Several tools are available to make your life easier when working on reproducible builds.
diffoscope will try to get to the bottom of what makes files or directories different. It will recursively unpack archives of many kinds and transform various binary formats into more human-readable forms for comparison. It can compare two tarballs, ISO images, or PDFs just as easily. See an example HTML and text output.
If you wish to just experiment with diffoscope
without installing a large number of run-time dependencies, you can use the
try.diffoscope.org service directly from your
web browser. A lightweight client is also available as the
Problems with unstable order of inputs or other variations introduced by filesystems can sometimes be hard to track down. disorderfs is an overlay FUSE filesystem that deliberately introduces non-determinism into filesystem metadata. For example, it can randomize the order in which directory entries are read.
Some tools used in build systems might introduce non-determinism in ways
difficult to fix at the source, which requires post-processing.
strip-nondeterminism knows how to normalise various file formats such as
gzipped files, ZIP archives, and Jar files. It is written in Perl with
extensibility in mind.
reprotest builds the same source code in different environments and then checks the binaries produced by the builds to see if changing the environment, without changing the source code, changed the generated binaries.
- reproducible-build-maven-plugin for the Apache Maven build tool, popular with Java projects.
- sbt-reproducible-builds plugin for the sbt build tool, popular with Scala projects.
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