cowpoke man page

cowpoke — Build a Debian source package in a remote cowbuilder instance

Synopsis

cowpoke [options] packagename.dsc

Description

Uploads a Debian source package to a cowbuilder host and builds it, optionally also signing and uploading the result to an incoming queue.

Options

The following options are available:

--arch=architecture
Specify the Debian architecture(s) to build for. A space separated list of architectures may be used to build for all of them in a single pass. Valid arch names are those returned by dpkg-architecture(1) for DEB_BUILD_ARCH.
--dist=distribution

Specify the Debian distribution(s) to build for. A space separated list of distributions may be used to build for all of them in a single pass. Either codenames (such as sid, or squeeze) or distribution names (such as unstable, or experimental) may be used, but you should usually stick to using one or the other consistently as this name may be used in file paths and to locate old packages for comparison reporting.

It is now also possible to use locally defined names with this option, when used in conjunction with the BASE_DIST option in a configuration file. This permits the maintenance and use of specially configured build chroots, which can source package dependencies from the backports archives or a local repository, or have other unusual configuration options set, without polluting the chroots you use for clean package builds intended for upload to the main repositories. See the description of BASE_DIST below.

--buildd=host
Specify the remote host to build on.
--buildd-user=name
Specify the remote user to build as.
--create

Create the remote cowbuilder root if it does not already exist. If this option is not passed it is an error for the specified --dist or --arch to not have an existing cowbuilder root in the expected location.

The --buildd-user must have permission to create the RESULT_DIR on the build host, or an admin with the necessary permission must first create it and give that user (or some group they are in) write access to it, for this option to succeed.

--return=[path]
Copy results of the build to path. If path is not specified, then return them to the current directory. The given path must exist, it will not be created.
--no-return
Do not copy results of the build to RETURN_DIR (overriding a path set for it in the configuration files).
--dpkg-opts='opt1 opt2 ...'
Specify additional options to be passed to dpkg-buildpackage(1). Multiple options are delimited with spaces. This will override any options specified in DEBBUILDOPTS in the build host's pbuilderrc.
--create-opts='cowbuilder option'

Specify additional arguments to be passed verbatim to cowbuilder when a chroot is first created (using the --create option above). If multiple arguments need to be passed, this option should be specified separately for each of them.

E.g., --create-opts "--othermirror" --create-opts "deb http:// ..."

This option will override any CREATE_OPTS specified for a chroot in the cowpoke configuration files.

--update-opts='cowbuilder option'

Specify additional arguments to be passed verbatim to cowbuilder if the base of the chroot is updated. If multiple arguments need to be passed, this option should be specified separately for each of them.

This option will override any UPDATE_OPTS specified for a chroot in the cowpoke configuration files.

--build-opts='cowbuilder option'

Specify additional arguments to be passed verbatim to cowbuilder when a package build is performed. If multiple arguments need to be passed, this option should be specified separately for each of them.

This option will override any BUILD_OPTS specified for a chroot in the cowpoke configuration files.

--sign=keyid
Specify the key to sign packages with. This will override any SIGN_KEYID specified for a chroot in the cowpoke configuration files.
--upload=queue
Specify the dput queue to upload signed packages to. This will override any UPLOAD_QUEUE specified for a chroot in the cowpoke configuration files.
--help
Display a brief summary of the available options and current configuration.
--version
Display the current version information.

Configuration Options

When cowpoke is run the following configuration options are read from global, per-user, and per-project configuration files if present. File paths may be absolute or relative, the latter being relative to the BUILDD_USER's home directory. Since the paths are typically quoted when used, tilde expansion will not be performed on them.

Global defaults

These apply to every arch and dist in a single cowpoke invocation.

BUILDD_HOST
The network address or fqdn of the build machine where cowbuilder is configured. This may be overridden by the --buildd command line option.
BUILDD_USER
The unprivileged user name for operations on the build machine. This defaults to the local name of the user executing cowpoke (or to a username that is specified in your SSH configuration for BUILDD_HOST), and may be overridden by the --buildd-user command line option.
BUILDD_ARCH
The Debian architecture(s) to build for. This must match the DEB_BUILD_ARCH of the build chroot being used. It defaults to the local machine architecture where cowpoke is executed, and may be overridden by the --arch command line option. A (quoted) space separated list of architectures may be used here to build for all of them in a single pass.
BUILDD_DIST
The Debian distribution(s) to build for. A (quoted) space separated list of distributions may be used to build for all of them in a single pass. This may be overridden by the --dist command line option.
INCOMING_DIR
The directory path on the build machine where the source package will initially be placed. This must be writable by the BUILDD_USER.
PBUILDER_BASE
The filesystem root for all pbuilder CoW and result files. Arch and dist specific subdirectories will normally be created under this. The apt cache and temporary build directory will also be located under this path.
SIGN_KEYID
If this option is set, it is expected to contain the gpg key ID to pass to debsign(1) if the packages are to be remotely signed. You will be prompted to confirm whether you wish to sign the packages after all builds are complete. If this option is unset or an empty string, no attempt to sign packages will be made. It may be overridden on an arch and dist specific basis using the arch_dist_SIGN_KEYID option described below, or per-invocation with the --sign command line option.
UPLOAD_QUEUE
If this option is set, it is expected to contain a 'host' specification for dput(1) which will be used to upload them after they are signed. You will be prompted to confirm whether you wish to upload the packages after they are signed. If this option is unset or an empty string, no attempt to upload packages will be made. If SIGN_KEYID is not set, this option will be ignored entirely. It may be overridden on an arch and dist specific basis using the arch_dist_UPLOAD_QUEUE option described below, or per-invocation with the --upload command line option.
BUILDD_ROOTCMD
The command to use to gain root privileges on the remote build machine. If unset the default is sudo(8). This is only required to invoke cowbuilder and allow it to enter its chroot, so you may restrict this user to only being able to run that command with escalated privileges. Something like this in sudoers will enable invoking cowbuilder without an additional password entry required:

youruser ALL = NOPASSWD: /usr/sbin/cowbuilder

Alternatively you could use SSH with a forwarded key, or whatever other mechanism suits your local access policy. Using su -c isn't really suitable here due to its quoting requirements being somewhat different to the rest.
DEBOOTSTRAP
The utility to use when creating a new build root. Alternatives are debootstrap or cdebootstrap.
RETURN_DIR
If set, package files resulting from the build will be copied to the path (local or remote) that this is set to, after the build completes. The path must exist, it will not be created. This option is unset by default and can be overridden with --return or --no-return.

Arch and dist specific options

These are variables of the form: $arch_$dist_VAR which apply only for a particular target arch/dist build.

arch_dist_RESULT_DIR
The directory path on the build machine where the resulting packages (source and binary) will be found, and where older versions of the package that were built previously may be found. If any such older packages exist, debdiff will be used to compare the new package with the previous version after the build is complete, and the result will be included in the build log. Files in it must be readable by the BUILDD_USER for sanity checking with lintian(1) and debdiff(1), and for upload with dput(1). If this option is not specified for some arch and dist combination then it will default to $PBUILDER_BASE/$arch/$dist/result
arch_dist_BASE_PATH
The directory where the CoW master files are to be found (or created if the --create command line option was passed). If this option is not specified for some arch or dist then it will default to $PBUILDER_BASE/$arch/$dist/base.cow
arch_dist_BASE_DIST
The code name to pass as the --distribution option for cowbuilder instead of dist. This is necessary when dist is a locally significant name assigned to some specially configured build chroot, such as 'wheezy_backports', and not the formal suite name of a distro release known to debootstrap. This option cannot be overridden on the command line, since it would rarely, if ever, make any sense to change it for individual invocations of cowpoke. If this option is not specified for an arch and dist combination then it will default to dist.
arch_dist_CREATE_OPTS

A bash array containing additional options to pass verbatim to cowbuilder when this chroot is created for the first time (using the --create option). This is useful when options like --othermirror are wanted to create specialised chroot configurations such as 'wheezy_backports'. By default this is unset. All values set in it will be overridden if the --create-opts option is passed on the command line.

Each element in this array corresponds to a single argument (in the ARGV sense) that will be passed to cowbuilder. This ensures that arguments which may contain whitespace or have strange quoting requirements or other special characters will not be mangled before they get to cowbuilder.

Bash arrays are initialised using the following form:

OPTS=( "arg1" "arg 2" "--option" "value" "--opt=val" "etc. etc." )

arch_dist_UPDATE_OPTS
A bash array containing additional options to pass verbatim to cowbuilder each time the base of this chroot is updated. It behaves similarly to the CREATE_OPTS option above, except for acting when the chroot is updated.
arch_dist_BUILD_OPTS
A bash array containing additional options to pass verbatim to cowbuilder each time a package build is performed in this chroot. This is useful when you want to use some option like --twice which cowpoke does not directly need to care about. It otherwise behaves similarly to UPDATE_OPTS above except that it acts during the build phase of cowbuilder.
arch_dist_SIGN_KEYID
An optional arch and dist specific override for the global SIGN_KEYID option.
arch_dist_UPLOAD_QUEUE
An optional arch and dist specific override for the global UPLOAD_QUEUE option.

Configuration Files

/etc/cowpoke.conf
Global configuration options. Will override hardcoded defaults.
~/.cowpoke
Per-user configuration options. Will override any global configuration.
.cowpoke

Per-project configuration options. Will override any per-user or global configuration if cowpoke is called from the directory where they exist.

If the environment variable COWPOKE_CONF is set, it specifies an additional configuration file which will override all of those above. Options specified explicitly on the command line override all configuration files.

Cowbuilder Configuration

There is nothing particularly special required to configure a cowbuilder instance for use with cowpoke. Simply create them in the flavour you require with `cowbuilder --create` according to the cowbuilder documentation, then configure cowpoke with the user, arch, and path information required to access it, on the machines you wish to invoke it from (or alternatively configure cowpoke with the path, arch and distribution information and pass the --create option to it on the first invocation). The build host running cowbuilder does not require cowpoke installed locally.

The build machine should have the lintian and devscripts packages installed for post-build sanity checking. Upon completion, the build log and the results of automated checks will be recorded in the INCOMING_DIR. If you wish to upload signed packages the build machine will also need dput(1) installed and configured to use the 'host' alias specified by UPLOAD_QUEUE. If rsync(1) is available on both the local and build machine, then it will be used to transfer the source package (this may save on some transfers of the orig.tar.* when building subsequent Debian revisions).

The user executing cowpoke must have SSH access to the build machine as the BUILDD_USER. That user must be able to invoke cowbuilder as root by using the BUILDD_ROOTCMD. Signing keys are not required to be installed on the build machine (and will be ignored there if they are). If the package is signed, keys will be expected on the machine that executes cowpoke.

When cowpoke is invoked, it will first attempt to update the cowbuilder image if that has not already been done on the same day. This is checked by the presence or absence of a cowbuilder-$arch-$dist-update-log-$date file in the INCOMING_DIR. You may move, remove, or touch this file if you wish the image to be updated more or less often than that. Its contents log the output of cowbuilder during the update (or creation) of the build root.

Notes

Since cowbuilder creates a chroot, and to do that you need root, cowpoke also requires some degree of root access. So all the horrible things that can go wrong with that may well one day rain down upon you. cowbuilder has been known to accidentally wipe out bind-mounted filesystems outside the chroot, and worse than that can easily happen. So be careful, keep good backups of things you don't want to lose on your build machine, and use cowpoke to keep all that on a machine that isn't your bleeding edge dev box with your last few hours of uncommitted work.

See Also

cowbuilder(1), pbuilder(1), ssh-agent(1), sudoers(5)

Author

cowpoke was written by Ron <ron@debian.org>.

Referenced By

devscripts(1).

April 28, 2008