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JHBuild is a tool designed to ease building collections of source
packages, called “modules”.

JHBuild was originally written for building GNOME, but has since been
extended to be usable with other projects.

JHBuild requires Python >= 2.3

Installing JHBuild

Refer to the 'Getting Started' section of the JHBuild manual:

yelp /jhbuild-source-dir/doc/C/index.docbook

Or refer to the on-line JHBuild manual at:

Using JHBuild

JHBuild uses a command line syntax similar to tools like CVS:

jhbuild [global-options] command [command-arguments]

The global JHBuild options are:

-f, --file config
Use an alternative configuration file instead of the default

-m, --moduleset moduleset
Use a module set other than the module set listed in the
configuration file. This option can be a relative path if the module
set is located in the JHBuild moduleset folder, or an absolute path
if located elsewhere.

Do not prompt the user for any input. This option is useful if
leaving a build unattended, in order to ensure the build is not

Refer to the JHBuild manual for a complete list of JHBuild commands
and options. The common ones are:

jhbuild bootstrap

The bootstrap command installs a set of build utilities. The build
utilities include autoconf , automake and similar utilities. The
recommended method to install the build utilities is via your
distribution's package management system. The bootstrap should only be
used if the build utilites are not provided by your distribution's package
management system, for example on Mac OS.

jhbuild build [--autogen] [--clean] [--dist] [--distcheck]
[--ignore-suggests] [--no-network] [--skip=module...]
[--start-at=module] [--tags=tags] [-D date] [--no-xvfb]
[--try-checkout] [--no-poison] [--force] [--build-optional-modules]
[--min-age=time] [module...]

The build command builds one or more packages, including their

If no module names are provided on the command line, the modules
list from the configuration file will be used.

-a, --autogen
Always run before building modules. By default, will only be called if the top-level makefile is
missing. Otherwise, JHBuild relies on the package's makefiles to
detect if configure needs to be rebuilt or rerun.

-c, --clean
Run make clean before building modules.

-d, --dist
Run make dist after building modules.

Run make distcheck after building modules.

Do not build soft dependencies.

-n, --no-network
Do not access the network when building modules. This will skip
download or update stages in a build. If a module can't be built
without network access, the module build will fail.

-s, --skip=module,...
Do not build the listed modules. Used to skip the building of
specified dependencies.

Ignore modules that do not match tag. Modules are automatically
attributed a tag matching the name of the module's module set.

-t, --start-at=module
Start at the named module rather than at the beginning of the
list. This option is useful if the build was interrupted.

-D date
If supported by the underlying version control system, update the
source tree to the specified date before building. An ISO date
format is required, e.g. "2009-09-18 02:32Z".

-x, --no-xvfb
Run graphical tests on the actual X server rather than in a
simulated Xvfb.

-C, --try-checkout
If the build fails, and if supported by the version control system,
force a checkout and run before retrying the build.

-N, --no-poison
If one or more of a module's dependencies failed, this option forces
JHBuild to try to build the module anyway.

-f, --force
Build the modules even if policy states it is not required.

Modules listed as optional dependencies, may not be required to
build the module. This option forces JHBuild to build optional

Skip modules installed more recently than the specified relative
time. The time string format is a number followed by a unit. The
following units are supported: seconds (s), minutes (m), hours (h)
and days (d). For example, --min-age=2h will skip modules built
less than two hours ago.

jhbuild buildone [--autogen] [--clean] [--distcheck] [--no-network]
[-D date] [--no-xvfb] [--force] [--min-age=time] module...

The buildone command is similar to build, but it does not build the
dependent modules. It is useful for rebuilding one or more modules.

jhbuild sanitycheck

The sanitycheck command performs a number of checks to verify the
build environment is okay.

For details of all jbhuild's command line options:
jhbuild --help

Reporting Bugs

If you find any bugs in JHBuild, or have feature requests (or
implementations :), please file them in bugzilla at:

This will ensure your request is not lost.

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