Using Hooks

Hooks are the ability to run an arbitrary command at pre-defined points in the build process. This can be useful for several purposes, for instance updating the changelog to record which person built the package, or running autotools before building the package.

You should consider carefully whether hooks are the right tool to solve your problem, as they are specific to bzr-builddeb, and so you may make it more difficult for someone not using the plugin to build the package.

Hook points

The following are the pre-defined hooks that are available when building the package. More hook points could be added if you have a specific need, contact me to discuss it if that is the case.

  • pre-export - This is run before the branch is exported to create

    the build directory. This allows you to modify the branch or the working tree. Note however that the tree to export is grabbed before the hook is run if you use the --revision option. This means that if you use --revision -1 and run bzr commit in this hook, the revision before the commit will exported, rather than the new one that is created. This hook is run with the root of the branch as the working directory.

  • pre-build - This is run before the package is built, but after it

    has been exported. This allows you to modify the files that will be built, but not affect the files in the branch. If you are using merge mode then this hook will have the full source of the package available, including the upstream source. This hook is run with the root of the exported package as the working directory.

  • post-build - This is run after the package has been built, if the

    build was successful. This allows you to examine the result of the build. This hook is run with the root of the exported package as the working directory.

Setting hooks

Hooks are set by editing the configuration files. The normal precedence rules for these files are followed (see configuration for details). This means that you should set hooks needed to build the package in .bzr-builddeb/default.conf, and any hooks that you would like to run that would not be appropriate for everyone in .bzr-builddeb/local.conf. Note however that the latter overrides the formula, so your local hooks should run all necessary commands from the default hooks that are necessary to build the package.

The hooks are set in a [HOOKS] section of the configuration file. The key is the hook point that the hook is set for, the value is the command(s) to run. For instance to run autoconf before building you would set the following:

[HOOKS]
pre-build = autoconf

The command is run through the shell, so you can do things like use && to run multiple commands.

If the command fails then it will stop the build.