Maintain and Improve

Maintain and improve your packages with set of tools.


Rebase-helper is a tool which helps package maintainers with updating package to the latest upstream version. It automates a lot of manual tasks the package maintainer usually does, when a new upstream version of a package is released.

Install rebase-helper

Begin installation on Fedora using the dnf command:

$ sudo dnf install rebase-helper

It requires several other programs like abipkgdiff, rpmdiff, mock, fedpkg, meld, etc. These programs are installed automatically as dependencies of rebase-helper.

Note: rebase-helper is also available as EPEL-7 package. Feel free to use it on CentOS and RHEL systems.

How does rebase-helper work?

Rebase-helper workflow can be summarized in following steps:

  • Downloads an archive with new sources.
  • Rebases downstream patches on top of the latest upstream version using git rebase command.
  • If patching was successful, it builds two sets of RPMs. One using the old sources and a second one using the new sources. Available build tools are mock, rpmbuild, fedpkg.
    • If new RPMs build fails, downloads logs like build.log and root.log
    • If the build is successful, downloads all available RPM packages.
  • If all builds succeed, rebase-helper runs several checkers, like pkgdiff, rpmdiff, abipkgdiff. Rebase-helper compares old and new packages and reports results.

How to rebase your packages?

Let’s say we want to rebase a package foobar from foobar-1.2.0 to foobar-1.2.1 using rebase-helper:

# Change to the location of foobar.spec and other package components (cloned dist-git dir), e.g.
$ cd $HOME/rpmbuild/REPOS/foobar

# Update to the selected upstream version
$ rebase-helper 1.2.1

If you do not want to be bothered, add the --non-interactive option to rebase-helper’s command line

After rebase-helper finishes, check the output.

Authors: Frank Dana, Petr Hracek