Install snapd on OpenEmbedded/Yocto

As OpenEmbedded/Yocto is a meta distribution build system which doesn’t provide you by default with any binary packages, we don’t do this either for snapd.

To allow inclusion of snapd in any Linux distribution built with OpenEmbedded/Yocto, a so called meta-layer meta-snappy exists which include all necessary recipes. These recipes cover required components and define dependencies on other dependencies outside of the meta-snappy layer.

To keep things simple we only show here how you can include meta-snappy in a generic Yocto build targetting the QEMU emulator. More information about how to start with Yocto can be found here.

First, setup the Yocto build environment based on the 2.2 (morty) release:

$ git clone -b morty git://

Now we need to add the meta-snappy layer into the build environment:

$ cd poky
$ git clone

After this we can start setting up the actual build environment:

$ source oe-init-build-env

Once that is done, we need to add the meta-snappy layer in the just created conf/bblayers.conf configuration file. Adjust the file to look like the follwoing, but replace /path/to with the correct absolute path to the meta-snappy repository we just cloned:

   /path/to/meta-snappy \

The last thing we need to do now before we can start a build is to adjust our conf/local.conf configuration file to enable a few features snapd depends on:

$ cat << EOF >> conf/local.conf
DISTRO_FEATURES_append = " systemd"
VIRTUAL-RUNTIME_init_manager = "systemd"
VIRTUAL-RUNTIME_initscripts = ""

That’s it. Now we can start the build of the demo image the meta-snappy layer provides, which will setup everything correctly:

$ bitbake snapd-demo-image

The build can take a while, depending on your machine, as it’s building a whole distribution from scratch. Once the build is done you can load the created image in QEMU with:

$ runqemu qemux86

For more information about OpenEmbedded/Yocto please have a look at the official documentation here.

Next Steps