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The JVM ecosystem provides many languages and build tools. Since the JVM is not reproducible-friendly from the beginning – jar/zip files, with files order and timestamp, are a first natural source of variation –, each build tool requires some work to provide Reproducible Builds.

Buildinfo File

Whatever the build tool is, binary JVM artifacts are generally published in artifact repositories like Maven Central or Google’s Android Repository.

Being able to rebuild artifacts published in these repositories will require some information: where to get the sources from, which environment to setup to rebuild the artifacts.

This is the puropse of JVM Buildinfo files that are expected to be published alongside artifacts as ${artifactId}-${version}.buildinfo, in Java properties format. For multi-module builds, each produced artifact will have its own buildinfo file:

#### Work In Progress ####

name=<name as in pom.xml>
group-id=<groupId as in pom.xml>
artifact-id=<artifactId as in pom.xml>
version=<version as in pom.xml>

# source information, as source tarball artifact in repository and/or url and/or scm coordinates
source.url=<url where to download official source tarball>
source.scm.uri=<source control management url as in pom.xml>
source.scm.tag=<source control management tag as in pom.xml>

# build environment information
java.version=<full Java version><Operating system name>

# Each build tool or plugin is free to add additional entries to the buildinfo.
# For example, the sbt plugin may add the following for Scala:

# and Maven could add:
mvn.rebuild-args=-Dmaven.test.skip package

# A buildinfo file can contain checksums for multiple output files, for
# example for the main jar and the accompanying pom.xml (when generated):
outputs.0.filename=<file name>
outputs.0.length=<file size>
outputs.1.filename=<file name>
outputs.1.length=<file size>

Notice that ${artifactId}-${version}-sources.jar files published in Maven repositories are not buildable sources, but sources for IDEs. Source tarballs, intended for building, are not always published in repositories but only sometimes, with 2 classical naming conventions:

Reproducible Builds for Maven

Getting reproducible builds with Maven requires configuration: see for more details.

source release archive

To create a source release archive, see Apache Source Release Assembly Descriptor that is commonly used. Nothing prevents you to create your own assembly descriptor or even use another plugin: don’t hesitate to share recipes.

rebuild arguments

A rebuilder does not need to execute integration tests or even unit tests, may even skip compiling unit tests. Classical arguments contain following patterns:

  • package phase: no need to deploy or even install
  • -Dmaven.test.skip: avoid running tests and even compiling tests
  • -DskipTests: avoid running tests, but still builds (necessary for some projects)
  • -Dgpg.skip: avoid pgp signing
  • -Papache-release or any release profile: activate release-specific tasks used by maven-release-plugin

Reproducible Builds for sbt

When using sbt, a build tool popular with Scala projects, you can use the sbt-reproducible-builds plugin to strip your artifacts and share buildinfo information.