elbe-pbuilder - High Level Interface to the ELBE Package Build System. Allows one to create a package builder for a project and to build Debian packages.


elbe pbuilder build  [--project <project> | --xmlfile <xmlfile>]
elbe pbuilder create [--project <project> | --xmlfile <xmlfile>] [--writeproject <filename>]


Creates a pbuilder for a specified project and builds the Debian package like pbuilder, but for the configured ELBE project.


--project <dir>

key (/var/cache/elbe/<uuid> for the project inside the initvm to use. Use elbe control list_projects to get a list of the available projects. Another option would be to use the –writeproject option, when the pbuilder is created.

--xmlfile <xmlfile>

This file is used to create a new ELBE project including the pbuilder environment.

--cpuset <int>

When this value is not -1 (the default), the pbuilder is run using taskset <cpuset> which allows one to limit the number of cpus used for the build. This is useful when multithreading and qemu-user yield problem with e.g. java.

--profile string

Specify the build profile(s) to build. (dpkg-buildpackage -P<profile>) Provide multiple profiles as a comma separated list.


Combined with the create command it creates a chroot environment to make crossbuilding possible. Combined with the build command it will use this environment for crossbuilding.


The compiler cache ccache is activated by default. Use this option with the create command to deactivate it.

--ccache-size <string>

Use this option to configure the limit of the compiler cache. Should be a number followed by an optional suffix: k, M, G, T. Use 0 for no limit.


--variant <variant>

comma separated list of variants

--proxy <proxy>

add proxy to mirrors



A pbuilder environment for the given project or xml File will be created. If –cross is given the pbuilder environment will be created to crossbuild packages. (If –cross is given with the create command you have to use –cross with the build command also.) The compiler cache ccache gets installed by default to speed up recompilations. To deactivate use --no-ccache with the create command. It is possible to change the size with --ccache-size <string> where string should be a number followed by an optional suffix: k, M, G, T. For no limit use 0.


Build the Debianized Project in the current working directory. (A valid ./debian directory needs to exist.) If –project was specified, the specified build environment will be used. If –xmlfile is specified, a new build environment will be created for the given ELBE XML File, and the Debianized Project in the current working directory will be built. The result of the package build is stored in ../ like pbuilder does.


In this benchmark all opportunitys for creating a pbuilder environment and building a package with it were tested. All environments were created with the armhf-ti-beaglebone-black.xml example and with cross, ccache, no-cross or no-ccache in all possible variations. The build command was tested with the zlib package. All times are real-time captures. The build command with ccache was tested twice to see the impact of ccache.

pbuilder no-ccache create 6m35,003s pbuilder no-ccache build 7m19,467s

pbuilder no-ccache cross create 4m2,553s pbuilder no-ccache build 2m39,151s

pbuilder ccache create 6m44,117s pbuilder ccache build 1. 7m36,130s 2. 4m47,050s

pbuilder ccache cross create 4m4,190s pbuilder ccache cross build 1. 2m40,159s 2. 2m32,650s


  • Build a pbuilder for myarm.xml. Save project name into myarm.prj

    # elbe pbuilder create --xmlfile myarm.xml --writeproject myarm.prj
  • Use the pbuilder we have built, to build program, using the prj File generated in parent directory

    # cd program
    # elbe pbuilder build --project `cat ../myarm.prj`
  • Use the pbuilder we have built, to build program, using the prj File generated in parent directory. And don’t use more than one CPU as a workaround for qemu-user and java problems.

    # cd program
    # elbe pbuilder build --project `cat ../myarm.prj` --cpuset 1


elbe-control(1) elbe-initvm(1) pdebuild(1)


Part of the elbe(1) suite