Extending the Build Pipeline

Builder uses the concept of a “Build Pipeline” to build a project. The build pipeline consistes of multiple “phases” and build “stages” run in a given phase.

For example, in the Ide.BuildPhase.DOWNLAODS phase, you might have a stage that downloads and installs the dependencies for your project. The Flatpak extension does this when building Flatpak-based project configurations.

The various phases of the build pipeline are the following and are always executed in exactly this sequence up to the requested phase.

Build Phases

  • Ide.BuildPhase.PREPARE is the first phase of the build pipeline. Use this to create necessary directories and other preparation steps.
  • Ide.BuildPhase.DOWNLOADS should be used to download and cache any build artifacts that are needed during the build.
  • Ide.BuildPhase.DEPENDENCIES should build any dependencies that are needed to successfully build the project.
  • Ide.BuildPhase.AUTOGEN should generate any necessary project files. Contrast this with the Ide.BuildPhase.CONFIGURE phase which runs the configuration scripts.
  • Ide.BuildPhase.CONFIGURE should run configuration scripts such as ./configure, meson, or cmake.
  • Ide.BuildPhase.BUILD should perform the incremental build process such as make or ninja.
  • Ide.BuildPhase.INSTALL should install the project to the configured prefix.
  • Ide.BuildPhase.EXPORT should be used to attach export hooks such as buliding a Flatpak bundle, Debian, or RPM package.

Additionally, there are phases which have special meaning.

  • Ide.BuildPhase.BEFORE can be XOR’d with any previous phase to indicate it should run as part of the phase, but before the phase has started.
  • Ide.BuildPhase.AFTER can be XOR’d with any previous phase to indicate it should run as part of the phase, but after the phase has completed.
  • Ide.BuildPhase.FINISHED indicates that a previous build request has finished.
  • Ide.BuildPhase.FAILED indicates that a previous build request has failed.

Creating a Build Stage

To add a build stage, we start by creating a build pipeline addin. When it loads we will register our stage in the appropriate phase.

# my_plugin.py

import gi

from gi.repository import GObject
from gi.repository import Ide

class MyBuildStage(Ide.Object, Ide.BuildStage):

    def do_execute(self, pipeline, cancellable):
        This is a synchronous build stage, which will block the
        main loop. If what you need to do is long running, you
        might consider using do_execute_async() and
        print("Running my build stage!")

    def do_clean_async(self, pipeline, cancellable, callback, data):
        When the user requests that the build pipeline run the
        clean operation (often before a "rebuild"), this function
        will be executed. Use it to delete stale directories, etc.
        task = Gio.Task.new(self, cancellable, callback)

    def do_clean_finish(self, task):
        return task.propagate_boolean()

    def do_query(self, pipeline, cancellable):
        If you need to check if this stage still needs to
        be run, use the query signal to check an external

        By default, stages are marked completed after they
        run. That means a second attempt to run the stage
        will be skipped unless set_completed() is set to False.

        If you need to do something asynchronous, call
        self.pause() to pause the stage until the async
        operation has completed, and then call unpause()
        to resume execution of the stage.
        # This will run on every request to run the phase

    def do_chain(self, next):
        Sometimes, you have build stages that are next to
        each other in the pipeline and they can be coalesced
        into a single operation.

        One such example is "make" followed by "make install".

        You can detect that here and reduce how much work is
        done by the build pipeline.
        return False

class MyPipelineAddin(GObject.Object, Ide.BuildPipelineAddin):

    def do_load(self, pipeline):
        stage = MyBuildStage()
        phase = Ide.BuildPhase.BUILD | Ide.BuildPhase.AFTER
        stage_id = pipeline.connect(phase, 100, stage)

        # track() can be used to auto-unregister the phase when
        # the pipeline is removed.


connect() was an unfortunate API choice and will likely be changed in a future release to avoid collisions with signals.