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Open Build Service in Debian - Part 1

Héctor Orón Martínez avatar

Posted on 24/10/2016 by Héctor Orón Martínez

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“Open Build Service is a generic system to build and distribute packages from sources in an automatic, consistent and reproducible way.”

openSUSE distributions’ build system is based on a generic framework named Open Build Service (OBS), I have been using these tools in my work environment, and I have to say, as Debian developer, that it is a great tool. In this blog post I plan for you to learn the very basics of such tool and provide you with a tutorial to get, at least, a Debian package building.

Figure 1. Open Build Service Architecture.

 

The figure above shows Open Build Service, from now on OBS, software architecture. There are several parts which we should differenciate:

  • Web UI / API (obs-api)
  • Backend (obs-server)
  • Build daemon / worker (obs-worker)
  • CLI tool to manage API (osc)

Each one of the above packages can be installed in separated machines as a distributed architecture, it is very easy to split the system into several machines running the services, however in the tutorial below everything installs in one machine.


BACKEND

The backend is composed of several scripts written either in shell or Perl. There are several services running in the backend:

  • Source service
  • Repository service
  • Scheduler service
  • Dispatcher service
  • Warden service
  • Publisher service
  • Signer service
  • DoD service

The backend manages source packages (any format such RPM, DEB, …) and schedules them for a build in the worker. Once the package is built it can be published in a repository for the wider audience or kept unpublished and used by other builds.


WORKER

System can have several worker machines which are encharged to perform the package builds. There are different options that can be configured (see /etc/default/obsworker) such enabling switch, number of worker instances, jobs per instance. This part of the system is written in shell and/or Perl language.


WEB UI / API

The frontend allows in a clickable way to get around most options OBS provides: setup projects, upload/branch/delete packages, submit review requests, etc. As an example, you can see a live instance running at https://build.opensuse.org/

The frontend parts are really a Ruby-on-rails web application, we (mainly thanks to Andrew Lee with ruby team help) have tried to get it nicely running, however we have had lots of issues due to javascripts or rubygems malfunctioning. Current webui is visible and provides some package status, however most actions do not work properly, or configurations cannot be applied as editor does not save changes, projects or packages in a project are not listed either. If you are a Ruby-on-rails expert or if you are able to help us out with some of the webui issues we get at Debian that would be really appreciated from our side.


OSC CLI

OSC is a managing command line tool, written in Python, that interfaces with OBS API to be able to perform actions, edit configurations, do package reviews, etc.



Now that we have done a general overview of the system, in the next blog post I'll introduce you to OBS with a practical tutorial.

 

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Comments (1)

  1. henne:
    Oct 24, 2016 at 05:22 PM

    Hola Héctor! I'm willing to help with the Rails problems you are experiencing. Get in contact please

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