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problems with mips builds on ball (potential mass give-back)

(Re-sending to a wider audience than mips@b.d.o, with more information and
a somewhat complete list of give-backs.)

ball.debian.org seems to be rather unhappy. My recent dbus upload failed
with this in the log:

../../dbus/dbus-transport.c: In function
../../dbus/dbus-transport.c:788:1: internal compiler error: Segmentation
[... log noise from a parallel compilation omitted ...]
The bug is not reproducible, so it is likely a hardware or OS problem.

I assume that last line means that recent gcc automatically retries
compilations that failed with a segfault, to see whether they work the
second time?

It's not the only package in a similar situation: when I picked some examples
at random, nipy's tests segfaulted, and nmap and gamera
suffered an unreproducible compiler segfault similar to dbus. Each of
those packages built successfully on the other architectures.

Ben Hutchings reported a similar problem on kernel backport builds

I've attempted to provide a list of affected packages in sid (by looking at
buildd.debian.org, I know nothing about most of these packages). See below
for that; it's a list of gb commands which can be given when ball has been
repaired or removed from service. I haven't done this for any other suites
so far, but ball appears to build at least squeeze-backports too.

The list does not include builds on ball which failed for similar reasons
on other architectures, on the assumption that those are more likely to be
package bugs.

This could be rather unfortunate for packages' testing migration, which
is why I've cc'd the release team.


# based on https://buildd.debian.org/status/architecture.php?a=mips&suite=sid&buildd=buildd_mips-ball

# gcc segfaulted then said "The bug is not reproducible", potentially
# bad hardware
gb dbus_1.6.2-2 . mips
gb gamera_3.3.3-2 . mips
gb llvm_3.1-2 . mips
gb loqui_0.5.3-4 . mips
gb nmap_6.00-0.1 . mips
gb python-pyo_0.6.2-1 . mips
gb sane-backends_1.0.22-7.2 . mips
gb sblim-wbemcli_1.6.2-7 . mips
gb scikit-learn_0.11.0-2 . mips

# gcc segfaulted but the bug was reported to be reproducible; could
# still be bad hardware?
gb terminal.app_0.9.8-1 . mips

# gcc PIC build succeeded, but the corresponding static build failed, with
# errors hidden by libtool; potentially bad hardware?
gb 389-adminutil_1.1.15-1 . mips
gb spandsp_0.0.6~pre20-3 . mips

# ld segfaulted, potentially bad hardware
gb eigen3_3.1.0-1 . mips

# Doxygen segfaulted, potentially bad hardware
gb cctools_3.5.1-2 . mips
gb freefoam_0.1.0-1 . mips

# Tests segfaulted, potentially bad hardware
gb nipy_0.2.0~rc2+git27-g7b9b5a5-1 . mips
gb ruby-raindrops_0.10.0-1 . mips

# Bus error, potentially bad hardware
gb gmsh_2.6.0.dfsg-2 . mips
gb haskell-github_0.4.0-1 . mips
gb haskell-system-fileio_0.3.8-1 . mips
gb haskell-tagstream-conduit_0.3.2-1 . mips
gb xdffileio_0.3-1 . mips

# Impossible to tell from the log because its stderr and exit code were
# suppressed, but pdflatex might have segfaulted
gb apparmor_2.7.103-3 . mips

# Python error wrongly claiming that 'int' is not an integer type,
# possibly due to memory corruption caused by bad hardware?
gb statsmodels_0.4.2-1 . mips

# Python internal errors, possibly memory corruption caused by bad hardware?
gb obnam_1.1-1 . mips

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