RFC: MOTU build farm project.

Luke Yelavich themuso at themuso.com
Fri Oct 6 09:14:10 BST 2006

Hi all
As I am sure many of us are aware, it is important that we test build a 
package before uploading/getting sponsored to upload a package to 
universe. For the most part this is fine. We have chroots/pbuilders set 
up for this reason. Yet there are times when a package may build 
successfully on one architecture, yet fail on another. Often most of us 
don't know this is the case, until the package hits the build servers, 
and fails to build, as we do not have access to that architecture's 
hardware to test build on.

Some of us are lucky enough to have access to more than one Ubuntu 
supported architecture, the most common being amd64 and i386, as amd64 
machines can handle i386. Then there are also more of us who happen to 
have access to PowerPC hardware, and so it goes on. If we remember often 
enough, we may also run a test build of a package on these other 
architectures, just to be safe. However, there are also those of us who 
may only have one or two machines, which are likely to be i386.

I think it is time that a few of us put our heads together, and came up 
with a solution to allow people who have access to less common 
architectures donate some CPU cycles and bandwidth for others to test 
build/debug architecture specific build failures. Such donation has 
already been done by Brandon Holtsclaw, who has donated access to a few 
MOTUs for building/testing. This has been beneficial for both Brandon, 
who has access to the hardware, and the MOTUs who have accounts on the 
donated hardware, as they can produce packages that are a lot more 
likely to build on all architectures.

I am also sure there are many of us out there who have hardware they 
would like to donate access to, but haven't got around to doing so. I 
have a few ideas on a feature set for such implementation, but I would 
like to get comments/suggestions from others in the MOTU community about 
this idea. In the longterm, I personally believe that such a setup would 
benefit the MOTU community, and will help further improve the quality of 
packages we make available.

Comments and suggestions welcome.
Luke Yelavich
GPG key: 0xD06320CE 
Email & MSN: themuso at themuso.com
Jabber: themuso at jabber.org.au
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