#rpm #package #cargo #subcommand

app cargo-generate-rpm

Generate a binary RPM package (.rpm) from Cargo projects

16 releases (9 breaking)

new 0.10.2 Mar 17, 2023
0.9.1 Dec 24, 2022
0.8.0 Aug 9, 2022
0.7.0 Jul 22, 2022
0.1.2 Oct 25, 2020

#9 in Cargo plugins

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1,316 downloads per month

MIT license



Cargo helper command to generate a binary RPM package (.rpm) from Cargo project.

This command does not depend on rpmbuild and generates an RPM package file without a spec file by using rpm-rs.

Rust cargo-generate-rpm at crates.io


cargo install cargo-generate-rpm


cargo build --release
strip -s target/release/XXX
cargo generate-rpm

Upon run cargo generate-rpm on your cargo project, a binary RPM package file will be created in target/generate-rpm/XXX.rpm. You can change the RPM package file location using -o option.

In advance, run cargo run --release and strip the debug symbols (strip -s target/release/XXX), because these are not run upon cargo generate-rpm as of now.


This command generates RPM metadata from the Cargo.toml file:

[package.metadata.generate-rpm] options

  • name: the package name. If not present, package.name is used.
  • version: the package version. If not present, package.version is used.
  • license: the package license. If not present, package.license is used.
  • summary: the package summary/description. If not present, package.description is used.
  • url: the package homepage url. If not present, package.homepage is used. If neither present, package.repository is used.
  • assets: (mandatory) the array of the files to be included in the package
    • source: the location of that asset in the Rust project. (e.g. target/release/XXX) Wildcard character * is allowed.
    • dest: the install-destination. (e.g. /usr/bin/XXX) It shall be a file path or a directory path ending /. If source contains wildcard character *, it must be a directory, not a file path.
    • mode: the permissions as octal string. (e.g. 755 to indicate -rwxr-xr-x)
    • config: set true if it is a configuration file.
    • doc: set true if it is a document file.
    • user: the owner of the file.
    • group: the group owner of the file.
  • release: optional string of release.
  • epoch: optional number of epoch.
  • pre_install_script: optional string of pre_install_script.
  • pre_uninstall_script: optional string of pre_uninstall_script.
  • post_install_script: optional string of post_install_script.
  • post_uninstall_script: optional string of post_uninstall_script.
  • requires: optional list of Requires
  • auto-req: optional string "no" to disable the automatic dependency process
  • require-sh: optional boolean false to omit /bin/sh from Requirements
  • obsoletes: optional list of Obsoletes
  • conflicts: optional list of Conflicts
  • provides: optional list of Provides
  • vendor: optional string of Vendor

Adding assets such as the binary file, .desktop file, or icons, shall be written in the following way.

assets = [
    { source = "target/release/XXX", dest = "/usr/bin/XXX", mode = "755" },
    { source = "<path_relative_to_project_root>/XXX.desktop", dest = "/usr/share/applications/XXX.desktop", mode = "644" },
    { source = "<path_relative_to_project_root>/*/apps/XXX.png", dest = "/usr/share/icons/hicolor/", mode = "644" },

[package.metadata.generate-rpm.{requires,obsoletes,conflicts,provides}] options

Dependencies such as "requires", "obsoletes", "conflicts", and "provides" shall be written in similar way as dependencies in Cargo.toml.

alternative = "*"
filesystem = ">= 3"

This example states that the package requires with any versions of alternative and all versions of filesystem 3.0 or higher.

Following table lists the version comparisons:

Comparison Meaning
package = "*" A package at any version number
package = "< version" A package with a version number less than version
package = "<= version" A package with a version number less than or equal to version
package = "= version" A package with a version number equal to version
package = "> version" A package with a version number greater than version
package = ">= version" A package with a version number greater than or equal to version

It is necessary to place a space between version and symbols such as <, <=, etc... package = "version" is not accepted, instead use package = "= version".

This command automatically determines what shared libraries a package requires. There may be times when the automatic dependency processing is not desired. In this case, the package author may set package.metadata.generate-rpm.auto-req to "no" or the user who executes this command may specify command line option --auto-req no.

  • --auto-req auto: The following rules are used to determine the preferred automatic dependency process:
    • If package.metadata.generate-rpm.auto-req set to "no" or "disabled", the process is disabled.
    • If /usr/lib/rpm/find-requires exists, it is used (same behaviour as --auto-req /usr/lib/rpm/find-requires).
    • Otherwise, builtin procedure is used (same behaviour as --auto-req builtin).
  • --auto-req builtin: the builtin procedure using ldd is used.
  • --auto-req /path/to/find-requires: the specified external program is used. This behavior is the same as the original rpmbuild.
  • --auto-req no: the process is disabled.

/bin/sh is always added to the package requirements. To disable it, set package.metadata.generate-rpm.require-sh to false. You should not do this if you use scripts such as pre_install_script or if your assets contain shell scripts.

Overwrite configuration

[package.metadata.generate-rpm] can be overwritten. The following command line options are used:

  • --metadata-overwrite=TOML_FILE.toml : Overwrite the [package.metadata.generate-rpm] options with the contents of the specified TOML file.
  • --metadata-overwrite=TOML_FILE.toml#TOML.PATH : Overwrites the [package.metadata.generate-rpm] options with the table specified in the TOML path of the TOML file. Only a sequence of bare keys connected by dots is acceptable for the TOML path. Path containing quoted keys (such as metadata."παραλλαγή") cannot be acceptable.
  • -s 'toml "text"' or --set-metadata='toml "text"' : Overwrite the [package.metadata.generate-rpm] options with inline TOML text. The argument text --- inline TOML text must be enclosed in quotation marks since it contains spaces.
  • --variant=VARIANT : Overwrites the [package.metadata.generate-rpm] options with the table specified in [package.metadata.generate-rpm.variants.VARIANT] of the TOML file. It is a shortcut to --metadata-overwrite=path/to/Cargo.toml#package.metadata.generate-rpm.variants.VARIANT. It is intended for providing multiple variants of the metadata in a Cargo.toml and ability for the users to select the variant using --variant=name option.

These options can be specified more than once, with the last written one specified being applied. For example, the arguments -s 'release = "alpha"' --metadata-overwrite=beta.toml where beta.toml contains release = "beta" gives release = "beta".

Advanced Usage


To generate an RPM package from a member of a workspace, execute cargo generate-rpm in the workspace directory with specifying the package (directory path) with option -p:

cargo build --release
strip -s target/release/XXX
cargo generate-rpm -p XXX

[package.metadata.generate-rpm] options should be written in XXX/Cargo.toml.

When the option -p specified, first, the asset file source shall be treated as a relative path from the current directory. If not found, it shall be treated as a relative path from the directory of the package. If both not found, cargo generate-rpm shall fail with an error.

For example, source = target/bin/XXX would usually be treated as a relative path from the current directory. Because all packages in the workspace share a common output directory that is located target in workspace directory.

Cross compilation

This command supports --target-dir and --target option like cargo build. Depending on these options, this command changes the RPM package file location and replaces target/release/ of the source locations of the assets.

cargo build --release --target x86_64-unknown-linux-gnu
cargo generate-rpm --target x86_64-unknown-linux-gnu

When --target-dir TARGET-DIR and --target x86_64-unknown-linux-gnu are specified, a binary RPM file will be created at TARGET-DIR/x86_64-unknown-linux-gnu/generate-rpm/XXX.rpm instead of target/generate-rpm/XXX.rpm. In this case, the source of the asset { source = "target/release/XXX", dest = "/usr/bin/XXX" } will be treated as TARGET-DIR/x86_64-unknown-linux-gnu/release/XXX instead of target/release/XXX.

You can use CARGO_BUILD_TARGET environment variable instead of --target option and CARGO_BUILD_TARGET_DIR or CARGO_TARGET_DIR instead of --target-dir.

Payload compress type

The default payload compress type of the generated RPM file is zstd. You can specify the payload compress type with --payload-compress TYPE: none, gzip, or zstd.

For the legacy system (e.g. centos7), specify legacy compress type explicitly e.g. --payload-compress none.


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