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Platform-Dependent Tags

Once RPM has determined the build platform's information, that information can be used in the build process. The first way this information can be used is to determine whether a given package should be built on a given platform. This is done through the use of four tags that can be added to a spec file.

There can be many reasons to do this. For example, the software may not build correctly on a given platform. Or the software may be platform-specific, such that packaging the software on any other platform, while technologically possible, would really make no sense.

The real world is not always so clear-cut, so there might even be cases where a package should be built on, say, three different platforms, but no others. By carefully using the following tags, any conceivable situation can be covered.

Like the rpmrc file entries we've already discussed, there are identical tags for architecture and operating system, so we'll discuss them together.

The excludexxx Tag

The excludexxx tags are used to direct RPM to insure that the package does not attempt to build on the excluded platforms. One or more platforms may be specified after the excludexxx tags, separated by either spaces or commas. Here are two examples:
ExcludeArch: sparc alpha
ExcludeOS: Irix
          

The first line prevents systems based on the Sun SPARC and Digital Alpha/AXP architectures from attempting to build the package. The second line insures that the package will not be built for the Silicon Graphics operating system, Irix.

If a build is attempted on an excluded architecture or operating system, the following message will be displayed, and the build will fail:
# rpm -ba cdplayer-1.0.spec
Arch mismatch!
cdplayer-1.0.spec doesn't build on this architecture
# 
          

The excludexxx tags are meant to explicitly prevent a finite set of architectures or operating systems from building a package. If your goal is to insure that a package will only build on one architecture, then you should use the exclusivexxx tags.

The exclusivexxx Tag

The exclusivexxx tags are used to direct RPM to only build the package on the specified platforms. These tags insure that, in the future, no brand-new platform will mistakenly attempt to build the package. RPM will build the package on the specified platforms only.

The syntax of the exclusivexxx tags is identical to excludexxx:
ExclusiveArch: sparc alpha
ExclusiveOS: Irix
          

In the first line, the package will only build on a Sun SPARC or Digital Alpha/AXP system. In the second, the package will only be built on the Irix operating system.

The exclusivexxx tags are meant to explicitly allow a finite set of architectures or operating systems to build a package. If your goal is to insure that a package will not build on a specific platform, then you should use the excludexxx tag.


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