[rb-general] patch and groff

Fabian Keil fk at fabiankeil.de
Thu May 11 13:26:20 CEST 2017

"Bernhard M. Wiedemann" <bernhardout at lsmod.de> wrote:

> I noticed some reproducibility issues arriving from software like groff
> using the mtime of its input files (e.g. groff.man) to add text to its
> output file (e.g. groff.1(.gz)) - in this case via its mtime.sh
> That is perfectly reproducible as long as you only use the upstream
> tarball, but then we apply a patch that modifies the input file
> and thus gets the current build time inserted into the output.
> One (ugly) way to avoid that here is
> find -name \*.man | xargs touch -d at ...
> We could also patch mtime.sh to clamp output values to SOURCE_DATE_EPOCH
> Or we call patch --set-utc --force
> but unfortunately many patches do not contain timestamps.
> or we patch patch itself to keep mtime of modified files - but that
> might confuse make in some places.
> I was wondering how others were solving such issues.

In ElectroBSD this was fixed (for the man pages in the base system)
by patching mtime.sh:

For the distribution tar balls the timestamps are faked by using
an mtree spec file. Example:

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