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2.3 KiB


Butch is a relatively small and simple package and build manager, in less than 1000 SLOC of portable C code.

It stands out among other build managers in that it allows to do more than one thing at once. in the default configuration, 16 parallel download jobs (if necessary) and one build job are started, however changing these numbers just requires overriding them via the env variables BUTCH_DL_THREADS and BUTCH_BUILD_THREADS.

as soon as one download finished (and the checksum is valid), the build of the package will be started, unless all build slots are currently in use, or other dependencies not yet downloaded or built.

for any job, butch writes a shell script based on a user-supplied template (see sabotage linux repo for examples) which is then started and its output redirected into a log file.

It uses a custom, ini-like package format which contains the following information:

  • dependency information (section deps)
  • information about a tarball (section vars) (can contain source or binaries)
    • filesize
    • sha512 hash
    • tardir, if the tarball doesnt extract to a dir of the same name
    • other variables
  • mirror information (section mirrors)
  • build section (required to be the last section in the file) the contents of the build section are copied verbatim into the generated build script.

all sections are optional. it's entirely possible to have a package that just contains a list of dependencies (a so-called metapackage), or one that just contains a build section, or one that just contains a mirror url for a tarball + a main section containing the metainformation for that tarball.

example package script:




./configure && make && make install


cd /tmp
mkdir butch
cd butch
git clone
git clone lib
git clone
export PATH=$PATH:/tmp/butch/rcb2
ln -s /tmp/butch/rcb/ /tmp/butch/rcb2/rcb2
cd butch