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Re: Some thoughts on the ARM build daemons

On 2007-05-08 12:05 +0200, Aurelien Jarno wrote:
> Hi all,
> The ARM port is getting bad [1], the percentage of packages built
> staying a bit more than 90% for 2 weeks. Also this is confirmed by a
> message on #debian-arm this morning:
> 09:30 < doko> please could somebody care about the python2.4, python2.5,
> binutils, gcc-4.1 and gcj-4.1 builds for arm? for gcj-4.1, please see
> the instructions posted on debian-ports/debian-gcc
> gcj-4.1 has to be bootstrapped manually (after python is installable
> again), but all other packages have not been built on ARM. They are
> blocked by python being uninstallable, but python2.4 is on position 115!
> in the list of packages to build.
> The problems mainly comes from the build daemons. Only *3 out of 7* are
> building packages, and one of the three is also building stable-security
> from time to time.
> Here are the states and reasons I have been able to found on the web and
> on IRC:
> - grieg: up, building packages
> - cats: up, building packages
> - tofee: up, building packages, sometimes stable-security.
> - smackdown: down, waiting for a 2.6 kernel
> - elara: down, waiting for bug#421037
> - europa: down, waiting for bug#421037
> - netwinder: down, waiting for bug#421037, but seems to be unaffected
>   by this bug
> Note that the bug#421037 may be due to a too old kernel, but the glibc
> maintainers are lacking information.

I tried to reproduce this on my netwinder but it simply didn't happen

> The situation is lasting for some time now, and I see no sign that it
> will change soon. If the person in charge of the ARM build daemons is
> short on time (which I can understand, life is life), why not delegate a
> person to fix this problem?

I would love to see Aurelien added to the arm buildd team - he has
shown significant activity and interest in this over the last year,
and clearly knows what is going on. 

> Also the build power has always been tight on this architecture, so even
> if they are all restarted today, it would take weeks to get back to a
> normal state.
> I think it is time to changes things. Our faster build daemons have a
> 233MHz CPU with 256MB of RAM, while there are way faster ARM CPU today.
> Quoting our new DPL's platform:
>   "So we still have that money, and I would like to use it at least to
>    fix our broken hardware."
> What about buying new ARM hardware with that money?

I'm not sure money is the issue - it appears to be DSA set-up time.
New hardware has been offered, many months ago, and is there, ready,
online, but (so far as I can tell) it has not been brought into use by
the people with the power to do it (DSA and arm build-admin).


I don't know who is waiting for what, at this stage. There was some
activity on this in mid-Feb when Elmo and Bill exchanged mail via me,
after discovering that elmo's mail to bill was getting eaten somewhere
along the way (which obviously doesn't help). They arranged to meet on
IRC to get things sorted out. 

I can also offer a reasonably fast build machine, but there didn't
seem much point until Bills was put into use.

So, yes - lets get fatrer hardware - it is now available, but until we
can work out why we have been unable to bring hedges into use in
nearly 6 months, and fix that problem, then money for hardware will
not help. 

Bill, elmo - what happened after emails in feb? What are we waiting
for now? Can anyone on this list help?

Principal hats:  Balloonz - Toby Churchill - Aleph One - Debian

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