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Date:      Sun, 15 Nov 2009 02:23:30 +0000
From:      "b. f." <bf1783@googlemail.com>
To:        freebsd-questions@FreeBSD.org
Cc:        christopher-ml@telting.org
Subject:   Re: Produce identical packages for checksum comparison?
Message-ID:  <d873d5be0911141823o40f16depea7f6dc5090801a3@mail.gmail.com>

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Chris wrote:
>I'm also thinking of building a simple checksum database to track what actually changes
>and what my options were when I compiled it.  It would allow me to better make
>regression decisions.  I could also be free to delete packages and know if I recompile
>it later that it was the exact same package with the exact same options.  Very simple
>script to do that.  Also if say there was an option when compiling ports to produce files
>with specific time/dates it would be helpful in pinpointing which of my port branches
>a specific file came from.

The elusive "reproducible build".  Many people are interested in doing
this, and it's not as easy as it seems.  Even if you edited your
filesystem or archives to change the timestamps of package files, the
toolchain used to create the binary files in packages often injects
random seeds, timestamps, file paths, uid/gid information, etc. that
creates differences from one build to the next.  You may have to hack
several base system utilities, and then directly compare the checksums
of binaries in archives after unpacking, or use a more intelligent
comparison. See, for instance, one Japanese developer's attempt to do
this in NetBSD in order to create better quality control for a
commercial product:

http://mail-index.netbsd.org/tech-toolchain/2009/02/17/msg000577.html

Your description of your system's problems sounds bad.  I think you
should concentrate on fixing those first.

b.



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