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Building Debian Completely From Source


For various reasons [1], I am interested in building Debian from source
-- and continuing to do so for upgrades and newly-installed packages.

What I'm after is basically something where I can say:

  apt-foo install kde

The system will then:

 1. Look at kde and build/install any of its build-deps
 2. Build kde
 3. Build/install any Depends or Pre-Depends of kde
 4. Install kde

(These four steps would be repeated for all dependencies that had to be

In other words, at no time would a .deb be downloaded.  All .debs would
be built locally and installed locally.

I'd also like to be able to say:

  apt-foo dist-upgrade

Which would essentially run the above steps and upgrade my system.
Again, no .deb would ever be downloaded; they'd be built and installed

We seem to already have the metadata necessary to do this, but as far as
I can tell, our existing tools don't support it.  For instance:

 * apt-build has an option to build a package and all packages it
   depends upon, but always downloads binary .debs of -dev packages.
   (Or maybe I got this backwards; I'm not sitting at my apt-build
   machine right now.)

 * pbuilder and sbuild don't bother with actual installation,
   so they don't resolve dependencies at all.  Also, they only download
   .debs of build-deps.

The nearest I have seen is fink, but I know little about it.

Am I missing something?  Is anyone working on this?



[1] I want to experiment with different optimizations on the Alpha...
plus this would significantly reduce the number of CD's I'd have to
carry around to have a whole Debian release with me.  One binary CD for
each arch, plus a source CD set that would work for them all.

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