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Getting started with Mer development requires some basic tools. Mer provides a Platform SDK with all these tools included as they are not always present (or are modified) in other distros.

This page describes the Mer:Tools project which is where the tools are developed and managed.

Most tools have their own page or are covered in other guides.

Packaged Versions

Generally packaged from Mer:Tools and Mer:Tools:Testing


The Tools project does not make regular scheduled releases; instead it releases when required - this can be when just one version of a package has changed.

Tools releases are made by building against the current Mer release; a release number represents a collection of tool versions. This is then combined with a Mer Core release to produce an SDK release.

This approach allows the tools to be rebuilt against 'in house' forks of Mer that may have been frozen.

Release numbers

1.0.1   Tools version 1  this is a pre-release, first try
1.0.2   Tools version 1  this is a pre-release, second try
1.1.0   Tools version 1  this is a release
2.1.0   Tools version 2  this is a release
1.1.1   Tools version 1  this is an update to release 1.1.0 (most tools, same version as 1.1.0, some incremented but some < 2.1.0)

Tools release numbers could/should be reduced to a mapping to a sha1 of the contents of the release source.

Release Steps

A Tools release requires reliable version control of both the code and associated packaging. This is not yet implemented and the interim solution is to publish the OBS src rpm in the SDK repo.


An SDK binary release is done directly from the OBS Tools project using the Mer release script. (see lbt branch as of 27/May/2012)

tools/ --conf --next --all 5.0.1
# Configuration

# List of project repo arch schedulers(: sep) to release
PROJECTS="Mer:Tools       Mer_Core_i486  i486 i586"

# Set this to 1 if there are x86 cross- binaries in the arm/mips repos


# This should point to a public api

# This should permit rsync of /srv/obs/repos on the OBS be or a
# suitable publishing slave


# The target for the OBS MDS (rsync destination)

# The target for the repository (rsync destination)

# If rsync needs a password
export RSYNC_PASSWORD=xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

This is then built into an image using the SDK. Currently this is a bit convoluted; in an SDK

osc co Mer:Tools/sdk-kickstarter-configs
osc build Mer_Core_i486  i586

Determine the build directory and obtain the correct .ks


Upload this to IMG, wait for the build and move the image to the distribution dir.

Tools for developing


Use a version > 0.132

osc is used to interact with the OBS. It does:

  • command line functions provided by the OBS webui
  • check in / out of packages
  • submits requests
  • runs local builds

You may find latest builds for various distributions at

osc build

build is the actual script used by the OBS workers to build packages. It installs a clean chroot for you and runs a suitable compile command from the package.

You may find latest builds for various distributions at

mb2 build

Notice, there is a tool named mb this is deprecated in favour of mb2.

mb2 Executes a subset of build commands in the context of an rpmbuild.

Typically it is called from QtCreator to perform qmake/make phases of a project.

Note that any other build steps in the .spec file will also be run.

mb2 can be invoked via shell using mb2 build command similar to deprecated mb build.


 mb2 -t SB2_TARGET_NAME build 
 mb2 -t SB2_TARGET_NAME make

where SB2_TARGET_NAME is sysroots for example nemo-armv7hl, SailfishOS-armvhl etc...

For more info mb2 --help


Spectacle creates .spec files from .yaml files. This makes is a *lot* easier to package your code.

cd /mer/tools
mkdir spectacle
git clone

more info about spectacle here

qemu (specific snapshot)

qemu is needed for building non-native (ARM/MIPS) packages that need to execute ARM binaries.

qemu is found in the Mer:Tools project (currently on the MeeGo community OBS)

19 Nov2011 : Using 0.14.1

The OBS and IMG systems use qemu-usermode-static.

You need to install qemu-usermode-static package when you do 'osc build' for non-intel architecture and have "chroot: failed to run command `some-command': Exec format error" or "Warning: could not register binfmt handlers". As the package is statically linked, you may install OpenSUSE rpm on Fedora and it should work fine.

Tools for Image Building

cd /mer/tools
mkdir kickstarter
cd kickstarter
git clone git:// kickstarter

mic2 / image-creator
cd /mer/tools
mkdir image-creator
cd image-creator
git clone git:// image-creator

Development Tools for on Device usage

Device Memory Profiling via 'sp-smaps'

First you have to add the Mer_Extras repository to your device zypper configuration, available
<repositories> are 'Mer_Extras_armv6l', 'Mer_Extras_armv7hl', 'Mer_Extras_armv7l' and 'Mer_Extras_i568'
root@device# zypper addrepo<repository> Mer-Extras
Now feel free to install the 'sp-smaps' toolset
root@device# zypper refresh
root@device# zypper in sp-smaps


Create a memory profiling snapshot:

root@device# sp_smaps_snapshot > my-memory-sp-smaps-snapshot.cap

Create a HTML report from the smaps capture:

root@device# sp_smaps_analyze my-memory-sp-smaps-snapshot.cap

Feel free to compress and copy the generates files for further analysis to a host system:

root@device# tar -cvf my-memory-sp-smaps-snapshot.tar \
  my-memory-sp-smaps-snapshot.cap \
  my-memory-sp-smaps-snapshot.html \
root@device# bzip2 my-memory-sp-smaps-snapshot.tar
root@device# scp my-memory-sp-smaps-snapshot.tar.bz2 <your_user>@<your_host>:~/

Development of tools

In OBS the Mer tools are in two projects:

  • SDK and device side tools in Mer:Tools
  • Host (Linux distribution) side tools in Project:MINT

SDK and device side tools are compiled only against the Mer repositories. By this we try to keep the tools stable and avoid conflicts with the host distribution's packages (eg. Ubuntu/OpenSuse/Fedora).

The host side tools are provided for the most common Linux distributions.

  • "Unstable" SDK and device side tools are in Mer:Tools:Testing
  • "Unstable" host side tools are in Project:MINT:Testing


All Mer:Tools should be mastered in

Modify a Package

The process to modify them is:

  1. branch the package from mer-tools:testing
  2. clone the corresponding mer-tools repository on
  3. checkout the git code, modify it (either adding a patch or pulling from upstream) and commit
  4. build and test
  5. when happy, issue a merge request on

As a developer:

  1. Search the tool's version control location from About
  2. Pull the tool's source code and make changes
  3. Copy the original package to your home project in OBS
  4. Update your changes to the home project package
  5. Test your changes
  6. Push your changes to the version control
  7. Inform tools team about the changes with changes diff
  8. The tools team will review, retest and update the tool to OBS
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