Explanation: Architectures

The platforms and architectures keywords in a snapcraft.yaml file are used to define where snaps are built and where they will execute.

The keywords are base-dependent:

  • platforms is used for core24 snaps
  • architectures is used for core20 and core22 snaps

Build-on, build-for, and run-on

build-on, build-for, and run-on are used within the architectures and platforms keywords in a snapcraft.yaml file.

  • core24 uses build-on and build-for
  • core22 uses build-on and build-for
  • core20 uses build-on and run-on

build-on

The architecture of the machine that the snap is built on (i.e. the machine where snapcraft runs).

build-for

The architecture of the machine that the snap is built for (i.e. the machine where the snap will be installed).

run-on

This is used for core20 and has the same meaning as build-for. It has been replaced with the preferred term build-for in core22 and newer bases.

Build plans

A build plan is a list of what snaps snapcraft will build. It can be defined in the snapcraft.yaml and filtered with command-line arguments and environment variables.

Snapcraft can create multiple snaps, each built for a different architecture. Consider the following equivalent snapcraft.yaml snippets.

base: core24
platforms:
  amd64:
  arm64:
    build-on: [amd64, arm64]
    build-for: [arm64]
base: core22
architectures:
  - build-on: [amd64]
    build-for: [amd64]
  - build-on: [amd64, arm64]
    build-for: [arm64]

If snapcraft executes on an amd64 machine, then it will create the following build plan:

Created build plan:
  build-on: amd64 build-for: amd64
  build-on: amd64 build-for: arm64

Two snap files will be created: my-snap_1.0_amd64.snap and my-snap_1.0_arm64.snap.

If snapcraft executes on an arm64 machine, then it will create the following build plan:

Created build plan:
  build-on: arm64 build-for: arm64

One snap file will be created: my-snap_1.0_arm64.snap.

core24

The build plan can be filtered with one of the following methods:

  • environment variable CRAFT_BUILD_FOR=<arch>
  • environment variable SNAPCRAFT_BUILD_FOR=<platform>
  • command-line argument --build-for=<arch>
  • command-line argument --platform=<platform>

The command-line argument takes priority over the environment variable. In the example above, using --build-for=arm64 would cause snapcraft to build one snap for arm64.

Building with a provider

When building a snap with LXD or Multipass, each build in the build plan occurs in its own environment.

Destructive mode

In destructive mode, snapcraft will only build one snap at a time. If multiple snaps can be built, snapcraft will fail to run. The build plan must be narrowed down with the --build-for or --platform arguments.

core22

The build plan can be filtered with the environment variable SNAPCRAFT_BUILD_FOR=<arch> or the command-line argument --build-for=<arch>. The command-line argument takes priority over the environment variable. In the example above, using --build-for=arm64 would cause snapcraft to only build one snap for arm64.

Building with a provider

When building a snap with LXD or Multipass, each build in the build plan occurs in its own environment.

Building with a provider

When building a snap with LXD or Multipass, each build in the build plan occurs in its own environment.

Destructive mode

In destructive mode, all builds in the build plan occur in the same location. This can cause unintended consequences, such as parts not being re-built for each architecture.

To work around this, use --build-for or SNAPCRAFT_BUILD_FOR to build one snap at a time and run snapcraft clean --destructive-mode when changing the build-for architecture.

core20

Build plans are not supported in core20 so building a core20 snap will only produce one snap.

Snapcraft does not automatically clean the build environment when the architecture keyword is changed. Therefore snapcraft clean should be run when changing architectures.

Remote build

Launchpad supports building snaps on multiple architectures or platforms.

If architectures or platforms are not defined in the snapcraft.yaml, then Launchpad will build the snap on amd64.

If architectures are defined in the snapcraft.yaml, then Launchpad will build the snap for all build-for architectures.

When a snap can be built on multiple architectures, Launchpad can choose which build-on platform to use. Consider the following equivalent snippets:

base: core24
platforms:
  ppc64el:
    build-on: [amd64, arm64]
    build-for: [ppc64el]
base: core22
architectures:
- build-on: [amd64, arm64]
  build-for: [ppc64el]

Launchpad may build the snap on an amd64 or arm64 platform. This choice is controlled by Launchpad and cannot be influenced by the user.

Architecture errors

Could not make build plan

  Could not make build plan: build-on architectures in snapcraft.yaml does not match host architecture (amd64).

This core22 error has two common causes.

The first cause is that snapcraft is not able to create a build plan because the there are no build-on architectures matching the host’s architecture. To resolve this, build the snap on an architecture listed in the snapcraft.yaml or add the host architecture as a build-on value.

The second cause is due to not enclosing a list of multiple architectures with brackets. For example:

architectures:
  - build-on: amd64, arm64
    build-for: [arm64]

should be changed to:

architectures:
  - build-on: [amd64, arm64]
    build-for: [arm64]

The brackets are required for lists. This problem is described in more detail here.

Unsupported architectures in remote build

The following architectures are not supported by the remote builder: amd64, arm64.
Please remove them from the architecture list and try again.

This error has two common causes. First, the architecture may not be supported by launchpad. See here for a list of architectures supported by Launchpad.

The second cause is the same as above - not enclosing a list of multiple architectures with brackets.


Last updated 8 days ago.