Tag Archives: buildroot

Do not change already released files!

tl;dr: Please upstream developers: Do not ever change what you already published, but make an additional version with your fix. This causes less trouble for people building your stuff.

As some of you might have noticed: I’m a little into embedded Linux software and contribute to some of the build systems around, mainly to buildroot (for fli4l) and to ptxdist (at work). This is a very special kind of fun meaning constantly trying to fix things gone wrong. Today is a day where the temperatures outside I’m stuck, because someone else fucked up his stuff.

Last week I built myself an image for testing iperf on a BeagleBone Black with the current buildroot master. This got me a tarball iperf-2.0.9.tar.gz from some mirror server. This worked.

Today I upgraded a ptxdist BSP from some older state, I think 2016.12.0, to the recent ptxdist 2017.06.0 which included an upgrade of the package iperf from 2.0.5 to 2.0.9. This got me a complaint about an invalid checksum. Those embedded build systems contain checksums for tarballs, buildroot uses mostly sha256, while ptxdist still uses md5. This is mostly to ensure transport integrity, but it also triggers when the upstream tarball changes. Which it should not.

So now the checksums in buildroot master from today are still from buildroot changeset 2016.05-1497-g11cc12e from 2016-07-29:

Those are the very same to the file I have locally. Note: both ptxdist and buildroot download archives to the same shared folder here. The md5sum of this file is 1bb3a1d98b1973aee6e8f171933c0f61 and ptxdist aborts with a warning this sum would not match. Well in ptxdist the iperf package was changed on 2016-12-19 last time, also upgrading from iperf 2.0.5 and here the changeset is ptxdist-2016.12.0-10-gd661f64 and the md5sum expected: 351b018b71176b8cb25f20eef6a9e37c. This is the same you can see today on sf.net, but why is it different from the one above?

To find out I downloaded the file currently available on sf.net, which was last changed 2016-09-08, after buildroot included the package update. The great tool diffoscope showed me, a lot of the content between those two archives was changed. But why?

Seems I was not the first one noticing: #20 Release file: iperf-2.0.9.tar.gz changed!!! And the maintainer set it to WONTFIX.

Now this is the point where I’m not sure whether to just get pissed, deeply sighing, or trying to fix the mess for those build systems. The clean way would be upstream releasing some new tarball, either the one or the other or even make a new release, named 2.0.9a or whatever.

What are possible solutions?

  • Wait for upstream to make a clean, new release. (And hope this doesn’t get changed in the future.)
  • Upgrade those hashes in buildroot. This obviously breaks old versions of buildroot.

According to the buildroot IRC channel, they want their package to be updated, even if older releases will break. And they said they have a fallback and use their own mirror, so that’s where my first package may have come from.

Update: buildroot accepted my patch updating those hashes quickly.