Sunday, 9 March 2014

Re: Launchpad buildds and capabilities

On Sat, Mar 08, 2014 at 02:18:57PM -0800, Steve Langasek wrote:
> On Sat, Mar 08, 2014 at 07:09:39PM +0400, Dmitry Shachnev wrote:
> > Note: I tried with PPA builders (elnath, marid and peryton to be specific),
> > but I assume the archive builders behavior will be the same.
> While Dimitri's recommendation to use DEP8 testing is a useful one, I think
> this is probably a problem specific to the PPAs, which are still running an
> older host kernel (despite obviously running current trusty userspace in the
> build chroot).

Agreed, this seems likely. Just to lay things out for clarity for those
not deeply familiar with our setup:

There are two builder pools in Launchpad, displayed as "Official
distributions" and "PPA" on The
"official" builders (we normally call them "distro builders" or similar)
are bare-metal systems, and I believe these days they're all running
precise host systems, with the exception of architectures that weren't
bootstrapped until after precise. The PPA (or virtualised) builders are
currently Xen instances, and the guest images are hardy. Of course,
within either of those, actual builds happen in chroots of the
appropriate Ubuntu series; but that only affects userspace and not the
kernel. A fair number of hard-to-reproduce problems in virtualised PPAs
are down to this.

The plan is, and has been for some time, to convert the PPA builders to
a specialised OpenStack cloud ("scalingstack") rather than investing any
more effort in the current setup. Quite a bit of work has gone into
this by Canonical IS, but it's rather a complex project and is still in
progress; I can't give an ETA, although we hope that we won't need to
struggle along with our current setup for too much longer.

In the long term, we'll probably end up with at least some of the distro
builders moving into scalingstack as well, perhaps reducing the
differences between the two pools. (After all, the builder pools are
basically a rather stupid and not-very-scalable kind of cloud.) This
won't happen until we've been running for a while with PPAs in the new
system and are quite confident in it, though.

Colin Watson [[email protected]]

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