Packaging Debian

(Tested on Ubuntu 12.04, 14.04, 16.04, 17.10, 18.04, Debian 8 and 9)


If you try to build for a different distro, then it will most likely fail because of the missing backport. See Debian Backports about adding a new backport.

  1. Install build dependencies for your platform as outlined in Building FRR.

  2. Install the following additional packages:

    • on Ubuntu 12.04, 14.04, 16.04, 17.10, Debian 8 and 9:
    apt-get install realpath equivs groff fakeroot debhelper devscripts
    • on Ubuntu 18.04: (realpath is now part of preinstalled by coreutils)
    apt-get install equivs groff fakeroot debhelper devscripts
  3. Checkout FRR under a unprivileged user account:

    git clone frr
    cd frr

    If you wish to build a package for a branch other than master:

    git checkout <branch>
  4. Run and make a dist tarball:

    ./configure --with-pkg-extra-version=-MyDebPkgVersion
    make dist


    Configure parameters are not important for the Debian Package building - except the with-pkg-extra-version if you want to give the Debian package a specific name to mark your own unoffical build.

  5. Edit debianpkg/rules and set the configuration as needed.

    Look for section dh_auto_configure to modify the configure options as needed. Options might be different between the top-level rules` and backports/XXXX/debian/rules. Please adjust as needed on all files.

  6. Create backports debian sources

    Rename the debianpkg directory to debian and create the backports (Debian requires to not ship a debian directory inside the source directory to avoid build conflicts with the reserved debian subdirectory name during the build):

    mv debianpkg debian
    make -f debian/rules backports

    This will create a frr_*.orig.tar.gz with the source (same as the dist tarball), as well as multiple frr_*.debian.tar.xz and frr_*.dsc corresponding to each distribution for which a backport is available.

  7. Create a new directory to build the package and populate with package source.

    mkdir frrpkg
    cd frrpkg
    tar xf ~/frr/frr_*.orig.tar.gz
    cd frr*
    . /etc/os-release
    tar xf ~/frr/frr_*${ID}${VERSION_ID}*.debian.tar.xz
  8. Build Debian package dependencies and install them as needed.

    sudo mk-build-deps --install debian/control
  9. Build Debian Package

    Building with standard options:

    debuild -b -uc -us

    Or change some options (see rules file for available options):

    debuild --set-envvar=WANT_BGP_VNC=1 --set-envvar=WANT_CUMULUS_MODE=1 -b -uc -us

    To build with RPKI:

    Then build with:

    debuild --set-envvar=WANT_RPKI=1 -b -uc -us

    RPKI packages have an additonal dependency of librtr0 which can be found at the same URL.

  10. Done!

If all worked correctly, then you should end up with the Debian packages under frrpkg. If distributed, please make sure you distribute it together with the sources (frr_*.orig.tar.gz, frr_*.debian.tar.xz and frr_*.dsc)

The build procedure can also be executed automatically using the tools/ script. For example:


Debian Backports

The debianpkg/backports directory contains the Debian directories for backports to other Debian platforms. These are built via the 3.0 (custom) source format, which allows one to build a source package directly out of tarballs (e.g. an orig.tar.gz tarball and a debian.tar.gz file), at which point the format can be changed to a real format (e.g. 3.0 (quilt)).

Source packages are assembled via targets of the same name as the system to which the backport is done (e.g. precise), included in debian/rules.

To create a new Debian backport:

  • Add its name to KNOWN_BACKPORTS, defined in debian/rules.
  • Create a directory of the same name in debian/backports.
  • Add the files exclude, versionext, and debian/source/format under this directory.

For the last point, these files should contain the following:

Contains whitespace-separated paths (relative to the root of the source dir) that should be excluded from the source package (e.g. debian/patches).
Contains the suffix added to the version number for this backport’s build. Distributions often have guidelines for what this should be. If left empty, no new debian/changelog entry is created.
Contains the source format of the resulting source package. As of of the writing of this document the only supported format is 3.0 (quilt).
  • Add appropriate files under the debian/ subdirectory. These will be included in the source package, overriding any top-level debian/ files with equivalent paths.