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Automated builds of PyBOMBS on Ubuntu, Fedora and CentOS
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Minimum Python version: 2.7


Copyright 2015 Free Software Foundation, Inc.

This file is part of PyBOMBS

PyBOMBS is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify
it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
the Free Software Foundation; either version 3, or (at your option)
any later version.

PyBOMBS is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
along with PyBOMBS; see the file COPYING. If not, write to
the Free Software Foundation, Inc., 51 Franklin Street,
Boston, MA 02110-1301, USA.


Through pip

You don't have to clone this repository if you don't want to contribute to PyBOMBS itself.
In that case, simply run

$ [sudo] pip install PyBOMBS

and it will download and install PyBOMBS for you. Note that this usually doesn't install the latest HEAD, but only the latest version that was submitted to PyPI, so not every bugfix is automatically always immediately propagated that way.

If you do want to install the latest version from git, but still use pip, you
run the following command:

$ [sudo] pip install [--upgrade] git+

From source using Python's setuptools

PyBOMBS can be installed using Python's setuptools. From the top
level of the source code repository, run

$ python build


$ sudo python install

This will install PyBOMBS and all required dependencies. See

$ python build --help
$ python install --help

for additional settings.

pip also provides a -e switch for installing PyBOMBS in 'editable' mode.

Install it all manually

If you want to install yourself, you need to make sure the pybombs module is in the PYTHONPATH. To run PyBOMBS in this case, execute You can symlink or alias that to pybombs (e.g. ln -s /path/to/pybombs/ ~/bin/pybombs). If you don't know what any of this means, please use one of the methods explained further up.


For the impatient:

  1. Install PyBOMBS as per the previous section
  2. Add a list of recipes, e.g. by running

     $ pybombs recipes add gr-recipes git+  
     $ pybombs recipes add gr-etcetera git+
  3. Install GNU Radio, gr-osmosdr and some other goodies into the directory /path/to/prefix:

     $ pybombs prefix init /path/to/prefix -a myprefix -R gnuradio-default

    All commands after this will use myprefix as the default prefix. You can change the
    default prefix later by running pybombs config default_prefix NEWPREFIX

  4. Run GNU Radio Companion from your new prefix:

     $ cd /path/to/prefix
     $ . ./
     $ gnuradio-companion


A prefix is a directory into which packages are installed.
The prefix may be /usr/local/ for system-wide installation
of packages, or something like ~/src/prefix if you want to
have a user-level, local installation path. The latter is
highly recommended for local development, as it allows
compilation and installation without root access.
Any directory may be a prefix, but it is highly recommended
to choose a dedicated directory for this purpose.

Prefixes require a configuration directory to function properly.
Typically, it is called .pybombs/ and is a subdirectory of the prefix.
So, if your prefix is ~/src/prefix, there will be a directory called
~/src/prefix/.pybombs/ containing special files. The two most important
files are the inventory file (inventory.yml) and the prefix-local
configuration file (config.yml), but it can also contain recipe files
that are specific to this prefix.

There is no limit to the number of prefixes. Indeed, it may make sense
to have multiple prefixes, e.g. one for system-wide installation, one for
a user-specific installation, and one for cross-compiling to a different

When running PyBOMBS, you select the desired prefix using the -p switch.
You can set a default prefix with the following command:

$ pybombs config default_prefix PREFIXNAME

The first time you run pybombs prefix init, it will set this value for you.

Initializing Prefixes

Any directory can function as a prefix, and PyBOMBS will make sure all the
required files and directories are created. However, PyBOMBS provides a way
to initialize a directory to be a full PyBOMBS prefix:

$ pybombs prefix init /path/to/prefix [-a alias]

This is similar to git init. The optional alias allows you to access the
prefix with the alias instead of the full path.


In order to make prefix selection more easy, it is possible to assign names
to prefixes by adding a [prefix_aliases] section to a configuration file.
The format is alias=/path/to/prefix. Instead of providing the entire path
every time, the alias can be used instead. When running pybombs prefix init,
you can use the --alias argument to set this automatically.

Prefix Selection

Prefixes are selected by the following rules, in this order:

  1. Whatever is provided by the -p or --prefix command line switch
  2. The current directory
  3. The default prefix as defined by the default_prefix config switch

If no prefix can be found, most PyBOMBS operations will not be possible,
but some will still work.

Configuring a prefix' environment (e.g. for cross-compiling)

Setting environment variables directly:

In any config file that is read, a env: section can be added. This
will set environment variables for any command (configure, build, make...)
that is run within PyBOMBS.

Note that this will still use the regular system environment as well, but
it will overwrite existing variables. Variable expansion can be used, so
this will keep the original setting:

    LD_LIBRARY_PATH: ${LD_LIBRARY_PATH}:/path/to/more/libs

Note: Because this is a YAML file, remember to separate key/value pairs with
colon (:), not an equals sign, as you would in a shell script.

In all cases, the environment variable PYBOMBS_PREFIX is set to the
current prefix, and PYBOMBS_PREFIX_SRC is set to the source directory.

Using an external script to set the environment

Inside the config section, a shell script can be defined that sets up an
environment, which will then be used for commands running inside this prefix.


    # Other vars
    setup_env: /path/to/environment-setup-armv7ahf-vfp-neon-oe-linux-gnueabi


Recipe Format

Recipes files are in YAML format. To write new recipes, the easiest way is to
use other recipes as examples.

Important keys in the recipe files include:

  • inherit: This will load the values from a template file (*.lwt) before
    using the values from the recipe, to set up suitable defaults.
  • category: Can technically be anything, but certain categories
    carry certain meanings

Recipe Management

Recipes can be stored in multiple locations, which easily allows to store
separate recipe lists for specific projects.

If the same recipe can be found in more than one location, it will be
chosen from the most specific. The precise order is:

  • Recipe locations specified on the command line (Using the -r switch)
  • From the environment variable PYBOMBS_RECIPE_DIR
  • The current prefix (if available)
  • Global recipe locations

This mechanism can be used to override recipes for certain prefixes. For
example, the gnuradio.lwr file could be copied and adapted to use a
different branch than the default recipe does. (Note that specific parts
of recipes can also be overridden in the config.yml file, in the [packages]

Recipe management can be mostly done through the command line using
the pybombs recipes command -- editing configuration files is possible,
but often not necessary. Run

$ pybombs help recipes

for further information on the pybombs recipes command.

Remote and Local Recipe Locations

Recipe locations can be either local directories (in this case, PyBOMBS will
simply read any .lwr file from this directory, without traversing into
subdirectories), or a remote location.
Remote locations can be:

  • git repositories
  • Remotely stored .tar.gz archives

Remote locations are copied into a local directory, so PyBOMBS can read the .lwr
files locally. During normal operations, PyBOMBS will not try to read the remote
location, so offline usage is still possible.
This local cache of recipes is stored in the same directory as the location of
the corresponding config file (e.g., if ~/.pybombs/config.yml declares a
recipe called 'myrecipes', the local cache will be in

Configuration Files

Typically, there are four ways to configure PyBOMBS:

  1. The global configuration file (e.g. /etc/pybombs/config.yml)
  2. The user-local configuration file (e.g. ~/.pybombs/config.yml)
  3. The prefix-local configuration file (e.g. ~/src/prefix/.pybombs/config.yml)
  4. By using the --config switch on the command line

Higher numbers mean higher priority. Conflicting options are resolved by
choosing option values with higher priority.

config.yml File Format

The config.yml files are in YAML format. A typical file looks like this:

# All configuration options:
# (Run `pybombs config` to learn which options are recognized)
    satisfy_order: native,src
    default_prefix: default
    # ... more options

# Prefix aliases:
    default: /home/user/src/pb-prefix/
    sys: /usr/local

# Prefix configuration directories:
    sys: /home/user/pb-default/
    # Typically, you don't need this, because the prefix configuration
    # directory is in <PREFIX>/.pybombs

# Recipe locations:
    myrecipes: /usr/local/share/recipes
    morerecipes: /home/user/pb-recipes
    remoterecipes: git+git://url/to/repo

# Package flags:
        forcebuild: True # This will skip any packagers for this package
                                 # and use a source build
                forceinstalled: False # 'True' will always assume this package is
                                      # installed and skip installing it
                # Any other option here will override whatever's in the
                # corresponding recipe (in this case, gnuradio.lwr)

# Like package flags, but applies flags to all packages
# in a certain category. 'common' is all OOTs.
        forcebuild: True # This would force source builds for any package in the
                                 # `common` category

# Environment variables
    LD_LIBRARY_PATH: ${LD_LIBRARY_PATH}:/path/to/more/libs
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