Using febootstrap in archlinux with local repo

The last few days i am working with febootstrap.
febootstrap is a tool to build a tiny linux appliance based on your system.

To build an appliance, febootstrap downloads every package it needs from the internet, using the defined repositories on your pacman.conf file.
If you want to test different packages or you have to build libguestfs, febootstrap will try to download again and again the packages from the internet.

The main reason is that it use a custom cachedir and root dir for fakeroot to take place and setup your new appliance.

I work-around that i posted a guide a few days back here. But that guide is telling you to edit your basic pacman.conf.

The developer of febootstrap, Richard WM Jones has a great amount of tolerance so i’ve bugged him enough to think about adding at febootstrap a command option for using your own pacman.conf file.

From today we (archers) can use febootstrap (from git at the moment - PKGBUILD is here) with our own custom pacman.conf file.

Below is a quick setup of using your own local/custom-repo/mirror with febootstrap without editing /etc/pacman.conf file.

If you have already downloaded or saved your packages to a custom location, you can bypass the first step.
The whole process doesnt need root privileges.

Step One:

$ mkdir -pv /tmp/cachedir
$ cp /var/cache/pacman/pkg/*pkg.tar.xz /tmp/cachedir/
$ repo-add /tmp/cachedir/local.db.tar.gz /tmp/cachedir/*

Step Two:

$ cp /etc/pacman.conf /tmp/
$ vim /tmp/pacman.conf 

comment out the exist repo sections: core - extra - community
add the below lines

SigLevel = Never
Server = file:///tmp/cachedir/

Step three :

test it !

$ febootstrap -o /tmp/ -v --names rsync --packager-config /tmp/pacman.conf
Tag(s): febootstrap
febootstrap with custom PKGBUILDs in archlinux

There is an updated blog post about febootstrap. Click here

At some point, especially if you are using libguestfs, you will end up using febootstrap.

febootstrap is a tool to build a supermin appliance to boot strap a tiny base.img with the packages you need.

febootstrap support archlinux so we (archers) can use febootstrap or libguestfs based on an archlinux boot strap tiny appliance. So no extra work for archlinux in rescue virtual-machines or mount virtual disks.

febootstrap has the ability of searching through Arch User Repository to include any extra packages that dont exist in default repositories. This isnt the right way of installing packages from aur … but for lazy people febootstrap seems to do exactly what it should be.

Yesterday i’ve sent my first tiny ocaml patch at febootstrap for changing the location of aur packages.
You can check the patch here.
Hopefully its ok.

Today i want to write down the right way of installing extra packages from aur. The main reason is that aur has a lot of flagged-out-of-date packages and some of them are really … lets say the PKGBUILDs arent up-to-date or with proper dependencies. I am not expert in archlinux packaging so this from a user perspective guide.


First, download the PKGBUILD you want (or use a customize abs PKGBUILD) of the package you need to install in febootstrap.

Check the PKGBUILD, correct the version, add checksum (for package integrity), review the dependencies, make the pkg. Check it again.
This is the most important thing. Try hard not to be lazy on this.


Create the package with makepkg command. You’ll need base-devel packages for this.
Check the files inside the package

pacman -Qpl *.pkg.tar.xz

binaries must be under /usr/bin, libraries under /usr/lib

Be careful


Create a new directory to hold your custom build packages from aur or abs.


 mkdir -pv /opt/custom_repo/

and move your *.pkg.tar.xz file (or files) under this directory


move *.pkg.tar.xz  /opt/custom_repo/


At this point you are ready to create your custom repo db file


repo-add  /opt/custom_repo/repo.db.tar.gz  /opt/custom_repo/*pkg.tar.xz



append the below lines at your /etc/pacman.conf file

SigLevel = Never
Server = file:///opt/custom_repo/


pacman -Syy

to sync your repositories and you are done!

Now you can use febootstrap without searching in for extra packages.