Versioning Policy

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Version policy for OE recipes

There is general confusion about what a correct PV string should look like. This page attempts to define a standard for packages in OpenEmbedded to follow. Whilst not mandatory, it is strongly recommended.

OE's versioning policy aims to follow that from Debian (and is hence compatible with opkg). One key phrase to note is "The lexical comparison is a comparison of ASCII values modified so that all the letters sort earlier than all the non-letters." This means characters like + and - have a higher priority than alphanumeric characters. If in doubt, experiment with the opkg-compare-versions program from opkg-utils.


Our current policy is:

  • PN may contain hyphens
  • PV should avoid containing hyphens
  • PR must not contain hyphens

It is a common misconception that hyphens are not allowed in PV. Looking at packages/linux shows they can be used but extreme caution is recommended (see pitfalls below). They wouldn't be allowed under Debian rules if PR wasn't specificed but since OE always sets PR by default, hyphens are allowed by default.

SCM-based packages

When building software from a non-release version fetched from git, use the following:

PV = "<version>+git${SRCPV}"

Where <version> is the most recent release version number prior to the revision being fetched. SRCREV should be set to point to the revision to fetch; if the specified revision is not on the master branch, specify the branch in the SRC_URI entry with ;branch=<branchname>

The recipe file should be named <basename>

Similar patterns should be used for recipes fetched from Subversion and other SCMs.


Prerelease packages such as

  • foo_2.4.4rc2
  • foo_2.4.4b1
  • foo_2.4.4-git5
  • foo_2.4.4-pre1

cause a lot of trouble with package managers when the final foo_2.4.4 gets released. So we should use the following:

  • foo_2.4.3+2.4.4rc2