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Reproducible Builds: Weekly report #121

Published: Aug 25, 2017.

Here’s what happened in the Reproducible Builds effort between Sunday August 13 and Saturday August 19 2017:

Reproducible Builds finally mandated by Debian Policy

“Packages should build reproducibly” was merged into Debian policy! The added text is as follows and has been included into debian-policy


Packages should build reproducibly, which for the purposes of this
document [#]_ means that given

- a version of a source package unpacked at a given path;
- a set of versions of installed build dependencies;
- a set of environment variable values;
- a build architecture; and
- a host architecture,

repeatedly building the source package for the build architecture on
any machine of the host architecture with those versions of the build
dependencies installed and exactly those environment variable values
set will produce bit-for-bit identical binary packages.

It is recommended that packages produce bit-for-bit identical binaries
even if most environment variables and build paths are varied.  It is
intended for this stricter standard to replace the above when it is
easier for packages to meet it.

.. [#]
   This is Debian's precisification of the `
   definition <>`_.

  • Holger Levsen wrote a blog post briefly describing the background and implications of this. To quote him: “we are not 94% done yet, rather more like half done or so. We still need tools and processes to enable anyone to independently verify that a given binary comes from the sources it is said to be coming, this will involve distributing .buildinfo files and providing user interfaces in APT and elsewhere and probably also systematic rebuilds by us and other parties. And 6% or 7% of the archive is still a lot of packages, eg. in Buster we currently still have 273 unreproducible key packages and for a large part we don’t have patches yet so there is still a lot of work ahead.”
  • There were discussion threads on Hacker News and Reddit.
  • Our long-term goal is that Policy mandates that packages “must” be reproducible, but for that we need to show further progress and also reach a consensus on .buildinfo files and much more.

Reproducible work in other projects

Bernhard M. Wiedemann’s reproducibleopensuse scripts now work on Debian buster on the openSUSE Build Service with the latest versions of osc and obs-build.

Toolchain development and fixes

#872514 was opened on devscripts by Chris Lamb to add a reproducible-check program to report on the reproducibility status of installed packages.

Packages reviewed and fixed, and bugs filed

Upstream reports:

  • Bernhard M. Wiedemann:

Debian reports:

Debian non-maintainer uploads:

Reviews of unreproducible packages

47 package reviews have been added, 58 have been updated and 39 have been removed in this week, adding to our knowledge about identified issues.

4 issue types have been updated:

Weekly QA work

During our reproducibility testing, FTBFS bugs have been detected and reported by:

  • Adrian Bunk (59)
  • Bastien Roucariès (1)
  • James Clarke (1)
  • Jeremy Bicha (1)

diffoscope development

Development continued in git, including the following contributions:

  • Ximin Luo:
    • presenters: html: Don’t traverse children whose parents were already limited (Closes: #871413)
    • On a non-GNU system, prefer tools that start with “g” for certain whitelisted commands. (Closes: #871029)
    • Add a --tool-prefix-binutils CLI flag. (Closes: #869868)
  • Chris Lamb:
    • Temporarily revert “Bump Standards-Version to 4.0.1” to avoid spurious CI test failures.
    • comparators.xml: Use name attribute over path to avoid leaking comparison full path in output.
    • Code style fixes.

disorderfs development

Development continued in git, including the following contributions:

  • Chris Lamb:
    • Add simple autopkgtest.

reprotest development

Development continued in git, including the following contributions:

  • Ximin Luo:
    • Choose an existent HOME for the “control” build. (Closes: #860428)
    • Update debian/changelog with Santiago’s changes.
  • Santiago Torres:
    • Abstract parts of autopkgtest to support running on non-Debian systems.
    • Add a --host-distro flag to support that too.

Mattia fixed the script which creates the HTML representation of our database scheme to not append .html twice to the filename.


This week’s edition was written by Ximin Luo, Chris Lamb and Holger Levsen & reviewed by a bunch of Reproducible Builds folks on IRC & the mailing lists.

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