4 Concepts and Reference

In order to configure and use Toaster, you should understand some concepts and have some basic command reference material available. This final chapter provides conceptual information on layer sources, releases, and JSON configuration files. Also provided is a quick look at some useful manage.py commands that are Toaster-specific. Information on manage.py commands does exist across the Web and the information in this manual by no means attempts to provide a command comprehensive reference.

4.1 Layer Source

In general, a “layer source” is a source of information about existing layers. In particular, we are concerned with layers that you can use with the Yocto Project and Toaster. This chapter describes a particular type of layer source called a “layer index.”

A layer index is a web application that contains information about a set of custom layers. A good example of an existing layer index is the OpenEmbedded Layer Index. A public instance of this layer index exists at http://layers.openembedded.org. You can find the code for this layer index’s web application at http://git.yoctoproject.org/cgit/cgit.cgi/layerindex-web/.

When you tie a layer source into Toaster, it can query the layer source through a REST API, store the information about the layers in the Toaster database, and then show the information to users. Users are then able to view that information and build layers from Toaster itself without worrying about cloning or editing the BitBake layers configuration file bblayers.conf.

Tying a layer source into Toaster is convenient when you have many custom layers that need to be built on a regular basis by a community of developers. In fact, Toaster comes pre-configured with the OpenEmbedded Metadata Index.


You do not have to use a layer source to use Toaster. Tying into a layer source is optional.

4.1.1 Setting Up and Using a Layer Source

To use your own layer source, you need to set up the layer source and then tie it into Toaster. This section describes how to tie into a layer index in a manner similar to the way Toaster ties into the OpenEmbedded Metadata Index. Understanding Your Layers

The obvious first step for using a layer index is to have several custom layers that developers build and access using the Yocto Project on a regular basis. This set of layers needs to exist and you need to be familiar with where they reside. You will need that information when you set up the code for the web application that “hooks” into your set of layers.

For general information on layers, see the “The Yocto Project Layer Model” section in the Yocto Project Overview and Concepts Manual. For information on how to create layers, see the “Understanding and Creating Layers” section in the Yocto Project Development Tasks Manual. Configuring Toaster to Hook Into Your Layer Index

If you want Toaster to use your layer index, you must host the web application in a server to which Toaster can connect. You also need to give Toaster the information about your layer index. In other words, you have to configure Toaster to use your layer index. This section describes two methods by which you can configure and use your layer index.

In the previous section, the code for the OpenEmbedded Metadata Index (i.e. http://layers.openembedded.org) was referenced. You can use this code, which is at http://git.yoctoproject.org/cgit/cgit.cgi/layerindex-web/, as a base to create your own layer index. Use the Administration Interface

Access the administration interface through a browser by entering the URL of your Toaster instance and adding “/admin” to the end of the URL. As an example, if you are running Toaster locally, use the following URL:

The administration interface has a “Layer sources” section that includes an “Add layer source” button. Click that button and provide the required information. Make sure you select “layerindex” as the layer source type. Use the Fixture Feature

The Django fixture feature overrides the default layer server when you use it to specify a custom URL. To use the fixture feature, create (or edit) the file bitbake/lib/toaster.orm/fixtures/custom.xml, and then set the following Toaster setting to your custom URL:

<?xml version="1.0" ?>
<django-objects version="1.0">
   <object model="orm.toastersetting" pk="100">
      <field name="name" type="CharField">CUSTOM_LAYERINDEX_SERVER</field>
      <field name="value" type="CharField">https://layers.my_organization.org/layerindex/branch/master/layers/</field>

When you start Toaster for the first time, or if you delete the file toaster.sqlite and restart, the database will populate cleanly from this layer index server.

Once the information has been updated, verify the new layer information is available by using the Toaster web interface. To do that, visit the “All compatible layers” page inside a Toaster project. The layers from your layer source should be listed there.

If you change the information in your layer index server, refresh the Toaster database by running the following command:

$ bitbake/lib/toaster/manage.py lsupdates

If Toaster can reach the API URL, you should see a message telling you that Toaster is updating the layer source information.

4.2 Releases

When you create a Toaster project using the web interface, you are asked to choose a “Release.” In the context of Toaster, the term “Release” refers to a set of layers and a BitBake version the OpenEmbedded build system uses to build something. As shipped, Toaster is pre-configured with releases that correspond to Yocto Project release branches. However, you can modify, delete, and create new releases according to your needs. This section provides some background information on releases.

4.2.1 Pre-Configured Releases

As shipped, Toaster is configured to use a specific set of releases. Of course, you can always configure Toaster to use any release. For example, you might want your project to build against a specific commit of any of the “out-of-the-box” releases. Or, you might want your project to build against different revisions of OpenEmbedded and BitBake.

As shipped, Toaster is configured to work with the following releases:

4.3 Configuring Toaster

In order to use Toaster, you must configure the database with the default content. The following subsections describe various aspects of Toaster configuration.

4.3.1 Configuring the Workflow

The bldcontrol/management/commands/checksettings.py file controls workflow configuration. The following steps outline the process to initially populate this database.

  1. The default project settings are set from orm/fixtures/settings.xml.

  2. The default project distro and layers are added from orm/fixtures/poky.xml if poky is installed. If poky is not installed, they are added from orm/fixtures/oe-core.xml.

  3. If the orm/fixtures/custom.xml file exists, then its values are added.

  4. The layer index is then scanned and added to the database.

Once these steps complete, Toaster is set up and ready to use.

4.3.2 Customizing Pre-Set Data

The pre-set data for Toaster is easily customizable. You can create the orm/fixtures/custom.xml file to customize the values that go into to the database. Customization is additive, and can either extend or completely replace the existing values.

You use the orm/fixtures/custom.xml file to change the default project settings for the machine, distro, file images, and layers. When creating a new project, you can use the file to define the offered alternate project release selections. For example, you can add one or more additional selections that present custom layer sets or distros, and any other local or proprietary content.

Additionally, you can completely disable the content from the oe-core.xml and poky.xml files by defining the section shown below in the settings.xml file. For example, this option is particularly useful if your custom configuration defines fewer releases or layers than the default fixture files.

The following example sets “name” to “CUSTOM_XML_ONLY” and its value to “True”.

<object model="orm.toastersetting" pk="99">
   <field type="CharField" name="name">CUSTOM_XML_ONLY</field>
   <field type="CharField" name="value">True</field>

4.3.3 Understanding Fixture File Format

The following is an overview of the file format used by the oe-core.xml, poky.xml, and custom.xml files.

The following subsections describe each of the sections in the fixture files, and outline an example section of the XML code. you can use to help understand this information and create a local custom.xml file. Defining the Default Distro and Other Values

This section defines the default distro value for new projects. By default, it reserves the first Toaster Setting record “1”. The following demonstrates how to set the project default value for DISTRO:

<!-- Set the project default value for DISTRO -->
<object model="orm.toastersetting" pk="1">
   <field type="CharField" name="name">DEFCONF_DISTRO</field>
   <field type="CharField" name="value">poky</field>

You can override other default project values by adding additional Toaster Setting sections such as any of the settings coming from the settings.xml file. Also, you can add custom values that are included in the BitBake environment. The “pk” values must be unique. By convention, values that set default project values have a “DEFCONF” prefix. Defining BitBake Version

The following defines which version of BitBake is used for the following release selection:

<!-- Bitbake versions which correspond to the metadata release -->
<object model="orm.bitbakeversion" pk="1">
   <field type="CharField" name="name">dunfell</field>
   <field type="CharField" name="giturl">git://git.yoctoproject.org/poky</field>
   <field type="CharField" name="branch">dunfell</field>
   <field type="CharField" name="dirpath">bitbake</field>
</object> Defining Release

The following defines the releases when you create a new project:

<!-- Releases available -->
<object model="orm.release" pk="1">
   <field type="CharField" name="name">dunfell</field>
   <field type="CharField" name="description">Yocto Project 3.1.11 "Dunfell"</field>
   <field rel="ManyToOneRel" to="orm.bitbakeversion" name="bitbake_version">1</field>
   <field type="CharField" name="branch_name">dunfell</field>
   <field type="TextField" name="helptext">Toaster will run your builds using the tip of the <a href="http://git.yoctoproject.org/cgit/cgit.cgi/poky/log/?h=dunfell">Yocto Project Dunfell branch</a>.</field>

The “pk” value must match the above respective BitBake version record. Defining the Release Default Layer Names

The following defines the default layers for each release:

<!-- Default project layers for each release -->
<object model="orm.releasedefaultlayer" pk="1">
   <field rel="ManyToOneRel" to="orm.release" name="release">1</field>
   <field type="CharField" name="layer_name">openembedded-core</field>

The ‘pk’ values in the example above should start at “1” and increment uniquely. You can use the same layer name in multiple releases. Defining Layer Definitions

Layer definitions are the most complex. The following defines each of the layers, and then defines the exact layer version of the layer used for each respective release. You must have one orm.layer entry for each layer. Then, with each entry you need a set of orm.layer_version entries that connects the layer with each release that includes the layer. In general all releases include the layer.

<object model="orm.layer" pk="1">
   <field type="CharField" name="name">openembedded-core</field>
   <field type="CharField" name="layer_index_url"></field>
   <field type="CharField" name="vcs_url">git://git.yoctoproject.org/poky</field>
   <field type="CharField" name="vcs_web_url">http://git.yoctoproject.org/cgit/cgit.cgi/poky</field>
   <field type="CharField" name="vcs_web_tree_base_url">http://git.yoctoproject.org/cgit/cgit.cgi/poky/tree/%path%?h=%branch%</field>
   <field type="CharField" name="vcs_web_file_base_url">http://git.yoctoproject.org/cgit/cgit.cgi/poky/tree/%path%?h=%branch%</field>
<object model="orm.layer_version" pk="1">
   <field rel="ManyToOneRel" to="orm.layer" name="layer">1</field>
   <field type="IntegerField" name="layer_source">0</field>
   <field rel="ManyToOneRel" to="orm.release" name="release">1</field>
   <field type="CharField" name="branch">dunfell</field>
   <field type="CharField" name="dirpath">meta</field>
</object> <object model="orm.layer_version" pk="2">
   <field rel="ManyToOneRel" to="orm.layer" name="layer">1</field>
   <field type="IntegerField" name="layer_source">0</field>
   <field rel="ManyToOneRel" to="orm.release" name="release">2</field>
   <field type="CharField" name="branch">HEAD</field>
   <field type="CharField" name="commit">HEAD</field>
   <field type="CharField" name="dirpath">meta</field>
<object model="orm.layer_version" pk="3">
   <field rel="ManyToOneRel" to="orm.layer" name="layer">1</field>
   <field type="IntegerField" name="layer_source">0</field>
   <field rel="ManyToOneRel" to="orm.release" name="release">3</field>
   <field type="CharField" name="branch">master</field>
   <field type="CharField" name="dirpath">meta</field>

The layer “pk” values above must be unique, and typically start at “1”. The layer version “pk” values must also be unique across all layers, and typically start at “1”.

4.4 Remote Toaster Monitoring

Toaster has an API that allows remote management applications to directly query the state of the Toaster server and its builds in a machine-to-machine manner. This API uses the REST interface and the transfer of JSON files. For example, you might monitor a build inside a container through well supported known HTTP ports in order to easily access a Toaster server inside the container. In this example, when you use this direct JSON API, you avoid having web page parsing against the display the user sees.

4.4.1 Checking Health

Before you use remote Toaster monitoring, you should do a health check. To do this, ping the Toaster server using the following call to see if it is still alive:


Be sure to provide values for host and port. If the server is alive, you will get the response HTML:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en">
   <head><title>Toaster Health</title></head>

4.4.2 Determining Status of Builds in Progress

Sometimes it is useful to determine the status of a build in progress. To get the status of pending builds, use the following call:


Be sure to provide values for host and port. The output is a JSON file that itemizes all builds in progress. This file includes the time in seconds since each respective build started as well as the progress of the cloning, parsing, and task execution. The following is sample output for a build in progress:

{"count": 1,
 "building": [
   {"machine": "beaglebone",
     "seconds": "463.869",
     "task": "927:2384",
     "distro": "poky",
     "clone": "1:1",
     "id": 2,
     "start": "2017-09-22T09:31:44.887Z",
     "name": "20170922093200",
     "parse": "818:818",
     "project": "my_rocko",
     "target": "core-image-minimal"

The JSON data for this query is returned in a single line. In the previous example the line has been artificially split for readability.

4.4.3 Checking Status of Builds Completed

Once a build is completed, you get the status when you use the following call:


Be sure to provide values for host and port. The output is a JSON file that itemizes all complete builds, and includes build summary information. The following is sample output for a completed build:

{"count": 1,
 "builds": [
   {"distro": "poky",
      "errors": 0,
      "machine": "beaglebone",
      "project": "my_rocko",
      "stop": "2017-09-22T09:26:36.017Z",
      "target": "quilt-native",
      "seconds": "78.193",
      "outcome": "Succeeded",
      "id": 1,
      "start": "2017-09-22T09:25:17.824Z",
      "warnings": 1,
      "name": "20170922092618"

The JSON data for this query is returned in a single line. In the previous example the line has been artificially split for readability.

4.4.4 Determining Status of a Specific Build

Sometimes it is useful to determine the status of a specific build. To get the status of a specific build, use the following call:


Be sure to provide values for host, port, and ID. You can find the value for ID from the Builds Completed query. See the “Checking Status of Builds Completed” section for more information.

The output is a JSON file that itemizes the specific build and includes build summary information. The following is sample output for a specific build:

   {"distro": "poky",
    "errors": 0,
    "machine": "beaglebone",
    "project": "my_rocko",
    "stop": "2017-09-22T09:26:36.017Z",
    "target": "quilt-native",
    "seconds": "78.193",
    "outcome": "Succeeded",
    "id": 1,
    "start": "2017-09-22T09:25:17.824Z",
    "warnings": 1,
    "name": "20170922092618",
    "cooker_log": "/opt/user/poky/build-toaster-2/tmp/log/cooker/beaglebone/build_20170922_022607.991.log"

The JSON data for this query is returned in a single line. In the previous example the line has been artificially split for readability.

4.5 Useful Commands

In addition to the web user interface and the scripts that start and stop Toaster, command-line commands exist through the manage.py management script. You can find general documentation on manage.py at the Django site. However, several manage.py commands have been created that are specific to Toaster and are used to control configuration and back-end tasks. You can locate these commands in the Source Directory (e.g. poky) at bitbake/lib/manage.py. This section documents those commands.


  • When using manage.py commands given a default configuration, you must be sure that your working directory is set to the Build Directory. Using manage.py commands from the Build Directory allows Toaster to find the toaster.sqlite file, which is located in the Build Directory.

  • For non-default database configurations, it is possible that you can use manage.py commands from a directory other than the Build Directory. To do so, the toastermain/settings.py file must be configured to point to the correct database backend.

4.5.1 buildslist

The buildslist command lists all builds that Toaster has recorded. Access the command as follows:

$ bitbake/lib/toaster/manage.py buildslist

The command returns a list, which includes numeric identifications, of the builds that Toaster has recorded in the current database.

You need to run the buildslist command first to identify existing builds in the database before using the builddelete command. Here is an example that assumes default repository and build directory names:

$ cd ~/poky/build
$ python ../bitbake/lib/toaster/manage.py buildslist

If your Toaster database had only one build, the above buildslist command would return something like the following:

1: qemux86 poky core-image-minimal

4.5.2 builddelete

The builddelete command deletes data associated with a build. Access the command as follows:

$ bitbake/lib/toaster/manage.py builddelete build_id

The command deletes all the build data for the specified build_id. This command is useful for removing old and unused data from the database.

Prior to running the builddelete command, you need to get the ID associated with builds by using the buildslist command.

4.5.3 perf

The perf command measures Toaster performance. Access the command as follows:

$ bitbake/lib/toaster/manage.py perf

The command is a sanity check that returns page loading times in order to identify performance problems.

4.5.4 checksettings

The checksettings command verifies existing Toaster settings. Access the command as follows:

$ bitbake/lib/toaster/manage.py checksettings

Toaster uses settings that are based on the database to configure the building tasks. The checksettings command verifies that the database settings are valid in the sense that they have the minimal information needed to start a build.

In order for the checksettings command to work, the database must be correctly set up and not have existing data. To be sure the database is ready, you can run the following:

$ bitbake/lib/toaster/manage.py syncdb
$ bitbake/lib/toaster/manage.py migrate orm
$ bitbake/lib/toaster/manage.py migrate bldcontrol

After running these commands, you can run the checksettings command.

4.5.5 runbuilds

The runbuilds command launches scheduled builds. Access the command as follows:

$ bitbake/lib/toaster/manage.py runbuilds

The runbuilds command checks if scheduled builds exist in the database and then launches them per schedule. The command returns after the builds start but before they complete. The Toaster Logging Interface records and updates the database when the builds complete.