[rb-general] Source code timestamps

Profpatsch mail at profpatsch.de
Mon Dec 5 11:34:19 CET 2016

On 16-12-02 03:00pm, Ian Jackson wrote:
> Are the timestamps of source files part of the inputs for a
> reproducible build ?
> Most of the practical reproducibility checking systems I am aware of
> start by unpacking a tarball, containing (at least most of) the
> source.  Many build systems then transfer the timestamps of files
> which are to be installed unmodified into the staging area.  The
> resulting timestamps are then typically bundled up into the binary
> package.
> The effect of this is that timestamps from that source tarball are
> encoded in the output binary package.

FYC: nix sets the timestamps of all files in the store to 1-1-1970, 1:00.
Also, it has a special archiving format, .nar, which is similar to
tar, minus nondeterminism (in ordering, I think).

You can find more in-depth information in Eelco Dolstra’s PhD thesis
(https://nixos.org/~eelco/pubs/phd-thesis.pdf), section 5.2.

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