Buildfarm build_test script on an embedded device.

Christopher R. Hertel crh at
Tue Oct 4 21:24:32 MDT 2011

Andrew Bartlett wrote:
> Chris,
> I'm going to cut this off now, to save you spending any more time on
> this.
> I'm not going to accept this machine into the build farm.  There are
> other ways we can help ensure that this class of device works well with
> Samba, but the build farm isn't one of them.

No problem, if that's the best route to take.  There is a reason I asked
whether it was a good idea when I did.  It's fine by me that we had to learn
a few things before finding out that it was not a good fit.

> For a device to be a useful member of the build farm, it must:
>  - return results in a reasonable period of time
>  - not suffer serious resource constraints
>  - be different enough to other platforms or a popular target.

I think this device meets the third of those criteria.  With regard to the
first two, I believe that this class of device is very important for Samba,
and that we should make a point of being able to support it.

> I think we should support devices this small, for small workloads, but
> the Samba build process is not one of these, and the test process is
> certainly not one of these.  

Agreed, yet the fact that we succeeded in running the full test suite (even
though it took almost a full day the first time 'round) shows that this type
of device can do a very good job for us, given the right environment.

> To get better support for Samba on your dockstar, we should instead
> ensure that an Arch Linux x64 machine is in the build farm, and if a
> sufficiently fast and well-resourced host can be found, that an emulated
> Arch Linux ARM machine is in the build farm.  The will help return
> errors that developers can reproduce in a local VM (eg their python
> insanity) and look at ARM portability issues.  

Why are you specifically targeting x64?

Note that the Dockstar is an ARMv5 and that the ARMv5 is somewhat out of
date.  There are multi-core ARM processors out now.  I will see if I can get
hold of something else to try.

> Developers already face a minimum 1.5 hour wait to get changes into
> master, and then the clock starts on all the build farm hosts.  The fast
> hosts pick up the compile and test job, and return it in around 2 hours,
> leaving at most 2 'try and fix $random_os' attempts per day.  If your
> box takes 14 hours to run, then fixing it without local access is just
> completely impractical.  

I agree in principle, but I would also suggest that this is a limitation of
the way in which we use the build farm.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not
suggesting that we change anything, particularly not to force an ARMv5
system into the mix, just that I do believe that Samba should be able to run
well on this sort of device and that it would be worth-while to make such a
device available to the Team as a whole.

> We have had slow or 'only once per day' machines in the build farm
> before, and fixing them even for simple errors has proved incredibly
> tedious.  

Are we fixing the machines or the build here?  Please explain.  If the build
fails on such a platform, I claim it is still a bug.

> I do apologise for encouraging you to take this on, and for the time you
> have spent.

Not at all.  The Build Farm is not my focus here.  My focus is ensuring that
this sort of platform is well supported by Samba.  In that regard, the
exercise has been a great success.

If the Build Farm is not the right place for this, perhaps we need to find
another way to integrate it into our working environment.

Chris -)-----

"Implementing CIFS - the Common Internet FileSystem" ISBN: 013047116X
Samba Team --     -)-----   Christopher R. Hertel
jCIFS Team --   -)-----   ubiqx development, uninq.
ubiqx Team --     -)-----   crh at
OnLineBook --    -)-----   crh at

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