[maemo-developers] Build Server Configuration

From: Jeremiah Foster jeremiah at jeremiahfoster.com
Date: Tue Jan 26 11:16:48 EET 2010
On Jan 26, 2010, at 9:43 AM, Ove Kaaven wrote:

> Jeremiah Foster skrev:
>> On Jan 25, 2010, at 22:27, Ed Bartosh wrote:
>>> 2010/1/25 Jeremiah Foster <jeremiah at jeremiahfoster.com>:
>>>> There are other build tools which are better documented and more flexible than sdbmock. Debian has a complete toolchain which is obviously good at building debs and is completely open and well supported.
>>> Interesting. Can you point me out to the one, which supports scratchbox?
>> Why do you need scratchbox to build debs? Why not just use the debian toolchain? I know you don't want to learn perl, but hey, it works for debian. 
> The Debian tools are not really designed for cross-compilation, they're
> meant to run inside the target environment.

Yeah, this seems to be the key differentiator between Maemo's build system and Debian's. Still, there was a SoC project last year in which we could have participated to help shape the debian build process to more closely match Maemo's. No one was interested.

> That target environment also
> needs a full complement of Debian tools, including compilers. The reason
> it works for Debian is because they have a LARGE farm of dedicated,
> donated machines of various architectures: http://db.debian.org/machines.cgi

I find it fascinating that a Free Software operating system, without a very formal form of governance, without any assets of its own aside from SIP, run completely by volunteers, has a larger build farm than the world's leading handset manufacturer. 

> If someone builds a farm of Maemo devices (running on ARM, of course)
> that they want to dedicate to running buildds, then that might work.
> Otherwise, the Debian tools need to be run inside a simulated target
> environment, and the only simulated environment known to run Maemo (and
> that runs reasonably fast) is probably scratchbox...

What about tools like qemu and dpkg-cross? Can't they be used to build debs without scratchbox? And my goal is not to necessarily get rid of scratchbox, but rather enable alternatives to the current build toolchain. Mer builds packages on OBS - why can't we do that for Maemo?


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