binutils-dev: included log files introduce reproducibility issues

Vagrant Cascadian vagrant at
Mon Feb 24 22:09:23 GMT 2020

On 2020-02-22, Matthias Klose wrote:
>> I'm not sure what the rationale for including these test logs in the
>> package is, but from a reproducible builds perspective, ideally these
>> would simply not be included at all.
> that's not an option.  this is all useful information for debugging purposes,
> and you'll find that in the GCC packages as well.  Having it turned off by
> default defeats the purpose.

So, my attempt at sanitizing them removed too much information; ok.

Why can't these test logs be output to the build log instead of being
embedded in the package? What's the use-case that needs them to be in
the package itself?

From what I recall, binutils was reproducible in debian testing for a
while before these logs were added. While GCC was not ever reproducible
thus far, it is another core part of the toolchain that I would hope
could one day be made reproducible.

> I think I filed a bug report that builds should be
> able to generate their own artifacts, as the autopkg tests are doing that,
> however that probably will take a while to implement.

I would be very interested in this bug report; against what package?

> Or you could add a override database for files which are expected to differ.

This is considerably more complicated than running a checksum on the
resulting .deb files and is another opportunity for bugs to lead to
incorrect reproducibility results... which I think has actually happened
when trying this kind of approach in the past, though I don't have a
reference off the top of my head.

Exploring avenues to put files like this into some separate artifact for
things that are not reproducible might be one avenue; I know that the
debian-installer packages ship some artifacts which are not
.deb/.dbgsym/.udeb... but this still makes it more difficult to compare
the resulting objects... worried about how to get that right, but maybe
we, as reproducible builds, need to explore that an an option?

live well,
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