Adding and Removing Packages

On top of the Setting up Repositories setup the package setup is required. KIWI NG allows the end user to completely customize the selection of packages via the packages element.

<image schemaversion="7.2" name="LimeJeOS-Leap-15.1">
    <packages type="bootstrap">
        <package name="udev"/>
        <package name="filesystem"/>
        <package name="openSUSE-release"/>
        <!-- additional packages installed before the chroot is created -->
    </packages>
    <packages type="image">
        <package name="patterns-openSUSE-base"/>
        <!-- additional packages to be installed into the chroot -->
    </packages>
</image>

The packages element provides a collection of different child elements that instruct KIWI NG when and how to perform package installation or removal. Each packages element acts as a group, whose behavior can be configured via the following attributes:

  • type: either bootstrap, image, delete, uninstall or one of the following build types: docker, iso, oem, kis, vmx, oci.

    Packages for type="bootstrap" are pre-installed to populate the images’ root file system before chrooting into it.

    Packages in type="image" are installed immediately after the initial chroot into the new root file system.

    Packages in type="delete" and type="uninstall" are removed from the image, for details see Uninstall System Packages.

    And packages which belong to a build type are only installed when that specific build type is currently processed by KIWI NG.

  • profiles: a list of profiles to which this package selection applies (see Image Profiles).

  • patternType: selection type for patterns, supported values are: onlyRequired, plusRecommended, see: The product and namedCollection element.

The following sections describes the different child elements of a packages group.

The package element

The package element represents a single package to be installed (or removed), whose name is specified via the mandatory name attribute:

<image schemaversion="7.2" name="LimeJeOS-Leap-15.1">
    <!-- snip -->
    <packages type="bootstrap">
        <package name="udev"/>
    </packages>
</image>

which adds the package udev to the list of packages to be added to the initial filesystem. Note, that the value that you pass via the name attribute is passed directly to the used package manager. Thus, if the package manager supports other means how packages can be specified, you may pass them in this context too. For example, RPM based package managers (like dnf or zypper) can install packages via their Provides:. This can be used to add a package that provides a certain capability (e.g. Provides: /usr/bin/my-binary) via:

<image schemaversion="7.2" name="LimeJeOS-Leap-15.1">
    <!-- snip -->
    <packages type="bootstrap">
        <package name="/usr/bin/my-binary"/>
    </packages>
</image>

Whether this works depends on the package manager and on the environment that is being used. In the Open Build Service, certain Provides either are not visible or cannot be properly extracted from the KIWI NG description. Therefore, relying on Provides is not recommended.

Packages can also be included only on specific host architectures via the arch attribute. KIWI NG compares the arch attributes value with the host architecture that builds the image according to the output of uname -m.

<image schemaversion="7.2" name="LimeJeOS-Leap-15.1">
    <!-- snip -->
    <packages type="image">
        <package name="grub2"/>
        <package name="grub2-x86_64-efi" arch="x86_64"/>
        <package name="shim" arch="x86_64"/>
    </packages>
</image>

which results in grub2-x86_64-efi and shim being only installed if the build host is a 64bit x86 machine, but grub2 will be installed independent of the architecture.

The archive element

It is sometimes necessary to include additional packages into the image which are not available in the package manager’s native format. KIWI NG supports the inclusion of ordinary tar archives via the archive element, whose name attribute specifies the filename of the archive (KIWI NG looks for the archive in the image description folder).

<packages type="image">
    <archive name="custom-program1.tgz"/>
    <archive name="custom-program2.tar"/>
</packages>

KIWI NG will extract the archive into the root directory of the image using GNU tar, thus only archives supported by it can be included. When multiple archive elements are specified then they will be applied in a top to bottom order. If a file is already present in the image, then the file from the archive will overwrite it (same as with the image overlay).

Uninstall System Packages

KIWI NG supports two different methods how packages can be removed from the appliance:

  1. Packages present as a child element of <packages type="uninstall"> will be gracefully uninstalled by the package manager alongside with dependent packages and orphaned dependencies.

  2. Packages present as a child element of <packages type="delete"> will be removed by RPM/DPKG without any dependency check, thus potentially breaking dependencies and compromising the underlying package database.

Both types of removals take place after config.sh is run in the prepare step (see also User Defined Scripts).

Warning

An uninstall packages request deletes:

  • the listed packages,

  • the packages dependent on the listed ones, and

  • any orphaned dependency of the listed packages.

Use this feature with caution as it can easily cause the removal of sensitive tools leading to failures in later build stages.

Removing packages via type="uninstall" can be used to completely remove a build time tool (e.g. a compiler) without having to specify a all dependencies of that tool (as one would have when using type="delete"). Consider the following example where we wish to compile a custom program in config.sh. We ship its source code via an archive element and add the build tools (ninja, meson and clang) to <packages type="image"> and <packages type="uninstall">:

<image schemaversion="7.2" name="LimeJeOS-Leap-15.1">
    <!-- snip -->
    <packages type="image">
        <package name="ca-certificates"/>
        <package name="coreutils"/>
        <package name="ninja"/>
        <package name="clang"/>
        <package name="meson"/>
        <archive name="foo_app_sources.tar.gz"/>
    </packages>
    <!-- These packages will be uninstalled after running config.sh -->
    <packages type="uninstall">
        <package name="ninja"/>
        <package name="meson"/>
        <package name="clang"/>
    </packages>
</image>

The tools meson, clang and ninja are then available during the prepare step and can thus be used in config.sh (for further details, see User Defined Scripts), for example to build foo_app:

pushd /opt/src/foo_app
mkdir build
export CC=clang
meson build
cd build && ninja && ninja install
popd

The <packages type="uninstall"> element will make sure that the final appliance will no longer contain our tools required to build foo_app, thus making our image smaller.

There are also other use cases for type="uninstall", especially for specialized appliances. For containers one can often remove the package shadow (it is required to setup new user accounts) or any left over partitioning tools (parted or fdisk). All networking tools can be safely uninstalled in images for embedded devices without a network connection.

The product and namedCollection element

KIWI NG supports the inclusion of openSUSE products or of namedCollections (patterns in SUSE based distributions or groups for RedHat based distributions). These can be added via the product and namedCollection child elements, which both take the mandatory name attribute and the optional arch attribute.

product and namedCollection can be utilized to shorten the list of packages that need to be added to the image description tremendously. A named pattern, specified with the namedCollection element is a representation of a predefined list of packages. Specifying a pattern will install all packages listed in the named pattern. Support for patterns is distribution specific and available in SLES, openSUSE, CentOS, RHEL and Fedora. The optional patternType attribute on the packages element allows you to control the installation of dependent packages. You may assign one of the following values to the patternType attribute:

  • onlyRequired: Incorporates only patterns and packages that the specified patterns and packages require. This is a “hard dependency” only resolution.

  • plusRecommended: Incorporates patterns and packages that are required and recommended by the specified patterns and packages.

The ignore element

Packages can be explicitly marked to be ignored for installation inside a packages collection. This useful to exclude certain packages from being installed when using patterns with patternType="plusRecommended" as shown in the following example:

<image schemaversion="7.2" name="LimeJeOS-Leap-15.1">
    <packages type="image" patternType="plusRecommended">
        <namedCollection name="network-server"/>
        <package name="grub2"/>
        <package name="kernel"/>
        <ignore name="ejabberd"/>
        <ignore name="puppet-server"/>
    </packages>
</image>

Packages can be marked as ignored during the installation by adding a ignore child element with the mandatory name attribute set to the package’s name. Optionally one can also specify the architecture via the arch similarly to The package element.

Warning

Adding ignore elements as children of a <packages type="delete"> or a <packages type="uninstall"> element has no effect! The packages will still get deleted.