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Changes to Debian Installer release process

I used some of Debcamp and Debconf time this year to discuss the
Debian Installer release process with some people and after talking
with many people it seems we agreed on the following changes on Debian
Installer release process and it would be interesting to receive
feedback on those to see if anyone see a problem we didn't notice yet.

* Official uploads to be built against unstable

  Currently when we do a source upload of debian-installer it gather
all build-depends on /unstable/ but the udebs from /testing/. We want
to get it change and all udebs be fetched from unstable so we will
migrate it all to testing when ready and not before building as done
currently. This is going to make easier to Debian Installer and Debian
Release teams to coordinate the migration of packages to testing.
Philipp will send a mail regarding this with more details later.

 * Linux kernel udebs to be built from linux source package

   We won't get rid of kernel-wedge instead linux source package will
use it during the build process to produce all the kernel udebs from
it. Ben will send a mail about this later with a more detailed

 * Debian Installer daily builds to be done from source uploads

   The daily builds will use the archive source for building so every
time we do a change in unstable in a module that is included in initrd
it will trigger a binNMU in all architectures replicating what we have
in daily builds. When source changes in debian-installer source
package are done, a new source upload will be required.

 * Debian Installer experimental builds

   With Linux kernel udebs built from linux source we have the
possibility to get the installer built against the development kernel
that will be available on experimental and this is quite important to
us to be able to test all this before it is available in unstable to
avoid bad surprises for us and users. This will also be a handy tool
for us to play with not well tested or finished stuff without breaking
installer to end users.

   For now, I think we will need to use an infra-structure similar of
what we have today for daily builds for those.

 * Use of britney to handle package and installer migration

   This is the end of the process and some details are yet unknown how
this is going to happen however but our goal is to make it happen
since it will alleviate a lot the amount of work to make Debian
Installer release to happen.

It is important to notice that it is not a single-man effort but a
coordinate and shared effort of Debian Kernel, Debian Release and
Debian Installer teams to get all this done. Those changes are not
going to happen at once but in a progressive process and at the end
this is going to make the installer release process easier to
understand and handle.

Please share your ideas regarding those proposed changes so we can
start looking on the required changes to accomplish all this.

Thanks in advance,


Otavio Salvador

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