Understanding compile time dependencies DEPENDS and run time dependencies RDEPENDS in yocto recipe

Most software packages have a short list of other packages that they require, which are called dependencies. These dependencies fall into two main categories: build-time dependencies, which are required when the software is built; and runtime dependencies, which are required to be installed on the target in order for the software to run.

Within a recipe, you specify build-time dependencies using the DEPENDS variable. Although nuances exist, items specified in DEPENDS should be names of other recipes. It is important that you specify all build-time dependencies explicitly. If you do not, due to the parallel nature of BitBake’s execution, you can end up with a race condition where the dependency is present for one task of a recipe (e.g. do_configure) and then gone when the next task runs (e.g. do_compile).

Another consideration is that configure scripts might automatically check for optional dependencies and enable corresponding functionality if those dependencies are found. This behavior means that to ensure deterministic results and thus avoid more race conditions, you need to either explicitly specify these dependencies as well, or tell the configure script explicitly to disable the functionality. If you wish to make a recipe that is more generally useful (e.g. publish the recipe in a layer for others to use), instead of hard-disabling the functionality, you can use the PACKAGECONFIG variable to allow functionality and the corresponding dependencies to be enabled and disabled easily by other users of the recipe.

Similar to build-time dependencies, you specify runtime dependencies through a variable – RDEPENDS, which is package-specific. All variables that are package-specific need to have the name of the package added to the end as an override. Since the main package for a recipe has the same name as the recipe, and the recipe’s name can be found through the ${PN} variable, then you specify the dependencies for the main package by setting RDEPENDS_${PN}. If the package were named ${PN}-tools, then you would set RDEPENDS_${PN}-tools, and so forth.

Some runtime dependencies will be set automatically at packaging time. These dependencies include any shared library dependencies (i.e. if a package “example” contains “libexample” and another package “mypackage” contains a binary that links to “libexample” then the OpenEmbedded build system will automatically add a runtime dependency to “mypackage” on “example”).

Reference – http://www.yoctoproject.org/docs/latest/mega-manual/mega-manual.html 

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