2_sitelib
%python2_version The same as %py2_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 included into it as they will otherwise be created if package is run as root and will not be removed on package removal.

Starting from rosa2019.1 platform, bytecompiled files for Python3 are created automatically, but not forget to include them to the package. For python3, all such files are pushed into __pycache__ folder so you may need to add the following line to your spec:



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 setup.py install', you may ask python to record names of installed files and then use the recorded list in the %files section:

python3 setup.py install --root=%{buildroot} --record=FILELIST

%files -f FILELIST

Note, however, that automatically created file lists are not completely reliable - they don't contain byte-compiled files and t the same time may contain duplicates - more particular, it can contain a directory followed by the whole directory contents, such as:


However, for modern rpm 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

Here we only create subpackage for python3. If you also need python2 - please create the same subpackage with python2- prefix.

%define module	mymodule

Summary: 	Example module
Name: 	 	python-%{module}
Version: 	1.0
Release: 	1
Source:         %{module}-%{version}.tar.gz
URL:		http://mypage.org/mymodule
License:	Apache License
Group:		Development/Python
BuildArch:	noarch

Example Python module

%package     -n python3-%{module}
Summary: 	Example module
BuildRequires:	python3-devel
BuildRequires:	python3-setuptools

%description -n python3-%{module}
Example Python module

%files -n python3-%{module}


%setup -qn %{module}-%{version}



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; the more so for Python3 updates). 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