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Debugging Reproducible Builds One Day at a Time

SeaGL 2021

Reproducible builds are a set of software development practices that create an independently-verifiable path from source to binary code. A build is reproducible if given the same source code, build environment and build instructions, any party can recreate bit-by-bit identical copies of all specified artifacts.

I’d like to share with you my process for going about fixing Reproducible Builds issues in Debian, though some of the ideas will be applicable to debugging issues of any kind in any environment.

I’ll explore how I go about identifying issues to work on, learn more about the specific issues, recreate the problem locally, isolate the potential causes, dissect the problem into identifiable parts, and adapt the packaging and/or source code to fix the issues.

This will give you an eye into how I think about, struggle with, and eventually fix all sorts of things.

Watching this talk should help you go from someone who “knows a bit of code” to someone ready to submit a fix to your favorite free software project!

This talk will mostly focus on the hows of Reproducible Builds, not too much on the whys, which can be further explored at:

https://reproducible-builds.org/

Presenters

Vagrant Cascadian

Vagrant Cascadian, Reproducible Builds, Debian, Aikidev

Vagrant is a free software developer involved in the the Debian project, a system administrator for an ARM build farm for Reproducible Builds, and gets thrown around repeatedly as a hobby. You can find vagrant on social networks such as the OpenPGP web of trust and the Debian Bug Tracking system!

Resources