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Contributing to void-packages

void-packages is the backbone of the Void Linux distribution. It contains all the definitions to build packages from source.

This document describes how you, as a contributor, can help with adding packages, correcting bugs and adding features to void-packages.

Getting your packages into Void by yourself

If you really want to get a package into Void Linux, we recommend you package it yourself.

We provide a comprehensive Manual on how to create new packages. There's also a manual for xbps-src, which is used to build package files from templates.

For this guide, we assume you have basic knowledge about git, as well as a GitHub Account.

Please note that we do not accept any packages containing non-release versions, such as specific git- or svn-revisions anymore.

To get started, fork the void-linux void-packages git repository on GitHub and clone it:

$ git clone<user>/void-packages.git

To keep your forked repository up to date, setup the upstream remote to pull in new changes:

$ git remote add upstream git://
$ git pull --rebase upstream master

Creating a new template

You can use the helper tool xnew, from the xtools package, to create new templates:

$ xnew pkgname subpkg1 subpkg2 ...

Templates must have the name void-packages/srcpkgs/<pkgname>/template, where pkgname is the same as the pkgname variable in the template.

For deeper insights on the contents of template files, please read the manual, and be sure to browse the existing template files in the srcpkgs directory of this repository for concrete examples.

When you've finished working on the template file, please check it with xlint helper from the xtools package:

$ xlint template

If xlint reports any issues, resolve them before committing.

Committing your changes

Once you have built your template file or files, the commit message should have one of the following forms:

  • for new packages, use New package: <pkgname>-<version> (example).

  • for package updates, use <pkgname>: update to <version>. (example).

  • for template modifications without a version change, use <pkgname>: <reason> (example).

  • for package removals, use <pkgname>: remove package (example).

  • for common/shlibs modifications, use common/shlibs: <pkgname> (example).

If you want to describe your changes in more detail, add an empty line followed by those details (example).

xbump, available in the xtools package, can be used to commit a new or updated package:

$ xbump <pkgname> <git commit options>

xbump will use git commit to commit the changes with the appropriate commit message. For more fine-grained control over the commit, specific options can be passed to git commit by adding them after the package name.

After committing your changes, please check that the package builds successfully. From the top level directory of your local copy of the void-packages repository, run:

$ ./xbps-src pkg <pkgname>

Your package must build successfully for at least x86, but we recommend trying to build for armv* as well, e.g.:

$ ./xbps-src -a armv7l pkg <pkgname>

Runtime testing of packages and building with the -Q flag or with XBPS_CHECK_PKGS=yes set in the environment or etc/conf are strongly encouraged. New packages will not be accepted unless they have been runtime tested.

Starting a pull request

Once you have successfully built the package, you can create a pull request.

Most pull requests should only contain a single package and dependencies which are not part of void-packages yet.

If you make updates to packages containing a soname bump, you also need to update common/shlibs and revbump all packages that are dependant. There should be a commit for each package revbump, and those commits should be part of the same pull request.

When you make changes to your pull request, please do not close and reopen your pull request. Instead, just forcibly git push, overwriting any old commits. Closing and opening your pull requests repeatedly spams the Void maintainers.

Continuous Integration

Pull requests are automatically submitted for Continuous Integration (CI) testing to ensure packages build on various combinations of libc and architecture. Packages that take longer than 120 minutes or need more than 14G of storage to complete their build (for example, Firefox or the Linux kernel) will fail CI and should include [ci skip] in the PR title or body (the comment field when the PR is being opened) to avoid wasting CI builder time. Use your best judgment on build times based on your local building experience. If you skip CI when submitting a PR, please build and cross-build for a variety of architectures locally, with both glibc and musl, and note your local results in PR comments. Make sure to cover 64-bit and 32-bit architectures.

Continuous Integration will also check if the templates you have changed comply with the our guidelines. At the moment not all packages comply with the rules, so if you update a package, it may report errors about places you haven't touched. Please feel free to fix those errors too.


Most of the time your pull request will contain mistakes. It's nothing bad, it just happens.

Reviewers will comment on your pull request and point out which changes are needed before the template can be included.

We recommend having only a single commit for pull request, so if you need to make changes in commits but already have a pull request, use the following commands:

$ git add <file>
$ git commit --amend
$ git push -f

A more powerful way of modifying commits than using git commit --amend is with git-rebase, which allows you to join, reorder, change description of past commits and more.

Alternatively, if there are issues with your git history, you can make another branch and push it to the existing PR:

$ git checkout master -b <attempt2>
$ # do changes anew
$ git push -f <fork> <attempt2>:<branch-of-pr>

Closing the pull request

Once you have applied all requested changes, the reviewers will merge your request.

If the pull request becomes inactive for some days, the reviewers may or may not warn you when they are about to close it. If it stays inactive further, it will be closed.

Please abstain from temporarily closing a pull request while revising the templates. Instead, leave a comment on the PR describing what still needs work, or add "[WIP]" to the PR title. Only close your pull request if you're sure you don't want your changes to be included.

Publishing the package

Once the reviewers have merged the pull request, our build server is automatically triggered and builds all packages in the pull request for all supported platforms. Upon completion, the packages are available to all Void Linux users.