Reproducible Builds for recent Debian security updates

Vagrant Cascadian vagrant at
Sat Mar 30 02:38:35 UTC 2024

Philipp Kern asked about trying to do reproducible builds checks for
recent security updates to try to gain confidence about Debian's buildd
infrastructure, given that they run builds in sid chroots which may have
used or built or run a vulnerable xz-utils...

So far, I have not found any reproducibility issues; everything I tested
I was able to get to build bit-for-bit identical with what is in the
Debian archive.

I only tested bookworm security updates (not bullseye), and I tested the
xz-utils update now present in unstable, which took a little trial and
error to find the right snapshot! The build dependencies for Debian
bookworm (a.k.a. stable) were *much* easier to satisfy, as it is not a
moving target!

Debian bookworm security updates verified:

  cacti iwd libuv1 pdns-recursor samba composer fontforge knot-resolver
  php-dompdf-svg-lib squid yard

Not yet finished building:


Did not yet try some time and disk-intensive builds:

  chromium firefox-esr thunderbird

Debian unstable updates verified:


A tarball of build logs (including some failed builds) and .buildinfo
files is available at:

Some caveats:

Notably, xz-utils has a build dependency that pulls in xz-utils, and the
version used may have been a vulnerable version (partly vulnerable?),

The machine where I ran the builds had done some builds using packages
from sid over the last couple months, so may have at some point run the
vulnerable xz-utils code, so is not absolutely cleanest of
checks... but is at least some sort of data point.

The build environment used tarballs that had usrmerge applied (as it is
harder to not apply usrmerge these days), while the buildd
infrastructure chroots do not have usrmerge applied. But this did not
appear to cause significant problems, although pulled in a few more perl

I used sbuild with the --chroot-mode=unshare mode. For the xz-utils
build I used some of the ideas developed in an earlier verification
builds experiment:

Was great to try and apply Reproducible Builds to real-world uses!

live well,
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