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Bug#999665: dh_strip_nondeterminism breaks Multi-Arch: same in binNMUs

Package: debhelper
Version: 13.5.2
Severity: important
X-Debbugs-Cc: debian-cross@lists.debian.org, rb-general@lists.reproducible-builds.org


dh_strip_nondeterminism was automatically enabled on the provision that
it wouldn't break stuff. To a large extend, that's the case.
Unfortunately, there is a corner case where it does get things wrong and
we cannot make progress as the requirements appear to conflict with one
another. The issue is reported as #950806.

The situation is that when performing a binNMU, the changelogs are
created with differing timestamps. (That's a technical limitation of our
archive implementation. In theory, binNMUs could use equal timestamps
and sbuid already has --binNMU-timestamp.) As a consequence, the
SOURCE_DATE_EPOCH differs. When dh_strip_nondeterminism fixes up files,
it actually makes them differ from one another in a coinstallationset of
Multi-Arch: same packages. Files that were previously reproducible are
made unreproducible by dh_strip_nondeterminism. The behaviour used to be
different and the most recent non-binNMU date was considered, but that
happend to break backup software as it could no longer detect
modifications from a non-binNMU to binNMU upgrade. That is how we ended
up with current situation.

So we're actually talking about a relatively small set of affected
packages. Unfortunately, libruby2.N is among them and that has a
relatively high impact. But the issue does not stop there. We've had
other high profile cases in the past. They tend to pop up at unfortunate

In order for a package to actually hit the bug, two conditions must be
met simultaneously:
 * Some binary package must be marked Multi-Arch: same.
 * The build must be a binNMU.

We can estimate this set using grep-dctrl:

grep-dctrl '(' -r -F Version '.*+b[0-9]\+$' ')' --and '(' -F Multi-Arch -X same ')' -s Package -n $PKGFILE

For unstable, that's about 2100 binary packages built from 900 source
packages at present.

Given that there is no progress for prolonged time, we have a choice:
Either we produce reproducible packages that happen to not be
installable or we produce installable packages that happen to not be
reproducible. The trade-off appears obvious to me. Keep in mind that
dh_strip_nondeterminism was enabled on the provision of not breaking
stuff. Now it does break stuff.

As such, I propose that debhelper automatically disables
dh_strip_nondeterminism if and only if both relevant conditions are met.
What do you think about this?

I think the reproducible builds folks favour a solution that involves
sourcefull uploads replacing binNMUs. The proposed workaround does not
interfere with the reproducible proposal in any way.

Do you need a patch?


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