What do we really mean by "reproducible"?

Vagrant Cascadian vagrant at debian.org
Mon Jan 16 19:43:01 UTC 2017

On 2017-01-16, Santiago Vila wrote:
> Before I use this rationale more times in some discussions out there, I'd
> like to be sure that there is a consensus.
> What's the definition of reproducible? It is more like A or more like B?

I don't know if you're aware of the recently created:


> A. Every time the package is attempted to build, the build succeeds,
> and the same .deb are always created.
> B. Every time the build is attempted and the builds succeeds, the
> same .deb are always created.
> In other words: It is ok to consider "always build ok" as a prerequisite
> to consider a source package "reproducible"?

If it reproducibly FTBFS, well, I guess that's a form of
reproducibility... but I tend to think you need to actually have
meaningfully produced binaries, packages, objects, etc. as a result of
the build process compare to consider it reproducible.

If there's randomness or variability inherent in the build process that
causes the build to fail sometimes, I'd say that's not
reproducible... so I'd be inclined to say "A".

live well,
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