Tales from the Gryphon/

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Monday 15 November
2010
Link: Dear Lazyweb: How do you refresh or recreate your kvm virt periodically?

Posted terribly early Monday morning, November 15th, 2010

License: GPL

Dear Lazyweb: How do you refresh or recreate your kvm virt periodically?

#+TITLE: Dear Lazyweb: How do you refresh or recreate your kvm virt periodically? #+AUTHOR: Manoj Srivastava #+EMAIL: srivasta@debian.org #+DATE: #+LANGUAGE: en #+OPTIONS: H:0 num:nil toc:nil \n:nil @:t ::t |:t ^:t -:t f:t *:t TeX:t LaTeX:t skip:nil d:nil tags:not-in-toc #+INFOJS_OPT: view:showall toc:nil ltoc:nil mouse:underline buttons:nil path:http://orgmode.org/org-info.js #+LINK_UP: http://www.golden-gryphon.com/blog/manoj/ #+LINK_HOME: http://www.golden-gryphon.com/ Dear Lazyweb, how do all y'all using virts recreate the build machine setup periodically? I have tried and failed to get =qemu-make-debian-root= script work for me. Going through and redoing it from netinst ISO is an option -- but then I need debconf preseeding files, and I was wondering if there are some out there. And then there is the whole "Oh, by the way, upgrade from Squeeze to Sid, please" step. The less sexy alternative is going to the master copy and running a /cron/ job to safe-upgrade each week, and re-creating any copy-on-write children. Would probably work, but I am betting there are less hackish solutions out there. First, some background. It has been an year since I interviewed for the job I currently hold. And nearly 10 months since I have been really active in Debian (apart from /Debconf/ 10). Partly it was trying to perform well at the new job, partly it was getting permissions to work on Debian from my employer. Now that I think I have an handle on the job, and the process for getting permissions is coming to a positive end, I am looking towards getting my Debian processes and infrastructure back up to snuff. Before the interregnum, I used to have a /UML/ machine setup to do builds. It was generated from scratch weekly using cron, and ran /SELinux/ strict mode, and I used to have an automated ssh based script to build packages, and dump them on my box to test them. I had local git porcelain to do all this and tag releases, in a nice, effortless work flow. Now, the glory days of /UML/ are long gone, and all the cool kids are using /KVM/. I have set up a kvm box, using a netinst ISO (like the majority of the HOWTO's say). I used [[http://madduck.net/docs/][madduck's]] [[http://slexy.org/view/s2acgjOwrr][old]] =/etc/networking/interfaces= set up to do networking using a public bridge (mostly because how cool his solution was, =virsh= can talk natively to a bridge for us now) and I have /NFS/, /SELinux/, /ssh/, and my remote build infrastructure all done, so I am ready to hop back into the fray once the lawyers actually ink the agreements. All I have to do is decide on how to refresh my build machines periodically. And I guess I should set up =virsh=, instead of having a shell alias around =kvm=. Just haven't gotten around to that.

Manoj

Wednesday 25 August
2010
Link: Refreshing GNUPG keys sensibly

Posted Wednesday evening, August 25th, 2010

License: GPL

Refreshing GNUPG keys sensibly

#+TITLE: Refreshing GNUPG keys sensibly #+AUTHOR: Manoj Srivastava #+EMAIL: srivasta@debian.org #+DATE: #+LANGUAGE: en #+OPTIONS: H:0 num:nil toc:nil \n:nil @:t ::t |:t ^:t -:t f:t *:t TeX:t LaTeX:t skip:nil d:nil tags:not-in-toc #+INFOJS_OPT: view:showall toc:nil ltoc:nil mouse:underline buttons:nil path:http://orgmode.org/org-info.js #+LINK_UP: http://www.golden-gryphon.com/blog/manoj/ #+LINK_HOME: http://www.golden-gryphon.com/ It has come up on the [[http://planet.debian.org/][Planet]] recently, as well as the gnupg users mailing list: users need to refresh keys that they use to get updated information on revocations and key expiration. And there are plenty of examples of simple additions to ones /crontab/ to set up a key refresh. Of course, with me, things are rarely that simple. Firstly, I have my *GNUPGHOME* set to a non standard location; and, secondly, I like having my Gnus tell me about signatures on mails to the Debian mailing lists, so I periodically sync /debian-keyring.gpg/ into my *GNUPGHOME*. I add this as an additional keyring in my /gpg.conf/ file, so that in normal operations gnus has ready access to the keys; but I do not care to refresh all the keys in debian-keyring. I also prefer to trust and update keys in my keyring, so the commands grow a little complex. Also, I want to get keys for any signatures folks have kindly added to my key and uploaded to the key server (not everyone uses [[http:packages.debian.org/signing-party][caff]]), so just /--refresh-keys/ does not serve. Linebreaks added for readability. #+BEGIN_example # refresh my keys # Note how I have to dance around keyring specification 45 4 * * 4 (/usr/bin/gpg2 --homedir ~/.sec --refresh-keys $(/usr/bin/gpg2 --options /dev/null --homedir ~/.sec --no-default-keyring --keyring pubring.gpg --with-colons --fixed-list-mode --list-keys | egrep '^pub' | cut -f5 -d: | sort -u) >/dev/null 2>&1) # Get keys for new sigs on my keys (get my key by default, in case # there are no unknown user IDs [do not want to re-get all keys]) 44 4 * * 5 (/usr/bin/gpg2 --homedir ~/.sec --recv-keys 0xC5779A1C $(/usr/bin/gpg2 --options /dev/null --homedir ~/.sec --no-default-keyring --keyring pubring.gpg --with-colons --fixed-list-mode --list-sigs 0xC5779A1C | egrep '^sig:' | grep 'User ID not found' | cut -f5 -d: | sort -u) >/dev/null 2>&1) #+END_example

Manoj

Sunday 28 March
2010
Link: Customer obsession: Early days at a new Job

Posted Sunday afternoon, March 28th, 2010

License: GPL

Customer obsession: Early days at a new Job

#+TITLE: Customer obsession: Early days at a new Job #+AUTHOR: Manoj Srivastava #+EMAIL: srivasta@debian.org #+DATE: #+LANGUAGE: en #+OPTIONS: H:0 num:nil toc:nil \n:nil @:t ::t |:t ^:t -:t f:t *:t TeX:t LaTeX:t skip:nil d:nil tags:not-in-toc #+INFOJS_OPT: view:showall toc:nil ltoc:nil mouse:underline buttons:nil path:http://orgmode.org/org-info.js #+LINK_UP: http://www.golden-gryphon.com/blog/manoj/ #+LINK_HOME: http://www.golden-gryphon.com/ I have been at Amazon.com for a very short while (I have only gotten one paycheck from them so far), but long enough for first impressions to have settled. Dress is casual, Parking is limited. Cafeteria food is merely OK, and is not free. There is a very flat structure at Amazon. The front line work is done by one-or-two pizza teams -- size measure by the number of large pizzas that can feed the team. Individual experiences with the company largely depend on what team you happen to end up with. I think I lucked out here. I get to work on interesting and challenging problems, at scales I had not experienced before. There is an ownership culture. Every one -- including developers -- get to own what they produce. You are responsible for our product -- down to carrying pagers in rotation with others on your team, so that there is someone on call in case your product has a bug. RC (or customer impacting) bugs result in a conference call being invoked within 10-15 minutes, and all kinds of people and departments being folded in until the issue is resolved. Unlike others, I find the operations burden refreshing (I come from working as a federal government contractor). On call pages are often opportunities to learn thing, and I like the investigation of the current burning issue du jour. I also like the fact that I get to be my own support staff for the most part, though I have not yet installed Debian anywhere here. While it seems corny, customer obsession is a concept that pervades the company. I find ti refreshing. The mantra that "it's all about the customer experience" is actually true and enforced. Whenever a tie needs to be broken on how something should work the answer to this question is usually sufficient to break it. Most other places the management was responsible for, and worried about budgets for the department -- this does not seem to be the case for lower to middle management here. We don't get infinite resources, but work is planned based on user experience, customer needs, and technical requirements, not following the drum beat of bean counters. The focus is on the job to be done, not the hours punched in. I can choose to work from home if I wish, modulo meetings (which one could dial in to, at a pinch). But then, I have a 5 mile, 12 minute commute. I have, to my surprise, started coming in to work at 7:30 in the morning (I used to rarely get out of bed before 9:30 before), and I plan on getting a [[http://taylorsbikeshop.com/product/08-raleigh-detour-deluxe-37604-1.htm][bike]] and seeing if I can ride my bike to work this summer. All in all, I like it here.

Manoj

Tuesday 05 May
2009
Link: Debian list spam reporting the Gnus way

Posted early Tuesday morning, May 5th, 2009

License: GPL

Debian list spam reporting the Gnus way

#+TITLE: Debian spam reporting the Gnus way #+AUTHOR: Manoj Srivastava #+EMAIL: srivasta@debian.org #+DATE: #+LANGUAGE: en #+OPTIONS: H:0 num:nil toc:nil \n:nil @:t ::t |:t ^:t -:t f:t *:t TeX:t LaTeX:t skip:nil d:nil tags:not-in-toc #+INFOJS_OPT: view:showall toc:nil ltoc:nil mouse:underline buttons:nil path:http://orgmode.org/org-info.js #+LINK_UP: http://www.golden-gryphon.com/blog/manoj/ #+LINK_HOME: http://www.golden-gryphon.com/ So, recently our email overlords graciously provided means for us minions to help them in their toils and help clean up the spammish clutter in the mailing lists by helping report the spam. And the provided us with a dead simple means of reporting such spam to them. Now, us folks who knoweth that there is but one editor, the true editor, and its, err, proponent is RMS, use Gnus to follow the emacs mailing lists, either directly, or through [[http://www.gmane.org][gmane]]. There are plenty of examples out there showing how to automate reporting spam to /gmane/, so I won't bore y'all with the details. Here I only show how one serves our list overlords, and smite the spam at the same time. Some background, from the Gnus info page. I'll try to keep it brief. There is far more functionality present if you read the documentation, but you can see that for yourself. #+BEGIN_QUOTE The Spam package provides Gnus with a centralized mechanism for detecting and filtering spam. It filters new mail, and processes messages according to whether they are spam or ham. There are two "contact points" between the Spam package and the rest of Gnus: checking new mail for spam, and leaving a group. Checking new mail for spam is done in one of two ways: while splitting incoming mail, or when you enter a group. Identifying spam messages is only half of the Spam package's job. The second half comes into play whenever you exit a group buffer. At this point, the Spam package does several things: it can add the contents of the ham or spam message to the dictionary of the filtering software, and it can report mail to various places using different protocols. #+END_QUOTE All this is very plugin and modular. The advantage is, that you can use various plugin front ends to identify spam and ham, or mark messages as you go through a group, and when you exit the group, spam is reported, ham and spam messages are copied to special destinations for future training of your filter. Since you inspect the marks put into the group buffer as you read the messages, there is a human involved in the processing, but as much as possible can be automated away. /Do/ read the info page on the Spam package in Gnus, it is edifying. Anyway, here is a snippet from my ~etc/emacs/news/gnusrc.el~ file, which can help automate the tedium of reporting spam. This is perhaps more like how Gnus does things than having to press a special key for every spam, and which does nothing to help train your filter. #+BEGIN_HTML [[!syntax language="Common Lisp" linenumbers=1 bars=1 text=""" (add-to-list 'gnus-parameters '("^nnml:\\(debian-.*\\)$" (to-address . "\\1@lists.debian.org") (to-list . "\\1@lists.debian.org") (admin-address . "\\1-request@lists.debian.org") (spam-autodetect . t) (spam-autodetect-methods spam-use-gmane-xref spam-use-hashcash spam-use-BBDB) (spam-process '(spam spam-use-resend)) (spam-report-resend-to . "report-listspam@lists.debian.org") (subscribed . t) (total-expire . t) )) """]] #+END_HTML

Manoj

Monday 04 May
2009
Link: Reflections on streetcars

Posted terribly early Monday morning, May 4th, 2009

License: GPL

Reflections on streetcars

#+TITLE: Reflections on streetcars #+AUTHOR: Manoj Srivastava #+EMAIL: srivasta@debian.org #+DATE: #+LANGUAGE: en #+OPTIONS: H:0 num:nil toc:nil \n:nil @:t ::t |:t ^:t -:t f:t *:t TeX:t LaTeX:t skip:nil d:nil tags:not-in-toc #+INFOJS_OPT: view:showall toc:nil ltoc:nil mouse:underline buttons:nil path:http://orgmode.org/org-info.js #+LINK_UP: http://www.golden-gryphon.com/blog/manoj/ #+LINK_HOME: http://www.golden-gryphon.com/ Recently, I have made fairly major changes to #+BEGIN_HTML kernel-package, #+END_HTML and there were some reports that I had managed to mess up cross compilation. And, not having a cross-compilation tool chain handy, I had to depend on the kindness of strangers to address that issue. And, given that I am much less personable than Ms Vivien Leigh, this is not something I particularly look forward to repeating. At the onset, building a cross compiling tool chain seems a daunting task. This is not an activity one does frequently, and so one may be pardoned for being non-plussed by this. However, I have done this before, the most recent effort being creating one to compile [[http://www.rockbox.org][rockbox]] binaries, so I had some idea where to start. Of course, since it is usually years between attempts to create cross-compiling tool chains, I generally forget how it is all done, and have to go hunting for details. Thank god for google. Well, I am not the only one in the same pickle, apparently, for there are gobs of articles and HOWTOs out there, including some pretty comprehensive (and intimidating) general tool sets to designed to create cross compilers in the most generic fashion possible. Using them was not really an option, since I would forget how to drive them in a few months, and have a miniature version of the current problem again. Also, you know, I don't feel comfortable using scripts that are too complex for me to understand -- I mean, without understanding, how can there be trust? Also, this time around, I could not decide whether to cross compile for ~arm-elf~, as I did the last time, or for the newfangled ~armel~ target. A need for quickly changing the target for the cross compiler build mechanism would be nice. Manually building the tool chain makes a wrong decision here expensive, and I _hate_ that. I am also getting fed up with having to root around on the internet every time I wanted to build a cross compiler. I came across a script by *Uwe Hermann*, which started me down the path of creating a script, with a help option, to store the instructions, without trying to be /too/ general and thus getting overly complex. However, Uwe's script hard coded too many things like version numbers and upstream source locations, and I know I would rapidly find updating the script irritating. Using Debian source packages would fix both of these issues. I also wanted to use Debian sources as far as I could, to ensure that my cross compiler was as compatible as I could make it, though I did want to use [[http://sources.redhat.com/ml/newlib/][newlib]] (I don't know why, except that I can, and the docs sound cool). And of course the script should have a help option and do proper command line parsing, so that editing the script would be unnecessary. Anyway, all this effort culminated in the following script: #+BEGIN_HTML build cross toolchain, #+END_HTML surprisingly compact. So I am now all set to try and cross compile a kernel the next time a /kernel-package/ bug comes around. I thought that I would share this with the lazy web, while I was at it. Enjoy. The next thing, of course, is to get my script to create a #+BEGIN_HTML qemu #+END_HTML base image every week so I can move from user mode Linux to the much more nifty #+BEGIN_HTML kvm, #+END_HTML which is what all the cool kids use. And then I can even create an /arm/ virtual machine to test my kernels with, something that user mode linux can't easily do.

Manoj

Thursday 23 April
2009
Link: Ontologies: Towards a generic, distribution agnostic tool for building packages from a VCS

Posted in the wee hours of Wednesday night, April 23rd, 2009

License: GPL

Ontologies: Towards a generic, distribution agnostic tool for building packages from a VCS

#+TITLE: Ontologies: Towards a generic, distribution agnostic tool for building packages from a VCS #+AUTHOR: Manoj Srivastava #+EMAIL: srivasta@debian.org #+DATE: #+LANGUAGE: en #+OPTIONS: H:0 num:nil toc:nil \n:nil @:t ::t |:t ^:t -:t f:t *:t TeX:t LaTeX:t skip:nil d:nil tags:not-in-toc #+INFOJS_OPT: view:showall toc:nil ltoc:nil mouse:underline buttons:nil path:http://orgmode.org/org-info.js #+LINK_UP: http://www.golden-gryphon.com/blog/manoj/ #+LINK_HOME: http://www.golden-gryphon.com/ This is a continuation from #+BEGIN_HTML before. #+END_HTML I am digressing a little in this post. One of the things I want to get out of this exercise is to learn more about Ontologies and Ontology editors, and on the principle that you can never learn something unless you build something with it (aka bone knowledge), so this is gathering my thoughts to get started on creating an Ontology for package building. Perhaps this has been done before, and better, but I'll probably learn more trying to create my own. Also, I am playing around with code, an odd melange of my package building porcelain, and ~gitpkg~, and other ideas bruited on =IRC=, and I don't want to blog about something that would be embarrassing in the long run if some of the concepts I have milling around turn out to not meet the challenge of first contact with reality. I want to create a ontology related to packaging software. It should be general enough to cater to the needs any packaging effort in a distribution agnostic and version control agnostic manner. It should enable us to talk about packaging schemes and mechanisms, compare different methods, and perhaps to work towards a common interchange mechanism good enough for people to share the efforts spent in packaging software. The ontology should be able to describe common practices in packaging, concepts of upstream sources, versioning, commits, package versions, and other meta-data related to packages. #+BEGIN_HTML vcs-pkg concept diagram #+END_HTML I am doing this ontology primarily for myself, but I hope this might be useful for other folks involved in packaging software. So, here follow a set of concepts related to packaging software, people who like pretty pictures can click on the thumbnail on the right: - *software* is a general term used to describe a collection of computer programs, procedures and documentation that perform some tasks on a computer system. - *software* is what we are trying to _package_ - *software* has /names/ - *software* may exist as + /source code/ + /executable code/ + /packaged code/ - *source code* is any collection of statements or declarations written in some human-readable computer /programming language/. - *source code* is usually held in one or more text files (/blobs/). - A large collection of *source code* /files/ may be organized into a directory tree, in which case it may also be known as a source /tree/. - The *source code* may be _converted_ into an /executable format/ by a compiler, or executed on the fly from the human readable form with the aid of an interpreter. - *executable format* is the form /software/ must be in in order to be run. Running means to cause a computer "to perform indicated tasks according to encoded instructions." - software *source code* has one or more /lines of development/. Some Common specific /lines of development/ for the software to be packaged are: + *upstream* /line of development/ + *feature branch* is a /line of development/ related to a new feature under development. Often the goal is to _merge_ the feature branches into the /upstream/ /line of development/ + usually, all *feature branches* are _merged_ into the /integration branch/, and the /package/ is created from the /integration branch/. + *integration branch* is the /line of development/ of software that is to be packaged - some software *lines of development* have /releases/ - *releases* have /release dates/ - some *releases* have /release versions/ - *source code* may be _stored_ in a version control /repository/, and maintain history. - *Trees* are a collection of /blobs/ and other /trees/ (directories and sub-directories). A tree object describes the state of a directory hierarchy at a particular given time. - *Blobs* are simply chunks of binary data - they are the contents of files. - a *tree* can be _converted_ into an /archive/ and back - In git, *directories* are _represented_ by /tree/ object. They refer to blobs that have the contents of files (file name, access mode, etc is all stored in the tree), and to other trees for sub-directories. - *Commits* (or "changesets") mark points in the history of a /line of development/, and references to /parent commits/. - A *commit* refers to a tree that represents the state of the files at the time of the commit. - *HEAD* is the most recent commit in a /line of development/ or /branch/. - A *working directory* is a directory that corresponds, but might not be identical, to a /commit/ in the version control /repository/ - *Commits* from the version control system can be _checked out_ into the /working directory/ - *uncommitted changes* are changes in the working directory that make it different from the corresponding /commit/. Some call the working directory to be in a "dirty" state. - *uncommited changes* be _checked in_ into the version control system, creating a new /commit/ - The *working directory* may contain a /ignore file/ - *ignore file* contains the names of files in the /working directory/ that should be "ignored" by the version control system. - In git, a *commit* may also contains references to /parent commits/. + If there is more than one /parent commit/, then the /commit/ is a /merge/ + If there are no /parent commits/, it is an /initial commit/ - references, or heads, or *branches*, are movable references to a /commit/. On a fresh /commit/, the head or /branch/ reference is moved to the new /commit/. - *lines of development* are usually _stored_ as a /branch/ in the version control /repository/. - A new *branch* may be created by _branching_ from an existing /branch/ - a *patch* is a file that contains difference listings between two /trees/. - A *patch* file can be used to transform (_patch_) one /tree/ into another (/tree/). - A *quilt series* is a method of representing an /integration branch/ as a collection of a series of /patches/. These patches can be applied in sequence to the /upstream/ branch to produce the /integration branch/. - A *tag* is a named reference to a specific /commit/, and is not normally moved to point to a different /commit/. - A *package* is an /archive/ format of /software/ created to be installed by a package management system or a self-sufficient installer, derived by _transforming_ a /tree/ associated with an /integration branch/. - *packages* have /package names/ - *package names* are related to /upstream/ /software names/ - *packages* have /package versions/ - *package versions* may have + an /upstream version/ component + a distribution or packaging specific component - *package versions* are related to upstream /software versions/ - *helper packages* provide libraries and other support facilities to help _compile_ an /integration branch/ ultimately yielding a /package/

Manoj

Sunday 19 April
2009
Link: Looking at porcelain: Towards a generic, distribution agnostic tool for building packages from a VCS

Posted in the wee hours of Saturday night, April 19th, 2009

License: GPL

Looking at porcelain: Towards a generic, distribution agnostic tool for building packages from a VCS

#+TITLE: Looking at porcelain: Towards a generic, distribution agnostic tool for building packages from a VCS #+AUTHOR: Manoj Srivastava #+EMAIL: srivasta@debian.org #+DATE: #+LANGUAGE: en #+OPTIONS: H:0 num:nil toc:nil \n:nil @:t ::t |:t ^:t -:t f:t *:t TeX:t LaTeX:t skip:nil d:nil tags:not-in-toc #+INFOJS_OPT: view:showall toc:nil ltoc:nil mouse:underline buttons:nil path:http://orgmode.org/org-info.js #+LINK_UP: http://www.golden-gryphon.com/blog/manoj/ #+LINK_HOME: http://www.golden-gryphon.com/ This is a continuation from #+BEGIN_HTML before. #+END_HTML Before I go plunging into writing code for a generic =vcs-pkg= implementation, I wanted to take a close look at my current, working, non-generic implementation: making sure that the generic implementation can support at least this one concrete work-flow will keep me grounded. One of the features of my home grown porcelain for building package has been that I use a fixed layout for all the packages I maintain. There is a top level directory for all working trees. Each package gets a sub-directory under this working area. And in each package sub-directory, are the upstream versions, the checked out VCS working directory, and anything else package related. With this layout, knowing the package name is enough to locate the working directory. This enable me to, for example, hack away at a package in Emacs, and when done, go to any open terminal window, and say =stage_release kernel-package= or =tag_releases ucf= without needing to know what the current directory is (usually, the packages working directory is several levels deep -- =/usr/local/git/debian/make-dfsg/make-dfsg-3.91=, for instance. However, this is less palatable for a generic tool -- imposing a directory structure layout is pretty heavy. And I guess I can always create a function called ~cdwd~, or something, to take away the tedium of typing out long ~cd~ commands. Anyway, looking at my code, there is the information that the scripts seem to need in order to do their work. - *Staging area*. This is where software to be built is exported (and this area is visible from my build virtual machine). + User specified (configuration) - *Working Area*. This is the location where all my packaging work happens. Each package I work on has a sub-directory in here, and the working directories for each package live in the package sub-directory. /Note: Should not be needed/. + User specified. - *Working directory*. This is the checked out tree from the VCS, and this is the place where we get the source tree from which the package can be built. + Since we know the location of the working are, if the package name is known, we can just look in the package's sub-directory in the working area. * For =rpm= based sources, look for the ~spec~ file * For Debian sources, locate ~debian/rules~ + If package name is not known, look for ~spec~ or ~debian/rules~ in the current directory, and parse either the ~spec~ file or ~debian/changelog~. + If in a VCS directory, look for the base of the tree - ~tla tree-root~ - ~bzr info~ - ~git rev-parse --show cdup~ - ~hg root~ - You have to climb the tree for subversion + If you are in a ~debian~ directory, and ~changelog~ and ~rules~ files exist Then, look for the ~spec~ file or ~debian/rules~ in the base directory - *package name* + User specified, on the command line + If in the working directory of the package, can be parsed from the ~spec~ or ~changelog~ files. - *upstream tar archive* + Usually located in the parent directory of the working directory (the package specific sub-directory of the working area) + If ~pristine-tar~ is in use, given two trees (branches, commits. etc), namely: * a tree for upstream (/default: the branch ~upstream~/) * a tree for the delta (/default: the branch ~pristine-tar~/) The tree can be generated * Given an upstream tree (/default: the branch ~upstream~/), a tar archive can be generated, but is likely to be not bit-for-bit identical to the original ~tar~ archive. So, if I do away with the whole working area layout convention, this can be reduced to just requiring the user to: - Specify *Staging area* - Call the script in the working directory (=dpkg-buildpackage= imposes this too). - Either use ~pristine-tar~ or have the upstream ~tar~ archive in the parent directory of the working directory Hmm. One user specified directory, where the results are dumped. I can live with that. However, ~gitpkg~ has a different concept: it works purely on the git objects, you feed it upto three tree objects, the first being the tree with sources to build, and the second and third trees being looked at only if the upstream tar archive can not be located, and passes the trees to pristine tar to re-construct the upstram tar. The package name and version are constructed _after_ the source-tar archive is extracted to the staging area. I like the minimality of this. This is continued #+BEGIN_HTML here. #+END_HTML

Manoj

Thursday 16 April
2009
Link: Towards a generic, distribution agnostic tool for building packages from a VCS

Posted late Thursday evening, April 16th, 2009

License: GPL

Towards a generic, distribution agnostic tool for building packages from a VCS

#+TITLE: Towards a generic, distribution agnostic tool for building packages from a VCS #+AUTHOR: Manoj Srivastava #+EMAIL: srivasta@debian.org #+DATE: #+LANGUAGE: en #+OPTIONS: H:0 num:nil toc:nil \n:nil @:t ::t |:t ^:t -:t f:t *:t TeX:t LaTeX:t skip:nil d:nil tags:not-in-toc #+INFOJS_OPT: view:showall toc:nil ltoc:nil mouse:underline buttons:nil path:http://orgmode.org/org-info.js #+LINK_UP: http://www.golden-gryphon.com/blog/manoj/ #+LINK_HOME: http://www.golden-gryphon.com/ I have been involved in =vcs-pkg.org= since around the time it started, a couple of years ago. The discussion has been interesting, and I learned a lot about the benefits and disadvantages of serializing patches (and collecting integration deltas in the feature branches *and* the specific ordering of the feature branches) and maintaining integration branches (where the integration deltas are collected purely in the integration branch, but might tend to get lost in the history, and a fresh integration branch having to re-invent the integration deltas afresh). However, one of the things we have been lax about is getting down to brass tacks and getting around to being able to create generic packaging tools (though for the folks on the serializing patches side of the debate we have the excellent =quilt= and the =topgit= packages). I have recently mostly automated my git based work-flow, and have built fancy porcelain around my git repository setup. During IRC discussion, the =gitpkg= script came up. This seems almost usable, apart from not having any built-in =pristine-tar= support, and also not supporting =git submodules=, which make is less useful an alternative than my current porcelain. But it seems to me that we are pretty close to being able to create a distribution, layout, and patch handler agnostic script that builds distribution packages directly from version control, as long as we take care not to bind people into distributions or tool specific straitjackets. To these ends, I wanted to see what are the tasks that we want a package building script to perform. Here is what I came up with. 1. Provide a copy of one or more upstream source tar-balls in the staging area where the package will be built. This staging area may or may not be the working directory checked out from the underlying VCS; my experience has been that most tools of the ilk have a temporary staging directory of some kind. 2. Provide a directory tree of the sources from which the package is to be built in the staging area 3. Run one or more commands or shell scripts in the staging area to create the package. These series of commands might be very complex, creating and running virtual machines, chroot jails, satisfying build dependencies, using copy-on-write mechanisms, running unit tests and lintian/puiparts checks on the results. But the building a package script may just punt on these scripts to a user specified hook. The first and third steps above are pretty straight forward, and fairly uncontroversial. The upstream sources may be handled by one of these three alternatives: 1. compressed tar archives of the upstream sources are available, and may be copied. 2. There is a pristine-tar VCS branch, which in conjunction with the upstream branch, may be used to reproduce the upstream tr archive 3. Export and create an archive from the upstream branch, which may not have the same checksum as the original branch The command to run may be supplied by the user in a configuration file or option, and may default based on the native distribution, to =dpkg-buildpackage= or =rpm=. There are a number of already mature mechanisms to take a source directory and upstream tar archive and produce packages from that point, and the wheel need not be re-invented. So the hardest part of the task is to present, in the staging area, for further processing, a directory tree of the source package, ready for the distribution specific build commands. This part of the solution is likely to be VCS specific. This post is getting long, so I'll defer presenting my evolving implementation of a generic =vcs-pkg= tool, ~git~ flavour, to the next blog post. This is continued #+BEGIN_HTML here. #+END_HTML

Manoj

Thursday 16 April
2009
Link: The glaring hole in most git tools, or the submodule Cinderella story

Posted in the wee hours of Wednesday night, April 16th, 2009

License: GPL

The glaring hole in most git tools, or the submodule Cinderella story

#+TITLE: The glaring hole in most git tools, or the submodule Cinderella story #+AUTHOR: Manoj Srivastava #+EMAIL: srivasta@debian.org #+DATE: #+LANGUAGE: en #+OPTIONS: H:0 num:nil toc:nil \n:nil @:t ::t |:t ^:t -:t f:t *:t TeX:t LaTeX:t skip:nil d:nil tags:not-in-toc #+INFOJS_OPT: view:showall toc:nil ltoc:nil mouse:underline buttons:nil path:http://orgmode.org/org-info.js #+LINK_UP: http://www.golden-gryphon.com/blog/manoj/ #+LINK_HOME: http://www.golden-gryphon.com/ There are a lot of little git scripts and tools being written by a lot of people. Including a lot of tools written by people I have a lot of respect for. And yet, they are mostly useless for me. Take git-pkg. Can't use it. Does not work with git submodules. Then there is our nice, new, shiny, incredibly bodacious "3.0 (git)" source format. Again, useless: does not cater to submodules. I like submodules. They are nice. They allow for projects to take upstream sources, add Debian packaging instructions, and put them into git. They allow you to stitch together disparate projects, with different authors, and different release schedules and goals, into a coherent, integrated, software project. Yes, I use git submodules for my Debian packaging. I think it is conceptually and practically the correct solution. Why submodules? Well, one of the first things I discovered was that most of the packaging for my packages was very similar -- but not identical. Unfortunately, the previous incarnation of my packages with a monolithic rules file in each ~./debian/~ directory, it was easy for the rules files in packages to get out of sync -- and there was no easy way to merge changes in the common portions an any sane automated fashion. The ~./debian/~ directories for all my packages package that they are instrumental in packaging. So, since I make the ~./debian/~ directories branches of the same project, it is far easier to package a new package, or to roll out a new feature when policy changes -- the same commit can be applied across all the branches, and thus all my source packages, easily. With a separate =debian-dir= project, I can separate the management of the packaging rules from the package code itself. Also, I have abstracted out the really common bits across all my packages into a ~./debian.common~ directory, which is yet another project, and included in as a submodule in all the packages -- so there is a central place to change the common bits, without having to duplicate my efforts 30-odd times. Now people are complaining since they have no idea how to clone my package repositories, since apparently no one actually pays attention to a file called ~.gitmodules~, and even when they do, they, and the tools they use, have no clue what to do with it. I am tired of sending emails with one off-cluebats, and I am building my own porcelain around something I hope to present as a generic =vcs-pkg= implementation soon. The firs step is a wrapper around =git-clone=, that understands git submodules. So, #+BEGIN_HTML here #+END_HTML is the browsable code (there is a link in there to the downloadable sources too). Complete with a built in man page. Takes the same arguments as =git-clone=, but with fewer options. Have fun.

Manoj

Tuesday 14 April
2009
Link: Yet another kernel hook script

Posted terribly early Tuesday morning, April 14th, 2009

License: GPL

Yet another kernel hook script

#+TITLE: Yet another kernel hook script #+AUTHOR: Manoj Srivastava #+EMAIL: srivasta@debian.org #+DATE: #+LANGUAGE: en #+OPTIONS: H:0 num:nil toc:nil \n:nil @:t ::t |:t ^:t -:t f:t *:t TeX:t LaTeX:t skip:nil d:nil tags:not-in-toc #+INFOJS_OPT: view:showall toc:nil ltoc:nil mouse:underline buttons:nil path:http://orgmode.org/org-info.js #+LINK_UP: http://www.golden-gryphon.com/blog/manoj/ #+LINK_HOME: http://www.golden-gryphon.com/ With tonight's upload of ~kernel-package~, the recent flurry of activity on this package (8 uploads in 6 days) is drawing to a close. I think most of the functionality I started to put into place is now in place, and all reported regressions and bugs in the new 12.XX version have been fixed. The only known deficiency is in the support of Xen dom0 images, and for that I am waiting for kernel version =2.6.30=, where Linus has reportedly incorporated Xen patches. In the meanwhile, ~kernel-package~ seems to be working well, and I am turning my attention to other things. But, before I go, here is another example kernel postinst hook script (which, BTW, looks way better with syntax highlighting CSS on my blog than it does in a rss feed or an aggregator site). #+BEGIN_HTML [[!syntax language=Bash linenumbers=1 bars=1 text=""" #! /bin/sh set -e if [ -n "$INITRD" ] && [ "$INITRD" = 'No' ]; then exit 0 fi version="$1" vmlinuz_location="$2" if [ -n "$DEB_MAINT_PARAMS" ]; then eval set -- "$DEB_MAINT_PARAMS" if [ -z "$1" ] || [ "$1" != "configure" ]; then exit 0; fi fi # passing the kernel version is required [ -z "$version" ] && exit 1 if [ -n "$vmlinuz_location" ]; then # Where is the image located? We'll place the initrd there. boot=$(dirname "$vmlinuz_location") bootarg="-b $boot" fi # Update the initramfs update-initramfs -c -t -k "$version" $bootarg exit 0 """]] #+END_HTML

Manoj


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Last commit: late Wednesday evening, January 7th, 2009
Last edited late Wednesday evening, January 7th, 2009