Simple Makefile target helper
Alois Mahdal 9f602ef61a Bump version 4 years ago
src Use older git syntax 4 years ago
utils Update own dogfood 4 years ago
.gitignore Add .gitignore 7 years ago
Makefile Update and clean up own meta-data 4 years ago Use proper terminology for macros ("macros", not "tokens") 5 years ago
mkit.ini Bump version 4 years ago


Simple Makefile target helper.

MKit can help you with boring but important tasks such as:

  • starting up your project under git with sane structure,

  • building and installing your project,

  • managing release history and tags,

  • ensuring reliable version information is always included with any package (from scratch builds to official releases),

  • writing changelogs,

  • packaging for distributions (or just spitting out tarballs).


  • Be distro-agnostic -- you can use it to prepare RPM spec files, debian meta-data or just tarballs.

  • Be very simple to start up, especially for smaller non-arch-specific projects such as helper scripts and distributable config files.

  • Encourage best development practices such as semantic versioning.

  • Make file deployment easy: no need to write install script; just define roots and relative file paths.


  • Manage huge and complicated tree of build targets.

    If you want to really build "serious" "big" stuff from hundreds of source files, MKit is probably not for you. Nobody has ever tried to use it that way. What MKit understands as "building" is just replacing macros in files. (Some extensibility will be added in future but scaling to huge things is not a priority for now.)

  • Become a complete solution for building all your RPMs and DEBs.

    Other tools such as Copr already exist for this purpose and do it well. Also, building is best done in isolated environment, while MKit is really just about managing your repo.

Your first project with MKit

MKit is intended to be embedded inside your git repo. We will demonstrate simple usage on a demo project myproj that delivers one script and one config file:

1. start your git repo

$ mkdir myproj
$ cd myproj
$ git init
$ mkdir src
$ echo 'echo Hello world' > src/hello
$ echo 'some config'      > src/hello.conf
$ git add .
$ git commit -m "Initial commit"
$ git tag v0.0.0

Note that a valid version tag like v0.0.0 is necessary to help vbump_* targets compose template change overview message. (Future versions of MKit should probably learn to improvise a bit and get rid of this requirement though.)

2. embed MKit into your repo

$ git clone <url-to-mkit>
$ cd mkit
$ make install DESTDIR=<path/to/myproj>
$ echo 'MKIT_DIR=utils/mkit'          >> Makefile
$ echo 'include $(MKIT_DIR)/'  >> Makefile
$ git add .
$ git commit -m "Add MKit v0.0.15"

Using Makefile is not mandatory; you can call MKit commands directly via utils/mkit/make command. It is conventional, however: your users will be able to use the ubiquitous: make and sudo make install, and you get tab completion for free.

3. add mkit.ini with everything about your project

Create file called 'mkit.ini' in the root of your repo:

    version     = 0.0.0
    name        = myproj
    pkgname     = bmo
    relsrc      = master

    tarball = Makefile
    tarball = mkit.ini
    tarball = src
    tarball = utils

    PREFIX = /usr/local

    bin     = [ENV:PREFIX]/bin
    share   = [ENV:PREFIX]/share/myproj

    bin     = 755
    share   = 644

    bin     = src/hello
    share   = src/hello.conf

#mkit version=0.0.15

This is pretty minimal but working project. (You can ignore the #mkit version line; it just denotes version of 'mkit.ini' file format).

$ git add mkit.ini
$ git commit -m "Add mkit.ini"

4. Prepare your first release

We have decided to make just minor Z-stream release, i.e. 0.0.1. First, we need to raise the version:

$ make vbump_z

This will open your editor with commit message already prepared for a "Bump version" commit. Ths is a special type of commit that accompanies every release and its purpose is to track the version change itself and provide human-readable overview of changes since the last release.

Next step is doing actual release; that is, generate an annotated tag and update stable branch (we haven't defined that in our demo).

$ make release_z

Note that release_z, makes "Bump version" commits mandatory; this is to help you keep your release history clean and documented.

5. Release it out into the wild

At this point, what you probably want to do is push the release to your main repo:

$ git push
$ git push --tags

So new version is out. What's left is to publish the tarballs, e.g.:

$ make dist
$ scp myproj-0.0.1.tar.gz your:web/server

Note that tarball is now independent and can be installed on any typical Linux machine using common workflow:

$ tar -xvzf myproj-0.0.1.tar.gz
$ cd myproj-0.0.1
$ make
$ make install      # can add DESTDIR=/some/test/path

Further steps

The tutorial above has been cut down to really only show the most common features. What you might want to do next:

  • Add SPEC file and debian dir templates (adding make rpmstuff and make debstuff under your belt). You can use utils/mkit/stub script for that.

  • Add macros inside some of your scripts to include stuff known only at install time (versions, paths...) so that your application can report --version as accurately as possible.

  • Do some actual development (branch off, do scratch builds, experiment) and see how MKit handles versioning.

MKit uses SemVer so version reflected in tarbal naming, packaging files and macros contains enough data to track it back to actual commit. This way you can safely distribute packages immediately to your testers and/or CI systems.