Maintain and Improve

Maintain and improve your packages with set of tools.


Rebase-helper is a tool which helps package maintainers with updating package to the latest upstream version. It automates a lot of manual tasks the package maintainer usually does, when a new upstream version of a package is released.

How to install rebase-helper

Begin installation on Fedora using the dnf command:

sudo dnf install -y rebase-helper

It requires several other programs like abipkgdiff, rpmdiff, mock, fedpkg, meld, etc. These programs are installed automatically as dependencies of rebase-helper.

Note: rebase-helper is also available as EPEL-7 package. Feel free to use it on CentOS and RHEL systems.

How does the rebase-helper work?

Rebase-helper workflow can be summarized in following steps:

  • Downloads an archive with new sources.
  • Rebases downstream patches on top of the latest upstream version using git rebase command.
  • If patching was successful, it builds two sets of RPMs. One using the old sources and a second one using the new sources. Available build tools are mock, rpmbuild, fedpkg.
    • If new RPMs build fails, downloads logs like build.log and root.log
    • If the build is successful, downloads all available RPM packages.
  • If all builds succeed, rebase-helper runs several checkers, like pkgdiff, rpmdiff, abipkgdiff. Rebase-helper compares old and new packages and reports results.

How to rebase your packages?

Let’s say, we want to rebase a package foobar from foobar-1.2.0 to foobar-1.2.1.

To update to the latest upstream version execute command:

rebase-helper 1.2.1

If you do not want to be bothered, use option --non-interactive After rebase-helper finishes, check the output.

Integration rebase-helper with an upstream monitoring service

This chapter demonstrates how to include rebase-helper in your upstream monitoring service. If you would like to integrate rebase-helper into your upstream monitoring services, this chapter is for you. Rebase-helper provides an API which you can use either directly from Python, or directly from the command line.

Patch new upstream version and start scratch builds

Example of patching new sources and starting scratch builds with fedpkg. This returns task_ids. The bash equivalents are included for comparison:

  • Python API
from rebasehelper.application import Application
cli = CLI([‘--non-interactive, ‘--builds-nowait’, ‘-buildtool’, ‘fedpkg’, upstream_version])
rh = Application(cli)
rh.set_upstream_monitoring() # Switch rebase-helper to upstream release monitoring mode.
  • BASH
rebase-helper --non-interactive --builds-nowait --buildtool fedpkg upstream_version

Download logs and RPMs and compare with tools like abipkgdiff

  • Python API
cli = CLI([‘--non-interactive, ‘--builds-nowait’, ‘--fedpkg-build-tasks old_id,new-id]) # Downloads RPMs, logs and runs checkers and provides logs.
rh.get_rebasehelper_data() # Get all information about the results
  • BASH
rebase-helper --non-interactive --builds-nowait --fedpkg-build-tasks old_id,new-id

Authors: Petr Hracek