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Multiarch arrives in Debian unstable - world will break



For those not subscribed to debian-devel-announce who may be watching
the embedded list anyway:

http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2011/06/msg00002.html

Multiarch conversion of libraries is starting in unstable. It's the
beginning of the end for the whole -$arch-cross nightmare. The
transition *is* likely to be painful, lots of things will break, lots
of stuff in Debian and Emdebian Grip unstable will break - some things
in Emdebian Grip testing may break too because we don't have primary
control over testing migrations.

Big transitions like this are the reason why we have STABLE - please
use it as a safe haven.

Cross-building on Multiarch is an unknown at the moment and the header
files are not being handled, so it'll be a mixed up world for a while
yet.

First stop is fixing various upstream build system bugs which result
from the MultiArch paths. i.e. a number of packages will stop building
natively, let alone cross, during the transition. Native build bugs
will, of course, be fixed quicker than cross but problems are
inevitable.

Things will break even before it is possible to use dpkg to install
foreign architecture packages - i.e. before MultiArch is even at a
point where it can be used for 32bit on 64bit support, let alone for
armel on i386 etc.

From now and until further notice, if you want reproducible results from
any of these packages, *use stable repositories!* when obtaining the
packages to pass through these tools:

multistrap
xapt
pdebuild-cross
dpkg-cross

If you use these packages with unstable or Emdebian Grip testing, you
are on your own. Seriously. 

The Emdebian team will be hard pushed even keeping up with the endpoint
changes, let alone working out how to fix transient issues resulting
from being in the middle of such a complex transition.

From this point on, using an unofficial port is going to be incredibly
risky because there will be no safety net. Packages will migrate to
MultiArch, some of those will break and there will be missing
dependencies and broken packages throughout unstable - as
unofficial ports only have unstable, unofficial == broken_world.

From now until further notice, if you want reproducible results from
any of these packages, *use stable repositories!* when obtaining the
packages themselves:

cross-building toolchains
debuggers

MultiArch is a very large change, it has knock-on effects on every part
of the Debian infrastructure and will radically change how Emdebian
operates at all levels. (Possibly the biggest change in Debian since
the last SONAME bump to libc.)

MultiArch is also outside the control of any one person in Emdebian or
even the entire Emdebian team. *Do not blame us when things break!*

This is fair warning, MultiArch is happening, it WILL break something,
somewhere, on virtually every cross-building system using Debian at some
point - quite possibly more than once - if you don't heed the warning
and switch to getting your packages from Squeeze.

MultiArch will also break Debian unstable from time to time, so you may
need to handle that as well.

The benefits of MultiArch are immense but the temporary pain could be
severe and it starts now.

Please, *use Squeeze* or Lenny until further notice.

-- 


Neil Williams
=============
http://www.linux.codehelp.co.uk/

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