Build your first snap
A single text file
Snapcraft uses a single text file to describe the entire build process for a snap: the
To get started with a template, you can run
It will create a new directory
snap with a file named
snapcraft.yaml in the current directory.
Let’s have a look inside:
$ cat snap/snapcraft.yaml name: my-snap-name # you probably want to 'snapcraft register <name>' version: '0.1' # just for humans, typically '1.2+git' or '1.3.2' summary: Single-line elevator pitch for your amazing snap # 79 char long summary description: | This is my-snap's description. You have a paragraph or two to tell the most important story about your snap. Keep it under 100 words though, we live in tweetspace and your description wants to look good in the snap store. grade: devel # must be 'stable' to release into candidate/stable channels confinement: devmode # use 'strict' once you have the right plugs and slots parts: my-part: # See 'snapcraft plugins' plugin: nil
This is the only file needed in the directory. Snapcraft can use local source code or fetch everything needed to build the snap from remote sources as you will see in the following example.
From an app to a snap
Your first snap is going to be a very straightforward one. We are going to snap
GNU Hello, an app that prints “Hello, world!” on the command line.
Let’s edit the
snapcraft.yaml file. First, we need to set the general metadata for the snap:
- its name
- the version of GNU Hello we are going to snap
- a one-line summary and a user friendly description
confinement, which inform the system if the snap is meant to be a stable release (
devel) and if strict security policies should be enforced (
name: hello version: "2.10" summary: GNU Hello, the "hello world" snap description: GNU Hello prints a friendly greeting. grade: stable confinement: strict
Then, you need to declare apps and commands shipped in the snap. In this case, we have a single app (
hello) with a single command (
apps: hello: command: hello
Now, you need to tell snapcraft where to find the hello source code and how to build it. This is done with the
parts keyword, which are building blocks that compose your snap.
In this case, it’s a single part, pulled from a remote tar.gz
source, then built using the
autotools plugin (which will run the usual autotools steps:
parts: gnu-hello: plugin: autotools source: http://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/hello/hello-2.10.tar.gz
Let’s have a look at our final file:
name: hello version: "2.10" summary: GNU Hello, the "hello world" snap description: GNU Hello prints a friendly greeting confinement: strict apps: hello: command: hello parts: gnu-hello: plugin: autotools source: http://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/hello/hello-2.10.tar.gz
You can now build a snap out of your
snapcraft.yaml by running
snapcraft in the project directory:
$ snapcraft Preparing to pull gnu-hello Pulling gnu-hello Downloading 'hello-2.10.tar.gz'[=======================] 100% Preparing to build gnu-hello Building gnu-hello [...build...] Staging gnu-hello Priming gnu-hello No libraries to exclude from this release Snapping 'hello' ... Snapped hello_2.10_amd64.snap
Snapcraft just pulled the source code, built and snapped it.
The snap is now available in your directory (along with new
snap directories that allow faster iterations between builds of the same project).
$ ls hello_2.10_amd64.snap parts snap prime
The name of the
.snap file is based on information in the
snapcraft.yaml (its name and version) and the architecture you’re building on:
<name>_<version>_<arch>.snap. Here, the snap was built on an amd64 machine, so the architecture used in the file name reflects that.
Install the snap
Now that everything needed for the hello app to run has been packaged inside a snap. You can install it locally.
--dangerous flag needs to be used here because your snap has not been signed.
$ sudo snap install hello_2.10_*.snap --dangerous hello 2.10 installed
Congratulations, you’ve just made and installed your first snap!
You can run the
hello command to see it in action:
$ hello Hello, World!
You can also use the
snap info command to get more details about it:
$ snap info hello name: hello summary: "GNU Hello, the \"hello world\" snap" publisher: description: GNU Hello prints a friendly greeting commands: - hello tracking: installed: 2.10 (x1) 65kB - refreshed: 2016-12-23 17:03:55 +0100 CET
Ubuntu Tutorials are just like learning from pair programming except you can do it on your own.
Recommended snap tutorials to get started: