This blog is formatted using Jekyll and I use the jekyll-redirect-from plugin to do URL redirection, so that old blog posts migrated my former blog platform can still be accessed via the same URL.

My regular desktop operating system and Jekyll has been packaged by Fedora for some years. However, most plugins, including jekyll-redirect-from, are NOT packaged by Fedora.

In the past, this has led me to have to muck about with other package tools, like gem or pip. I don’t like it. They put stuff in weird places, duplicate system provided dependencies and just cause a mess.

No…call me stubborn, but I’d just like a nice simple RPM packages. Thank you very much.

Enter Fedora Copr. Copr is a front-end to Fedora’s package build system that allows one to build custom RPM packages and host them in a personal, publicly-accesible, yum repositories.

Copr has been around for a while, and I play around building some Emacs packages about 4 years ago, but it’s become substantially easier.

In just a few commands, I can have the Jekyll plugin I want, or really most Gems, converted to an RPM and available for me to install.


First, in order to use Copr, a Fedora Account is required. Signing up for one is free and relatively easy.

Next, I’d highly recommend getting the copr-cli package installed on your Fedora machine. It’s part of the default Fedora repositories, so it should be as simple as dnf install copr-cli.

Almost all of the tasks could be done through the Copr Web UI, but in this post, I’m using copr-cli.

Next, populate the Copr token by visiting

Put the output there into ~/.config/copr. It should look something like this:

login = gibberish
username = your_user_name
token = gibberish
copr_url =
# expiration date: 2022-07-09

copr whoami should now return your Fedora Account name:

[chale@work-wired ~]$ copr whoami

Creating a project

The first step is to create a project. This acts as your yum repository. It’s possible to create multiple projects, if desired.

For example, I have an emacs project for Emacs related packages, and I created a jekyll-gems project for all the Jekyll Gems I intend to use:

To create a project named jekyll-gems, run the following command:

[chale@work-wired ~]$ copr-cli create --chroot fedora-35-x86_64 jekyll-gems
New project was successfully created.

The --chroot fedora-35-x86_64 specificies the package build environment. There are many different options. Fedora 35 seemed reasonable to me, since I’m currently using it, although rawhide may be a more future proof selection.

Building the Package

Now that we have a project, building a package from a Gem file in just one command:

[chale@work-wired ~]$ copr-cli buildgem --gem jekyll-redirect-from jekyll-gems
Build was added to jekyll-gems:
Created builds: 3144944
Watching build(s): (this may be safely interrupted)
  17:17:28 Build 3144944: pending
  17:17:58 Build 3144944: running
  17:20:28 Build 3144944: succeeded

This builds an RPM from the Gem, jekyll-redirect-from into the project jekyll-gems.

Since, jekyll-redirect-from is hosted on RubyGems, Copr pulls the Gem file directly from there without any additional information required.

After the build has succeeded, the package is ready to install!

Installing the Package

First enable your Copr repository. The name should always be in the form of “Fedora Account/Project Name”:

[chale@work-wired ~]$ sudo dnf copr enable xlark/jekyll-gems 
Enabling a Copr repository. Please note that this repository is not part
of the main distribution, and quality may vary.

The Fedora Project does not exercise any power over the contents of
this repository beyond the rules outlined in the Copr FAQ at
and packages are not held to any quality or security level.

Please do not file bug reports about these packages in Fedora
Bugzilla. In case of problems, contact the owner of this repository.

Do you really want to enable [y/N]: y
Repository successfully enabled.

After that, we can just install the package like normal! By Fedora standards, all RPMs for Gems are always prefixed by “rubygem-“

[chale@work-wired ~]$ sudo dnf install rubygem-jekyll-redirect-from
Copr repo for jekyll-gems owned by xlark                                                              15 kB/s | 2.6 kB     00:00    
Dependencies resolved.
 Package                            Architecture Version                Repository                                              Size
 rubygem-jekyll-redirect-from       noarch       0.16.0-1.fc35        14 k

Transaction Summary
Install  1 Package

Total download size: 14 k
Installed size: 9.8 k
Is this ok [y/N]: 

Sharing your project

Projects and their corresponding repositories created in Copr are public. Anyone running Fedora can enable your repository using dnf copr enable.

Others can benefit from whatever you package using Copr, so if you package something useful, feel free to share with others!