Building a snap RPM for Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 8

Snap is currently available for Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 8 and RHEL 7.6+. See Installing snap on Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) for installation instructions.

However, if you are an advanced user and wish to see how snap is built, its RPMs can be built and manually installed relatively easily, as outlined below.

Building the RPM manually

First, both the new developer-centric CodeReady Linux Builder and the AppStream additional user space application repositories need to be added, followed by the Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux repository:

$ sudo subscription-manager repos --enable codeready-builder-for-rhel-8-x86_64-rpms
$ sudo subscription-manager repos --enable rhel-8-for-x86_64-appstream-rpms
$ sudo dnf install https://dl.fedoraproject.org/pub/epel/epel-release-latest-8.noarch.rpm

Next, refresh the package list and install a few dependencies:

$ sudo dnf upgrade
$ sudo dnf module install go-toolset
$ sudo dnf install rpmdevtools

The snapd code base includes an RPM SPEC file, which contains the recipe used to build the RPM packages. To setup the RPM build environment, first prepare the RPM tree in your home directory, fetch the source tarballs and extract the RPM spec:

$ rpmdev-setuptree
$ cd ~/rpmbuild/SOURCES
$ curl -L \
    https://github.com/snapcore/snapd/releases/download/2.42/snapd_2.42.no-vendor.tar.xz \
    -o snapd_2.42.no-vendor.tar.xz 
$ tar -xvJ -C ~/rpmbuild/SPECS --strip-components=3 \
    -f snapd_2.42.no-vendor.tar.xz \
    snapd-2.42/packaging/fedora/

Then, while still in ~/rpmbuild/SOURCES, fetch the remaining release packages and install the build dependencies:

$ spectool -g ~/rpmbuild/SOURCES/snapd.spec
$ sudo dnf builddep ~/rpmbuild/SPECS/snapd.spec -y

Three RPMs form the complete snapd installation, and these are built as follows:

$ rpmbuild -bb ~/rpmbuild/SPECS/snapd.spec

Finally, all three RPM packages can be installed:

$ sudo dnf localinstall \
   ~/rpmbuild/RPMS/x86_64/snap-confine-2.42-0.el8.x86_64.rpm \
   ~/rpmbuild/RPMS/x86_64/snapd-2.42-0.el8.x86_64.rpm \
   ~/rpmbuild/RPMS/noarch/snapd-selinux-2.42-0.el8.noarch.rpm

Once installed, the systemd unit that manages the main snap communication socket needs to be enabled:

$ sudo systemctl enable --now snapd.socket

The snapd environment can now be tested, and hopefully, used productively:

$ snap install hello-world

A reboot/logout/login should put hello-world in the path.

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