12th status update about reproducible live-build ISO images

Roland Clobus rclobus at rclobus.nl
Sun Aug 28 10:38:40 UTC 2022

Hello lists,

here is the 12th update of the status for reproducible live-build ISO 
images [1].

Reproducible status (no regressions, that's good):
* All major desktops build reproducibly with bullseye, bookworm and sid
* Number of patches performed by the live-build script that are not yet 
in sid:
** non-Cinnamon: 0 Cinnamon: 1 [7]

My activities in August:
* Dropped the win32-loader per default, as in #1017555 [9]
* More variables are available for the SVG images, as requested for 
LinuxCNC in #1015782 [10]
* Commented on #1015759, hopefully it will be easy to test with UEFI 
secure boot soon
* Pending MR: openQA will generate all live images (2x9) and test them [11]
** Also the isohybrid functionality is tested (by using the ISO image as 
an USB drive)
* In the report of the previous month, I forgot to mention that the 
rebuild script can also use deb.debian.org instead of a snapshot server [12]
* Jenkins tests of the live images for reproducibility are enabled again 
** Even though the snapshot.notset.fr server is not available, the 
deb.debian.org-based images will still verify the reproducibility
** Unfortunately, such images can only be reproduced within a time slot 
of at most 6 hours. After that time a snapshot server is required.
** Soon(TM), snapshot.reproducible-builds.org can be used
* Unpublished: investigate the differences between live-build and 
live-wrapper images, and take the best of both
* Various replies to the debian-live mailing list

Work to be done:
* Review the results of the generated ISO images in my local openQA instance
* Add a test for the Calamares installer in openQA
* Booting with UEFI secure boot (waiting for #1015759) in openQA
* Use a no-network scenario in openQA to test for 100% offline installation
* Use Jenkins to trigger openQA when the image has been verified as 
* Live images are not generated officially by Debian yet
** I've entered some notes during the DebConf22 Debian Installer BoF [8]
** Needs some changes in 'live-setup'
** Once the chain of tests (reproducible by Jenkins, functional by 
openQA) is set up, this will be the next main target
* Adjusting the content of the live-build image
** Make the boot menu more similar to the live-wrapper menu
** Add a 'persistent' option (as seen in Kali)
** Keep the accessibility improvements made in the live-wrapper boot menu
** Verify the package lists
*** e.g. the Debian Reference is installed for es and it, but not en
* Figure out the actual timestamp of the snapshot
** At this moment 
https://snapshot.debian.org/archive/debian/20220727T154516Z/ is the 
latest snapshot at snapshot.d.o
** But 
says 'Date: Wed, 27 Jul 2022 14:20:47 UTC', which is not exactly the 
same timestamp

Unchanged, but low priority due to [7], patch available but not released 
* texlive-base: Reported differences in the generated ls-R [2]
* texlive-binaries: Randomness in .fmt files due to Lua hash seeds [3]
* texlive-binaries: updmap creates a logfile with the timestamps of 
files that it just has generated [4]

Future plans/ideas:
* Reprotest might be used instead of just 2 builds without a short time 
frame, to capture more variations
* Use disorderfs
* Long term: When live-build images are working fine, the work could be 
extended to other images, e.g. the netinst images or perhaps even Docker 
* Transfer the special features of the (now disabled) live-wrapper live 
images to live-build
* Start building official live-images again [6][8]

With kind regards,
Roland Clobus

[1] https://wiki.debian.org/ReproducibleInstalls/LiveImages
[2] https://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=1003449
[3] https://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=1009196
[5] Unreported, patch is in [4]
[6] https://lists.debian.org/debian-live/2022/03/msg00012.html
[7] https://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=1006472
[8] infinote://gobby.debian.org/debconf22/bof/debian-installer
[9] https://salsa.debian.org/live-team/live-build/-/merge_requests/287
[10] https://salsa.debian.org/live-team/live-build/-/merge_requests/288
[12] https://salsa.debian.org/live-team/live-build/-/merge_requests/286

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