Is %autosetup another unwanted baby of Fedora?

Mikolaj Izdebski mizdebsk at
Tue Jul 14 08:24:51 UTC 2015

On 07/13/2015 02:39 PM, Marcin Juszkiewicz wrote:
> When I moved to Fedora after years of doing Debian packages I noticed
> that there is no such thing as patch management when it comes to Fedora
> packages. Everyone is using %patch macro with files of random patchlevel
> (some even use reverse patches).
> %autosetup was created to handle that but probably less than 5% of
> packages use it. Why?
> Is it because no one told that it exists? Or maybe because
> implementation has some issues which no one wants to fix? Or other (I
> exclude laziness of package maintainers)?

I also like how Debian patches their packages (stardardization: quilt,
DEP-3, patch tracker web app, ...) and I was initially quite eager about
%autosetup/%autopatch, but it turned out to be unusable for me.

I maintain most of patches as commits in private branches of upstream
git repos and generate them with "git format-patch
<latest-release-tag>". %autosetup and %autopatch don't work with patches
generated this way, while %patch does.

Another (lesser) reason is increased difficulty of backporting spec
files to work with older rpm-build, such as when creating software
collections for older OS.

I use %autopatch in one of my packages (eclipse-m2e-core) so that I
don't forget how it works (or doesn't work :)

Mikolaj Izdebski
Software Engineer, Red Hat
IRC: mizdebsk

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