Koji is a system for building and tracking RPMs. It was designed with the following features in mind:


  • New buildroot for each build

  • nfs is used (mostly) read-only

Leverage other software

  • Uses Yum and Mock open-source components

  • XML-RPC APIs for easy integration with other tools


  • rich data model

  • active code base


  • Web interface with Kerberos authentication

  • Thin, portable client

  • Users can create local buildroots


  • Buildroot contents are tracked in the database

  • Versioned data

This HOWTO document covers the basic tasks that a developer needs to be able to accomplish with Koji.

Getting started

The web interface

The primary interface for viewing Koji data is a web application. Most of the interface is read-only, but if you are logged in (see below) and have sufficient privileges there are some actions that can be performed though the web. For example:

  • Cancel a build

  • Resubmit a failed task

Those with admin privileges will find additional actions, such as:

  • Create/Edit/Delete a tag

  • Create/Edit/Delete a target

  • Enable/Disable a build host

The web site utilizes Kerberos authentication. In order to log in you will need a valid Kerberos ticket and your web browser will need to be configured to send the Kerberos information to the server.

In Firefox, you will need to use the about:config page to set a Kerberos parameter. Use the search term ‘negotiate’ to filter the list. Change network.negotiate-auth.trusted-uris to the domain you want to authenticate against, e.g .example.com. You can leave network.negotiate-auth.delegation-uris blank, as it enables Kerberos ticket passing, which is not required.

In order to obtain a Kerberos ticket, use the kinit command.

Installing the Koji cli

There is a single point of entry for most operations. The command is called ‘koji’ and is included in the main koji package.

The koji tool authenticates to the central server using Kerberos, so you will need to have a valid Kerberos ticket to use many features. However, many of the read-only commands will work without authentication.

Building a package

Builds are initiated with the command line tool. To build a package, the syntax is:

$ koji build <build target> <git URL>

For example:

$ koji build f25 git://pkgs.fedoraproject.org/rpms/eclipse-jgit?#00ca55985303b1ce19c632922ebcca283ab6e296

The koji build command creates a build task in Koji. By default the tool will wait and print status updates until the build completes. You can override this with the --nowait option. To view other options to the build command use the --help option.

$ koji build --help

Build Options

There are a few options to the build command. Here are some more detailed explanations of them:


Normally the package is tagged after the build completes. This option causes the tagging step to be skipped. The package will be in the system, but untagged (you can later tag it with the tag-build command)


This makes the build into a scratch build. The build will not be imported into the db, it will just be built. The rpms will land under <topdir>/scratch. Scratch builds are not tracked and can never be tagged, but can be convenient for testing. Scratch builds are typically removed from the filesystem after one week.


As stated above, this prevents the cli from waiting on the build task.


This option allows you to override the base set of arches to build for. This option is really only for testing during the beta period, but it may be retained for scratch builds in the future.

Build Failures

If your package fails to build, you will see something like this.

420066 buildArch (kernel-2.6.18-1.2739.10.9.el5.jjf.215394.2.src.rpm,
ia64): open (build-1.example.com) -> FAILED: BuildrootError:
error building package (arch ia64), mock exited with status 10

You can figure out why the build failed by looking at the log files. If there is a build.log, start there. Otherwise, look at init.log

$ ls -1 <topdir>/work/tasks/420066/*

Koji Architecture


In Koji, it is sometimes necessary to distinguish between the a package in general, a specific build of a package, and the various rpm files created by a build. When precision is needed, these terms should be interpreted as follows:


The name of a source rpm. This refers to the package in general and not any particular build or subpackage. For example: kernel, glibc, etc.


A particular build of a package. This refers to the entire build: all arches and subpackages. For example: kernel-2.6.9-34.EL, glibc-2.3.4-2.19.


A particular rpm. A specific arch and subpackage of a build. For example: kernel-2.6.9-34.EL.x86_64, kernel-devel-2.6.9-34.EL.s390, glibc-2.3.4-2.19.i686, glibc-common-2.3.4-2.19.ia64

Koji Components

Koji is comprised of several components:

  • koji-hub is the center of all Koji operations. It is an XML-RPC server running under mod_wsgi in Apache. koji-hub is passive in that it only receives XML-RPC calls and relies upon the build daemons and other components to initiate communication. koji-hub is the only component that has direct access to the database and is one of the two components that have write access to the file system.

  • kojid is the build daemon that runs on each of the build machines. Its primary responsibility is polling for incoming build requests and handling them accordingly. Koji also has support for tasks other than building. Creating install images is one example. kojid is responsible for handling these tasks as well.

    kojid uses mock for building. It also creates a fresh buildroot for every build. kojid is written in Python and communicates with koji-hub via XML-RPC.

  • koji-web is a set of scripts that run in mod_wsgi and use the Cheetah templating engine to provide an web interface to Koji. koji-web exposes a lot of information and also provides a means for certain operations, such as cancelling builds.

  • koji is a CLI written in Python that provides many hooks into Koji. It allows the user to query much of the data as well as perform actions such as build initiation.

  • kojira is a daemon that keeps the build root repodata updated.

Package Organization

Tags and Targets

Koji organizes packages using tags. In Koji a tag is roughly analogous to a beehive collection instance, but differ in a number of ways:

  • Tags are tracked in the database but not on disk

  • Tags support multiple inheritance

  • Each tag has its own list of valid packages (inheritable)

  • Package ownership can be set per-tag (inheritable)

  • Tag inheritance is more configurable

  • When you build you specify a target rather than a tag

A build target specifies where a package should be built and how it should be tagged afterwards. This allows target names to remain fixed as tags change through releases. You can get a full list of build targets with the following command:

$ koji list-targets

You can see just a single target with the --name option:

$ koji list-targets --name dist-fc7
Name                           Buildroot                      Destination
dist-fc7                       dist-fc7-build                 dist-fc7

This tells you a build for target dist-fc7 will use a buildroot with packages from the tag dist-fc7-build and tag the resulting packages as dist-fc7.

You can get a list of tags with the following command:

$ koji list-tags

Package lists

As mentioned above, each tag has its own list of packages that may be placed in the tag. To see that list for a tag, use the list-pkgs command:

$ koji list-pkgs --tag dist-fc7
Package                 Tag                     Extra Arches     Owner
----------------------- ----------------------- ---------------- ----------------
ElectricFence           dist-fc6                                 pmachata
GConf2                  dist-fc6                                 rstrode
lucene                  dist-fc6                                 dbhole
lvm2                    dist-fc6                                 lvm-team
ImageMagick             dist-fc6                                 nmurray
m17n-db                 dist-fc6                                 majain
m17n-lib                dist-fc6                                 majain
MAKEDEV                 dist-fc6                                 clumens

The first column is the name of the package, the second tells you which tag the package entry has been inherited from, and the third tells you the owner of the package.

Latest Builds

To see the latest builds for a tag, use the latest-build command:

$ koji latest-build --all dist-fc7
Build                                     Tag                   Built by
----------------------------------------  --------------------  ----------------
ConsoleKit-0.1.0-5.fc7                    dist-fc7              davidz
ElectricFence-2.2.2-20.2.2                dist-fc6              jkeating
GConf2-2.16.0-6.fc7                       dist-fc7              mclasen
ImageMagick-               dist-fc6-updates      nmurray
MAKEDEV-3.23-1.2                          dist-fc6              nalin
MySQL-python-1.2.1_p2-2                   dist-fc7              katzj
NetworkManager-0.6.5-0.3.cvs20061025.fc7  dist-fc7              caillon
ORBit2-2.14.6-1.fc7                       dist-fc7              mclasen

The output gives you not only the latest builds, but which tag they have been inherited from and who built them (note: for builds imported from beehive the “built by” field may be misleading)

Exploring Koji

We’ve tried to make Koji self-documenting wherever possible. The command line tool will print a list of valid commands and each command supports --help. For example:

$ koji help
Koji commands are:
        build                Build a package from source
        cancel-task          Cancel a task
        help                 List available commands
        latest-build         Print the latest builds for a tag
$ koji build --help
usage: koji build [options] tag URL
(Specify the --help global option for a list of other help options)

  -h, --help            show this help message and exit
  --skip-tag            Do not attempt to tag package
  --scratch             Perform a scratch build
  --nowait              Don't wait on build