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StarlingX Build Tools

The Debian build is completed using a set of containers designed to run in a Kubernetes environment. To facilitate this we are currently making use of Minikube and Helm, later on we will provide versions of the Helm Charts to allow for running builds directly on Kubernetes or StarlingX.

There are five containers required to complete a build:

  • stx-builder: main developer build container.
  • stx-pkgbuilder: Debian package builder (uses sbuild).
  • stx-repomgr: Debian local repository archive (uses aptly)
  • stx-lat-tool: ISO image builder
  • stx-docker: Docker in Docker (build docker images)

At a high level the StarlingX ISO image creation flow involves the following general steps (assuming you have already configured Docker on your system).

  1. Install Minikube and Helm.
  2. Build or download the StarlingX k8s development environment.
  3. Enter the stx-builder pod/container to triger the building task.
  4. Build packages/ISO creation.

NOTE: the build system requires a Linux system with Docker and python 3.x installed. Building on Windows is not supported -- please use a Virtual Machine if necessary. The steps on this page have been tested on CentOS 7 and Ubuntu Focal.

Register on Docker Hub

The build environment relies on the Docker Hub registry for storing container images used during the build. Docker Hub puts limits on the amount of data that can be downloaded by the same user/IP address. To avoid this limit, we recommend to register an account on Docker Hub and log in to docker prior to initializing your StarlingX development environment. Note the user ID and password as we will supply them to the `stx-init-env` script below.

Configure build environment

NOTE: Minimum requirements for build environment are described in this link: https://docs.starlingx.io/developer_resources/build_guide.html#id7

We need to create and start the build containers, which requires some additional configuration described below.

Install Docker

Follow these instructions: https://docs.docker.com/engine/install/ubuntu/

WARNING: Do not install or use Docker with Snap packages. Your machine may come with a docker snap package pre-installed (Ubuntu?), please remove the snap package and install a native package instead, using the above link. Reason: minikube (see below) doesn't work correctly within docker that runs in a snap sandbox/container.

Install Minikube and Helm

Install Minikube to support the local k8s framework for building. Install Helm tools to manage the Helm Charts required to start/stop/upgrade the pods or the deployments for the StarlingX Building system. Before installing these components please make sure that Docker is available in your environment.

Install minikube (https://minikube.sigs.k8s.io/docs/start/):

   curl -LO https://storage.googleapis.com/minikube/releases/latest/minikube-linux-amd64
   sudo install minikube-linux-amd64 /usr/local/bin/minikube

Note: as of this writing minikube v 1.22.0 is current.

Note: minikube requires at least 2 CPU cores.

Alternatively, we can also use a third-party Minikube binary:

  curl -LO http://kubernetes.oss-cn-hangzhou.aliyuncs.com/minikube/releases/v1.20.0/minikube-linux-amd64
  sudo install minikube-linux-amd64 /usr/local/bin/minikube

Install Helm -- you can select the version listed here or the latest released version:

   curl -LO https://get.helm.sh/helm-v3.6.2-linux-amd64.tar.gz
   tar xvf helm-v3.6.2-linux-amd64.tar.gz
   sudo mv linux-amd64/helm /usr/local/bin/

Add your user account to docker group:

 sudo usermod -aG docker $(id -un) && newgrp docker

Install repo


Export environment variables

export PROJECT="stx-env"
export USER_NAME="Firstname Lastname"
export USER_EMAIL="your@email.org"

# STX_BUILD_HOME should be set to a directory owned by your userid
# the build home needs to have at least 200Gb of free space to build all packages and iso
export STX_BUILD_HOME="/home/${USER}/${PROJECT}"
export REPO_ROOT="${STX_BUILD_HOME}"/repo
export REPO_ROOT_SUBDIR="localdisk/designer/${USER}/${PROJECT}"
export STX_PLATFORM="minikube"
export MINIKUBENAME="minikube-${USER}"

# Manifest/Repo Options:
export MANIFEST_URL="https://opendev.org/starlingx/manifest.git"
export MANIFEST_BRANCH="master"
export MANIFEST="default.xml"

These variables should be set every time you start the env. A good practice is save them in a text file and then source the file.

For more details about the STX environment variables click here.

Create directories

Create the $STX_BUILD_HOME directory, you may need sudo privileges if using /build

sudo mkdir -p /build/${USER}
sudo chown ${USER}: /build/${USER}
mkdir -p $STX_BUILD_HOME

Initialize repo

# create REPO_ROOT_SUBDIR and symlink
# symlink is a helper as minikube mounts the stx_build_home as its workspace
# so it works as a shortcut to access the repos
# download and sync the repos
repo sync

Init and setup STX

The build tools comes with a script, import-stx, which sets up your PATH and other environment as necessary. This script must be sourced before attempting to use any tools:

There's a number of environment variables you can set prior to sourcing this file, please feel free to review the script and import-stx.README for a full list.

WARNING: minikube can't work if your $HOME directory points to an NFS location, we need to point it to some other local file system by defining $MINIKUBE_HOME in the environment before sourcing import-stx.

WARNING: If these variables are misconfigured, the env won't be able to run commands such as downloader and build-pkgs

The build expects a configuration file, ``stx.conf`` (example) to exist at the root of the build tools working directory. It is a key/value file containing various build options. The ``stx config`` command may be used to add/modify entries in the file.

# Init stx tool
cd stx-tools
source import-stx

# Update stx config
# Align the builder container to use your user/UID
stx config --add builder.myuname $(id -un)
stx config --add builder.uid $(id -u)

# Embedded in ~/localrc of the build container
stx config --add project.gituser ${USER}
stx config --add project.gitemail ${USER_EMAIL}

# This will be included in the name of your build container and the basename for $MY_REPO_ROOT_DIR  
stx config --add project.name ${PROJECT}
stx config --show
# Show usage information
stx config --help

Start/Create build containers

The ``stx-init-env`` script will download or re-create build (docker) containers, and start them:

# On  repo/stx-tools
# Type in DockerHub username & password if prompted
./stx-init-env --dockerhub-login
# Monitor the status until they are running:
stx control status
# You should see 5 containers on Running state

Once docker images are available locally, you can start & stop them using the ``stx`` tool:

stx control start            # start builder PODs if not running
stx control status         # display POD status
stx control stop            # stop PODs
stx control is-started    # check if Helm release is installed

WARNING: any changes to ``stx.conf`` or (``stx config add`` etc) requires that the PODs are re-started. f you want to make changes to the environment in the build container, use ‘stx control stop’, then ‘stx config’ to adjust the variables, and re-start the containers.

stx control stop
stx config add <...>
stx control start

The script pulls build containers from DockerHub by default, where a new version is built once per day (ie default container images may be slightly out of date when you pull them). You can force a local re-build as follows:

stx control stop
cd repo/stx-tools
./stx-init-env --dockerhub-login --rebuild

Entering & controlling Pods

Once the containers are running, one can enter them (think ``docker exec <...> /bin/bash). While there are 5 containers, most build tasks are driven from the "builder" container, which is the default when using the ``stx`` tool:

 # enter the "builder" container
 stx shell

you can enter other containers as follows

 stx shell --container [builder|pkgbuilder|lat|repomgr|docker]

Use ``exit`` command to exit from the node to host environment.

You can use the ``stx control`` command to start/stop & monitor builder POD status:

 # control the Pods
 stx control start
 stx control stop
 stx control status
 # more info
 stx control --help

The ``status`` command will include Helm status, including deployments and the pods. You can use that information to manually enter or troubleshoot POds using munikube or kubectl.

Every time you start/restart Pods

Execute these mandatory steps inside the builder:

 sudo apt-get update
 git config --global user.name "Firstname Lastname"
 git config --global user.email "Your email"

NOTE: you may see the following errors from apt. You can ignore this and continue.

 E: Failed to fetch http://stx-stx-repomgr:80/deb-local-source/dists/bullseye/main/source/Sources 404 Not Found [IP: 80]
 E: Some index files failed to download. They have been ignored, or old ones used instead.

Build packages/ISO creation

The builder is the container where you will perform most of the actions, such as launching the task of building packages and images.

  stx shell

Refresh the source tree

The StarlingX source tree consists of multiple git repositories. The tool ‘repo’ is used to sync these repositories, if required you can sync the repos from inside the builder:

 repo sync

After the ‘repo sync’ is done, check the below directory:

  ls $MY_REPO
  ls $MY_REPO/stx
  ls $MY_REPO_ROOT_DIR/stx-tools

Before running 'build-pkgs':

Run below command to download the sources of all buildable packages by scanning the repo root $MY_REPO/stx the download directory is: $STX_MIRROR

  downloader -s -B std,rt

All the below lists with build types will be scanned in the repo root $MY_REPO/stx:

  • debian_pkg_dirs
  • debian_pkg_dirs_rt
  • debian_pkg_dirs_installer

Download 3rd-party tar & deb files

Run below command to download the debian binary packages (distribution: bullseye) into directory $STX_MIRROR/binaries:

  downloader -b -B std,rt

All the below lists of binary packages will be downloaded:


You can also run below command to download both sources and binaries:

  downloader -B std,rt
  # To check all options:
  downloader --help

Currently, the apt sources used to download packages are in the '/etc/apt/sources.list' file in the builder container.

Verify that the local repos are created

 repo_manage.py list
 INFO:repo_manage:No remote repo
 INFO:repo_manage:3 local repos:
 INFO:repo_manage:deb-local-build : bullseye : main
 INFO:repo_manage:deb-local-binary : bullseye : main
 INFO:repo_manage:deb-local-source : bullseye : main

NOTE: All 3 repos should be seen only after build-pkgs [-p <package>] is done at a later time.

Build packages

The 'build-pkgs' has two phases based on the Debian package's build:

1) Check the digest of package's source meta data, for example:

if package 'dhcp' in cache:
  if sha256 digest of the folder (/path/to/stx/integ/base/dhcp/debian) have not changed:
    if the dsc file of package dhcp exists:
        reuse the existing dsc file
    create dsc file for package 'dhcp' and add the checksum to cache 

2) Build avoidance is enabled by default for this phase, the build option '-c' will turn 'build avoidance' off.

if build avoidance is enabled:
    check whether there is build stamp for this package:
        if Yes, skip the build and return
Send the build request for the package to pkgbuilder container

To Build packages:

# Build all packages
# this should rebuild all packages (std and rt)
# If you want to clean and build all:
build-pkgs --clean 

But be careful, '--clean' not only cleans the whole build directory "/localdisk/loadbuild/<user>/<project>/{std,rt}" but also cleans the local repository "deb-local-build".
This means all the starlingX packages will be built from scratch and this will take time. 
If you just want to resume the previous build, please run without '-c':
# build-pkgs

# Build packages in parallel
build-pkgs --parallel <number of parallel tasks, the default number is 10, the maximum number of parallel tasks is 30>

# To define the interval to poll the packages build status during parallel build:
--poll_interval <the default interval is 10 seconds>

# To limit the number of make jobs for a package:
--max_make_jobs <the default number of jobs is equal to the environment variable 'STX_BUILD_CPUS' or 'MAX_CPUS' inside the container>

# Build single package
build-pkgs -p <package name>

# Build single package cleaning previous build
build-pkgs -c -p <package name>

# Once the packages are ready you can build the iso

Build ISO

Once you have built all of the packages you can build the iso by running the following command:

  ls -al /localdisk/deploy/*.iso

Teardown env

Delete minikube profile:

 ./stx-init-env --delete-minikube-profile

Delete chroots + restart pods:

 ./stx-init-env --reset

Stop pods, delete local workspaces, chroots, aptly, docker & minikube profile:

 ./stx-init-env --reset-hard

Log files

While inside the build container, log files may be found here:

  • /localdisk/builder.log /localdisk/pkgbuilder.log - top-level build controller log files
  • ${MY_WORKSPACE}/<std or rt>/<package name>/*.build' - individual package build logs