The Yocto Project 1.4 Release (Dylan) has just come out, and we want to tell you about the improved Hob that comes with the release.

Over the past six months, the team has mainly focused on two areas:

  • Synchronizing Hob and BitBake
  • Improving image customization

A single configuration and two user interfaces

Prior to the 1.4 release, Hob had its own separate configuration, which was not linked to your .conf files. As a result, your build output could be different depending on which interface you used to fire your build: command line (CLI) or graphical (Hob).

We have started the process of "synchronizing" Hob and BitBake, so that both the CLI and Hob share a single configuration. This work is still in progress, but from the 1.4 release forward Hob will be using the local.conf and bblayers.conf values for the following variables:

  • DL_DIR

This synchronization, of course, goes both ways. For example, if you change DL_DIR to something silly using Hob, you can see the change in your local.conf file:

The local.conf file and Hob are now in sync

Improving image customization

The team has made improvements to the tables that display recipes and packages.

Fixing the sorting

Because table sorting was a bit broken prior to 1.4, we have tidied up the sorting behavior such that it works consistently across all tables.

Fixing the packages table

Previously, packages were grouped by recipe. These groupings rendered sorting and searching virtually useless.

Old packages table with recipe grouping

Groupings by recipe have been removed, so that you can reliably sort and search for packages. The table is also much more readable and more easily scanned as a result.

The new packages table, without the recipe grouping

If you want to see which packages have been built from a certain recipe, sort the table by the newly added "Recipe" column.

All packages sorted by recipe

If you sort the "All Packages" table by the "Recipe" column as shown above, you will see that the recipe base-files-3.0.14-r73 built 4 packages (base-files, base-files-dbg, base-files-dev and base-files-doc), but only the first one (base-files) is selected to be included in the final image.

Exposing recipe and package information

Thanks to variables such as SUMMARY, DESCRIPTION, and HOMEPAGE, a wealth of useful information exists in recipe files. There are also a lot of interesting gems hidden in your build directory, but Hob would show you none of them ... until now.

Using this release, you can click on any recipe or package to see useful information. Summaries and descriptions are available for recipes:

Information about the expat recipe

A list of files is also there for packages.

Package information and list of files for the package initscripts

Real search

In previous releases, searching in Hob was not really searching. Typing a search query would just bring into focus the first instance of the string typed. If the table was not sorted by recipe or package name, you were bound to miss other items matching your search query.

Thanks to some stellar work from our development team, search is now not only a real search, it is also a real-time search. The content of the table is narrowed down to those rows that contain your search query as you type. Check the video below to see it working.

What else?

The team has made many other improvements of which here are just a few:

  • Improves the way you configure sstate mirrors
  • Enables reordering layers
  • Hob now displays warnings that arise during recipe parsing
  • Hob no longer breaks if you delete or move one of your included layer’s directory

We hope you find this new version of Hob useful! If you have any feedback, please tell us about it through the Yocto Project mailing list or the IRC channel.