Require/include: Reusing recipe contents

In many packages where you are maintaining multiple versions you'll often end up with several recipes which are either identical, or have only minor differences between them.

The require and/or include directive can be used to include common content from one file into other. You should always look for a way to factor out common functionality into an include file when adding new versions of a recipe.


Both require and include perform the same function - including the contents of another file into this recipe. The difference is that require will generate an error if the file is not found while include will not. For this reason include should not be used in new recipes.

For example the clamav recipe looks like this:


PR = "r0"

Note that all of the functionality of the recipe is provided in the file, only the release number is defined in the recipe. Each of the recipes includes the same file to save having to duplicate any functionality. This also means that as new versions are released it's a simple matter of copying the recipe and resetting the release number back to zero.

The following example from iproute2 shows the recipe adding additional patches that are not specified by the common included file. These are patches only needed for newer release and by only adding them in this recipe it permits the common code to be used for both old and new recipes:

PR = "r1"

SRC_URI += "file://iproute2-2.6.15_no_strip.diff;patch=1;pnum=0 \


DATE = "060323"

The following example from cherokee shows a similar method of including additional patches for this version only. However it also show another technique in which the configure task is defined in the recipe for this version, thus replacing the configure task that is provided by the common include:

PR = "r7"

SRC_URI_append = "file://configure.patch;patch=1 \
                  file://;patch=1 \
                  file://Makefile.cget.patch;patch=1 \


do_configure() {
        sed -i 's:-L\$:-L${STAGING_LIBDIR} -L\$:' ${S}/*libtool