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Re: fakechroot - anyone using it, should I consider hijacking it?

fakechroot is a great idea for reducing the privileges needed for
pbuilder builds, and thus simplifying developer builds of packages.

However, if you look at the current bug set, it turns out that there
are half dozen bugs that actually get in the way of using it for that
purpose (there are another half dozen that I found by inspection but
haven't come up with tests for or evidence of actual impact on builds,
whereas everything currently filed in the BTS gets in the way of
specific actual usage.)

In the month since I started working with it, I haven't heard anything
from the author/maintainer (apparently they're the same, Piotr
Roszatycki <dexter@debian.org>.)  It looks like he's been doing some
things with other packages as recently as the end of 2006, though he
hasn't touched this particular one since 2005 - so he's not actually
MIA in general, just in regard to the package *I* care about :-)

The changes seem a bit dramatic for an NMU (touching many functions,
several macros that are broadly used, adding new environment
variables) and it's made more complicated by him apparently being the
upstream as well.

  * does anyone else find fakechroot useful and would benefit from the
    heavily-repaired version?
  * anyone know him, and can perhaps find out what's up?
  * since he's upstream, does it make more sense to fork and package
    that? (on technical grounds, it clearly doesn't, but...)
  * should I just be patient and wait and see? (I've got my own build,
    after all, and this is too late for etch anyhow...)

Hey, there. I just joined the debian-devel mailing list for the express purpose of cheering you on in this task. I just recently replaced a fairly ugly LiveCD build process that required a number of privileged operations (mounting an ext2 image, chrooting to modify installed packages in the work-in-progress root, etc.) with one which can be run entirely as a normal user. fakechroot was integral to making this happen. I'd be thrilled to see fakechroot frilled out and patched up, myself. If you're so inclined, please do patch it up. I can say that I'll get thorough use out of it, anyway. :)

Cheers, and thanks!

Zachary Palmer

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