The Comprehensive Guide to Installing and Using OSC Command Line Tool for Open Build Service (2023)


Welcome to the comprehensive guide on using the OSC (Open Build Service Command Line Tool) for efficient management within the Open Build Service. OSC serves as a powerful client to interact with various facets of the Open Build Service, enabling you to handle packages, edit metadata, query build results, and much more.

Installing OSC

To begin, installing OSC is a straightforward process across various Linux distributions:

For openSUSE distributions or from the OBS project openSUSE:Tools, use:

root # zypper addrepo
root # zypper install osc

For other systems, use your preferred package manager or opt for the AppImage file, a self-contained application that runs on multiple distributions.

Configuring OSC

OSC typically has a default configuration suitable for most scenarios. However, customizing it according to specific needs can enhance functionality. In the ~/.oscrc file, under the general section, various options can be set:

  • apiurl: Utilized to access the Open Build Service API server, crucial for working with different OBS servers. Creating an alias, e.g., iosc, can simplify server distinction.
  • extra-pkgs: Includes additional packages for local package building.
  • build_repository: Sets the default platform when omitted in osc build.
  • exclude_glob: Lists file names to ignore during operations.
  • checkout_no_colon: Alters directory structure when checking out projects.
  • use_keyring: Manages password storage, allowing integration with default keyrings.


Getting Help

  • For general command assistance: osc --help
  • Specific subcommands: osc help SUBCOMMAND

First-Time Usage

When using OSC for the first time, the tool prompts for OBS instance credentials. To enhance security:

  • Consider using a Password Manager for storing credentials.
  • Configure use_keyring to store passwords securely.
  • Optionally, obfuscate passwords in the configuration file using plaintext_passwd.

Overview of Commands

OSC operates akin to Git, offering various subcommands for different functions:

  • List Existing Content: osc ls
  • Checkout Content: osc co [PROJECT] [PACKAGE]
  • Update Working Directory: osc up
  • Upload Changed Content: osc ci
  • Check Commit Log: osc log
  • Managing Changes: osc st, osc add, osc rm, osc addremove, osc diff
  • View Build Results: osc results, osc buildlog
  • Trigger Package Rebuild: osc rebuildpac
  • Build a Package Locally: osc build
  • Metadata Operations: osc meta


Mastering OSC empowers efficient management and manipulation within the Open Build Service environment. By understanding its intricacies and commands, users can streamline package handling, edit metadata, query build results, and significantly enhance their workflow. This comprehensive guide serves as an indispensable resource for navigating and utilizing OSC effectively.

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