Linux sysroot images

The chromium build system for Linux will (by default) use a sysroot image rather than building against the libraries installed on the host system. This serves several purposes. Firstly, it ensures that binaries will run on all supported linux systems independent of the packages installed on the build machine. Secondly, it makes the build more hermetic, preventing issues that arise for variations among developers' systems.

The sysroot consists of a minimal installation of Debian/stable (or old-stable) to ensure maximum compatibility. Pre-built sysroot images are stored in Google Cloud Storage and downloaded during gclient runhooks

Installing the sysroot images

Installation of the sysroot is performed by build/linux/sysroot_scripts/

This script can be run manually but is normally run as part of gclient hooks. When run from hooks this script in a no-op on non-linux platforms.

Rebuilding the sysroot image

The pre-built sysroot images occasionally needs to be rebuilt. For example, when security updates to Debian are released, or when a new package is needed by the chromium build. If you just want to update the sysroots without adding any new packages, skip to Using

Adding new packages

To add a new package, edit the sysroot-creator-*.sh scripts and modify the DEBIAN_PACKAGES list, then run the update step (UpdatePackageListsAll). The steps below will use as an example.

Updating existing package list

To update packages to the latest versions run:

$ ./ UpdatePackageListsAll

This command will update the package lists that are stored alongside the script. If no packages have changed then this script will have no effect.


To rebuild the images (without any changes) run the following commands:

$ cd build/linux/sysroot_scripts
$ ./ BuildSysrootAll

The above command will rebuild the sysroot for all architectures. To build just one architecture use BuildSysroot<arch>. Run the script with no arguments for a list of possible architectures. For example:

$ ./ BuildSysrootAmd64

This command on its own should be a no-op and produce an image identical to the one on Google Cloud Storage.

Uploading new images

To upload images to Google Cloud Storage run the following command:

$ ./ UploadSysrootAll <SHA1>

Here you should use the SHA1 of the git revision at which the images were created.

Uploading new images to Google Clound Storage requires write permission on the chrome-linux-sysroot bucket.

Rolling the sysroot version used by chromium

Once new images have been uploaded, the sysroots.json file needs to be updated to reference the new versions. This process is manual and involves updating the Revision and Sha1Sum values in the file.


The script automates the above four steps. It is recommended to use this just before you‘re ready to submit your CL, after you’ve already tested one of the updated sysroots on your local configuration. Build or upload failures will not produce detailed output, but will list the script and arguments that caused the failure. To debug this, you must run the failing command manually. This script requires Google Cloud Storage write permission on the chrome-linux-sysroot bucket.