Automated stage building with Jenkins

For quite some time now, I’ve been working on the automatic creation of Exherbo stages for AMD64 (x86_64) and X86 using Jenkins.

Till now, Exherbo’s stages were created manually by one of us Exherbo core developers and usually basically “on-demand” or when they were major changes. This finally changed yesterday.

Using the jobs stage_amd64 and stage_x86 respectively, the stages…

  • are built using a modified stage building script – each stage is build from scratch. The latest stage gets unpacked and used to build a new one. I call this: Implicit pro-active quality assurance. No pbins are used in the entire process. Everything is fresh and new, just for you.
  • the sources are kept right next to the stages at You can see right there what sources were used.
  • the XZ archive is added to the job (the most recent ten stage archives are kept on their respective job). Like this, you can always check the exact build log for the stage you want and rest assured both are right there at your fingertips.
  • next, the successfully built stage is deployed to is undergoing maintenance but you really want your Exherbo? Download a stage from this alternative location, sync your repositories from Gerrit and you’re unstoppable!
  • and finally automatically transferred to our traditional where some “extra magic” is performed by Jenkins that creates the “current” symlinks, updates the checksum files, etc.

And this happens every single day. The entire process is completely scalable as well – once the cross stuff is production-ready, I’m going to build ARM stages as well and it will be done by simply copying a Jenkins job and changing a few lines. A milestone for Exherbo.

We just made major changes? Wait a few hours, get them in your stage for your new Exherbo installation.
You somehow got a broken stage? Use an older one, compare them, go nuts with them. There are always at least 10 stages per architecture to choose from.
And if a stage fails to build? Well, the next day it will be fixed because we’re watching over the entire process.

Isn’t this incredibly awesome?

And you can even play a round of Bullshit Bingo using this very post! 😉


I am and have been working on quite a few F/OSS projects:
  • Exherbo (Nick: Philantrop)
  • Gentoo (Nick: Philantrop)
  • Calibre plugin iOS reader applications
  • Calibre plugin Marvin XD
  • chroot-manager
  • stuff on github
  • Lots of other projects
  • If you like my work, feel free to donate. 🙂

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