mini-buildd is a custom build daemon for Debian-based distributions with all batteries included: I.e., it covers incoming, (distributed) building, installing, repository maintenance and repository delivery.

Main Components

mini-buildd does not re-invent the wheel, it’s rather a sophisticated glue written in python to a number of standard (Debian) or off-the-shelf software components. The most prominent parts are:

Component Used for Realized with
HTTP server Web application, repository delivery cherrypy3
Web application Configuration, package tracking python-django
FTP server Incoming (user uploads, build requests and results) python-pyftpdlib
Packager Source package manager, build distribution  
Builder Package builds sbuild / schroot combo using snapshot-able chroots.
Repository APT package archive reprepro


Core features:

  • Integrated HTTP server (webapp and repository delivery).
  • Integrated FTP server (incoming).
  • Web-based configuration, with integrated managing of chroots and repositories.
  • Distributed builders.
  • Web-based or command line repository maintenance via API calls.

Some prominent extras:

  • mini-buildd-tool: Use from the command line, write scripts.
  • User management: Package subscriptions, GPG key management, upload authorization.
  • Package QA: Internal sanity checks, version enforcing, lintian.
  • Package Tracking: Debian PTS-like web based source package tracker.
  • No-Changes-Ports: Automates these ports for internal or external source packages.
  • Rollback handling: Keeps N rollbacks for any distribution.
  • Builds keyring packages automatically.

The FAQ, Hints, Todos, Troubleshooting, Bugs section may also help you to figure out what mini-buildd is not, or not yet.

Example Use Cases

  • Sandboxing: Just setup a default test (sandbox) repository:
    • Test-drive mini-buildd. Click schlimm on the WebApp.
    • Checkout what No-Changes-Ports are possible.
    • Add a fake user as admin, and spam a colleague with mini-buildd status mails.
  • Debian User: Maintain a personal package archive. Publish it to your web space via debmirror.

  • Organization: Set up an archive for all organizational extra packages, ports, etc.

Basic Mode Of Operation

mini-buildd is a Unix daemon written in python. When running, it provides a HTTP server (on port 8066 by default).

The HTTP server serves both, mini-buildd’s web application as well as the delivery of the package repositories.

The instance is being configured in the configuration section of the web application.

As soon as a mini-buildd instance has been configured to have an active ‘Daemon’, you may start the engine, running an FTP server (on port 8067 by default).

The FTP server acts on incoming *.changes files, both from developers and other mini-buildd instances (via special buildrequest and buildresult changes).

As soon as an instance of mini-buildd has active chroots configured, it acts as builder. Chroots are completely generic and interchangeable, and identified by codename and arch only; distribution-specific build configuration is all carried through the internal buildrequests. Thus, mini-buildd instances may be interconnected as so-called ‘Remotes’ to share builders.

This is a simplified example mini-buildd ‘network’ with three mini-buildd instances ernie, grover and bert:

digraph flow_simple
        node [fontname=Arial fontsize=11 shape=diamond style=filled fillcolor=grey];
        edge [fontname=Helvetica fontsize=8];

        subgraph cluster_0
                "Ernie-Packager" [label="Packager"];
                "Ernie-Builder" [label="Builder"];
                "Ernie-Repositories" [label="Repositories" shape=folder];
        "Ernie-Developer" [shape=oval fillcolor=lightgrey];
        "Ernie-Developer" -> "Ernie-Packager" [label="uploads"];
        "Ernie-Packager" -> "Ernie-Repositories" [label="installs"];
        "Ernie-Packager" -> {"Ernie-Builder" "Grover-Builder"} [dir=both label="builds"];
        "Ernie-Manager" [shape=oval fillcolor=lightgrey];
        "Ernie-Manager" -> "Ernie-Repositories" [label="manages"];
        "Ernie-User" [shape=oval fillcolor=lightgrey];
        "Ernie-Repositories" -> "Ernie-User" [label="apt"];

        subgraph cluster_1
                "Grover-Builder" [label="Builder"];

        subgraph cluster_2
                "Bert-Packager" [label="Packager"];
                "Bert-Repositories" [label="Repositories" shape=folder];
        "Bert-Developer" [shape=oval fillcolor=lightgrey];
        "Bert-Developer" -> "Bert-Packager" [label="uploads"];
        "Bert-Packager" -> "Bert-Repositories" [label="installs"];
        "Bert-Packager" -> {"Ernie-Builder" "Grover-Builder"} [dir=both label="builds"];
        "Bert-Manager" [shape=oval fillcolor=lightgrey];
        "Bert-Manager" -> "Bert-Repositories" [label="manages"];
        "Bert-User" [shape=oval fillcolor=lightgrey];
        "Bert-Repositories" -> "Bert-User" [label="apt"];

  • ernie has repositories and chroots, and uses himself and grover as remote for building.
  • grover only has chroots, and is used by ernie and bert for building.
  • bert only has repositories, and uses ernie and grover as remotes for building.

Table Of Contents

Previous topic


Next topic


This Page