Description File (.desc)

The build system created for T2 Linux needs some meta information about each package in order to download and build it but also textual information for the end-user. For maintenance reasons we have chosen a tag based format in Text/Plain.

This section documents the t2.package.description tags format. You can also add additional tags, their names have to start with 'X-' (like [X-FOOBAR]).

Please use the tags in the same order as they are listed in this table and add a blank line where a new table section starts. Please use the X-* flags after all the other tags to ensure best read-ability. scripts/Create-DescPatch can help you here.

Table 5.1. T2 .desc Tags

short namelong namemandatorymultiple

The meaning of all the different tags are:

The File's Copyright


With the [COPY] tag the T2 SDE and probably additional copyright information regarding the sources of this particular package are added. The copyright text is automatically (re-)generated by scripts/Create-CopyPatch from time to time, preferably on each checkin of modified or new files.

The automatically generated text is surrounded by T2-COPYRIGHT-NOTE-BEGIN and T2-COPYRIGHT-NOTE-END - additional lines containing the word 'Copyright' and additional information around these tag stay untouched.

The End-Uer Information


A short description of the package. Can be given only once.

[T] [TEXT]

A detailed package description. It can be used multiple times to form a long text.

[U] [URL]

A URL related to the package, for example the homepage. It can be specified multiple times.

Who is Responsible?

[A] [AUTHOR] Rene Rebe <> {Core Maintainer}

The tag specifies the original author of the package. The <e-mail> and the {description} are both optional. Normally the main author should be listed, but multiple tags are possible. To keep the file readable, not more then four tags should be listed normally. At least one <e-mail> specification should be present to make it easy to send patches upstream.

[M] [MAINTAINER] Rene Rebe <>

Same format as [A] but contains the maintainer of the package.

The Version, State and Other Build Details

[C] [CATEGORY] console/administration x11/administration

The categories the package is sorted into. A list of possible categories can be found in the file PKG-CATEGORIES.


Special flags to signal special features or build-behavior for the build-system. A list of possible flags can be found in the file PKG-FLAGS.


[R] [ARCH] [ARCHITECTURE] - sparc powerpc

Usually a package is built on all architectures. If you are using [R] with '+' the package will only be built for the given architectures. If you use it with '-' it will be built for all except the specified architectures.

[K] [KERN] [KERNEL] + linux

[K] [KERN] [KERNEL] - minix

Usually a package is built on all kernels. If you are using [K] with '+' the package will only be built for the given kernel. If you use it with '-' it will be built for all except the specified kernels.

[E] [DEP] [DEPENDENCY] group compiler

[E] [DEP] [DEPENDENCY] add x11

[E] [DEP] [DEPENDENCY] del perl

When the keyword 'group' is specified all dependencies to a package in this group (compiler in the example) will get expanded to dependencies to all packages in this group.

The keywords 'add' and 'del' can be used to add or delete a dependency that can not be detected by the build-system automatically. E.g. a font package extracts files into a x11 package's font directories. Since the font package does not use any x11 package's files it does not depend on the package automatically and the dependency must be hard-coded. Use with care and only where it is really, REALLY, necessary.


This tag specifies the license of the package. Possible values can be found in misc/share/REGISTER.

[S] [STATUS] Stable

where 'Stable' also can be 'Gamma' (very close to stable), 'Beta' or 'Alpha' (far away from stable).

[V] [VER] [VERSION] 2.3 19991204

Package version and optional revision.

[P] [PRI] [PRIORITY] X --3-5---9 010.066

The first field specifies if the package should be built on default or not (X=on, O=off). The second and third field specify the stages and build-order for that package.

See the section called “Build Stages” and the section called “Build Priority” for a detailed explanation.

Other Tunable Details


The URL used by scripts/Check-PkgVersion.

[CV-PAT] ^libsafe-[0-9]

The pattern used by scripts/Check-PkgVersion.

[CV-DEL] \.(tgz|tar\.gz)$

The delete pattern for scripts/Check-PkgVersion.

[O] [CONF] srcdir="$pkg-src-$ver"

The given text will be evaluated as if it would be at the top of the package's *.conf file.

Where Does the Package Source Come From?

[D] [DOWN] [DOWNLOAD] cksum foo-ver.tar.bz2

[D] [DOWN] [DOWNLOAD] cksum foo-ver.tar.bz2 !

[D] [DOWN] [DOWNLOAD] cksum foo-ver.tar.bz2 cvs:// module

Download the specified file using the URL obtained by concatenation of the second (file) and third (base URL) fields. If the checksum is specified (neither '0' nor 'X') the downloaded file is checked for correctness. The download URL is split like this, because the first filename is also used for T2 mirrors and checkouts from version controls systems need a target tar-ball name.

The checksum can initially be '0' for later generation or 'X' to specify that the checksum should never be generated nor checked, for example due to checkouts from version control systems.

When a '!' is specified before the protocol a full URL must be given and is used, but the obtained content is rewritten to the filename specified in the second, filename field. This is useful to add a version to unversioned files or just to give filenames a better meaning and avoid conflicts.

Aside the normal ftp://, http:// and https:// protocols, cvs://[4], svn://, svn+http://, svn+https:// as well as git:// are supported at the time of writing.

The package maintainer can use scripts/Create-CkSumPatch to generate the checksum if it is initially set to 0 and downloaded, like:

scripts/Create-CkSumPatch xemacs
patch -p1 < cksum.patch

or in short just:

scripts/Create-CkSumPatch xemacs | patch -p1

[SRC] [SOURCEPACKAGE] pattern1 pattern2 ...

This will enable build_this_package function to build the content of more than one tarball, all those files matching the patterns. Do not put the extension of the tarballs (e.g. tar.gz) into this tag, as it might be transformed to .bz2 by the build system automatically! A pattern to match the needed tarball is enough, for example:

[SRC] mypkg-version1 gfx
[D] cksum mypkg-version1.tar.gz http://some.url.tld
[D] cksum mypkg-gfx-version2.tbz2 http://some.url.tld
[D] cksum mypkg-data-version3.tar.bz2 http://some.url.tld

This would run the whole build cycle with mypkg-version1.tar.bz2 and mypkg-gfx-version2.tbz2 but not with mypkg-data-version3.tar.bz2. As the parameter are patterns to match, a simple '.' is enough to match all specified download files.

[COPY] This copyright note is auto-generated by scripts/Create-CopyPatch.
[COPY] T2 SDE: package/.../python/python.desc
[COPY] Copyright (C) 2004 - 2006 The T2 SDE Project
[COPY] Copyright (C) 1998 - 2004 ROCK Linux Project
[COPY] More information can be found in the files COPYING and README.
[COPY] This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify
[COPY] it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
[COPY] the Free Software Foundation; version 2 of the License. A copy of the
[COPY] GNU General Public License can be found in the file COPYING.

[I] The Python programming language

[T] Python is an interpreted object-oriented programming language, and is
[T] often compared with Tcl, Perl, Java or Scheme.


[A] Stichting Mathematisch Centrum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
[M] Rene Rebe <>

[C] base/development

[L] OpenSource
[S] Stable
[V] 2.5
[P] X -----5---9 112.000

[D] 4007565864 Python-2.5.tar.bz2

[4] The cvs:// support was revisited in T2 2.1, previously it was more cryptic and error-prone to use.