What happened in the reproducible builds effort this week:

Toolchain fixes

  • Colin Watson uploaded groff/1.22.3-2 which implements support for SOURCE_DATE_EPOCH.
  • Colin Watson uploaded halibut/1.1-2 which implements support for SOURCE_DATE_EPOCH.

Chris Lamb filled a bug on python-setuptools with a patch to make the generated requires.txt files reproducible. The patch has been forwarded upstream.

Chris also understood why the she-bang in some Python scripts kept being undeterministic: setuptools as called by dh-python could skip re-installing the scripts if the build had been too fast (under one second). #804339 offers a patch fixing the issue by passing --force to setup.py install.

#804141 reported on gettext asks for support of SOURCE_DATE_EPOCH in gettextize. Santiago Vila pointed out that it doesn't felt appropriate as gettextize is supposed to be an interactive tool. The problem reported seems to be in avahi build system instead.

Packages fixed

The following packages became reproducible due to changes in their build dependencies: celestia, dsdo, fonts-taml-tscu, fte, hkgerman, ifrench-gut, ispell-czech, maven-assembly-plugin, maven-project-info-reports-plugin, python-avro, ruby-compass, signond, thepeg, wagon2, xjdic.

The following packages became reproducible after getting fixed:

Some uploads fixed some reproducibility issues but not all of them:

Patches submitted which have not made their way to the archive yet:

Chris Lamb closed a wrongly reopened bug against haskell-devscripts that was actually a problem in haddock.


FreeBSD tests are now run for three branches: master, stable/10, release/10.2.0. (h01ger)

diffoscope development

Support has been added for Free Pascal unit files (.ppc). (Paul Gevers)

The homepage is now available using HTTPS, thanks to Let's Encrypt!.

Work has been done to be able to publish diffoscope on the Python Package Index (also known as PyPI): the tlsh module is now optional, compatibility with python-magic has been added, and the fallback code to handle RPM has been fixed.

Documentation update

Reiner Herrmann, Paul Gevers, Niko Tyni, opi, and Dhole offered various fixes and wording improvements to the reproducible-builds.org. A mailing-list is now available to receive change notifications.

NixOS, Guix, and Baserock are featured as projects working on reproducible builds.

Package reviews

70 reviews have been removed, 74 added and 17 updated this week.

Chris Lamb opened 22 new “fail to build from source” bugs.

New issues this week: randomness_in_ocaml_provides, randomness_in_qdoc_page_id, randomness_in_python_setuptools_requires_txt, gettext_creates_ChangeLog_files_and_entries_with_current_date.


h01ger and Chris Lamb presented “Beyond reproducible builds” at the MiniDebConf in Cambridge on November 8th. They gave an overview of where we stand and the changes in user tools, infrastructure, and development practices that we might want to see happening. Feedback on these thoughts are welcome. Slides are already available, and the video should be online soon.

At the same event, a meeting happened with some members of the release team to discuss the best strategy regarding releases and reproducibility. Minutes have been posted on the Debian reproducible-builds mailing-list.