History of Debian bootstrapping/porting efforts
I am the student that did the "Port bootstrap build-ordering tool"
Google Summer of Code project this summer . I am still continuing
that work and will turn it into my Master thesis. The tools I developed
are currently in use by wookey for doing the arm64 port . A long list
of results of my programs as well as outstanding problems can be found
in the Debian wiki .
For the introduction of my thesis, I want to give a summary of how past
ports were accomplished.
Since there does not seem to be a mailinglist for general ports (but
only for each specific port), I am addressing this email to
I created a wiki page to collect the information so that it would also
be available to everybody else:
If you were ever involved in porting Debian to a new architecture or
know how a port was done, please do not hesitate to either write me an
email or directly enter the information in the linked wiki page linked
It assumes that arch labels are established and that gcc, glibc,
binutils etc understand the arch.
I basically would like to know things like:
- did you cross compile parts of Debian? How much? How hard was it?
- did you natively compile on another distribution (openembedded,
- how did you go about finding reduced build dependencies? What were
the heuristics you used? How did you find dependency cycles to break
and how did you pick a solution?
- how long did the port take you?
- what were the most common bugs you filed when introducing the new
Having an overview that answers above questions (and anything else
noteworthy or quantifiable) can also be useful for future porters to get
an overview or ideas how to go about it technically.
At the very best, I will get more ideas for heuristics that allow my
tools to get better at breaking build dependency cycles.
Thanks for your help!