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Re: [cros-dev] Re: Upstreaming emerge improvements (was: Goodbye Frankenbuild: New workflow for correct incremental builds)

Anush Elangovan Jul 30, 2010 12:36 AM
Posted in group: Chromium OS dev
Resending from the correct email address to get to the mailing list. 

On Fri, Jul 30, 2010 at 12:34 AM, Anush Elangovan(அனுஷ்) <> wrote:
   Here is a patch Tien-Ren came up with for HDEPEND. CC'ing him too. He was planning on revising the patch. Just fyi. 


On Wed, Jul 28, 2010 at 6:46 PM, Zac Medico <> wrote:
On 07/28/2010 04:22 AM, Brian Harring wrote:
> On Tue, Jul 27, 2010 at 09:05:28AM -0400, David James wrote:
>> On Mon, Jul 26, 2010 at 10:06 PM, Brian Harring <> wrote:
>>> If I may ask, is there a reason you didn't look at an EAPI with
>>> (essentially) ABI slots?  Such a route, while it requires specifying a
>>> bit more info (or tweaking the manager to generate that info), would
>>> give fine grained control to the resolver for doing rebuilds of the
>>> sort mentioned above.
>> Long term, I think that that's exactly what we want. Right now, it's
>> hard to tell which packages require dependencies to be rebuilt, and
>> which packages do not have this requirement. If there were an
>> automated way to tell which packages need their dependencies to be
>> rebuilt, that would be great.
>> The ABI slot solution sounds good, as long as we don't have too many
>> packages where the maintainers specify their rebuild requirements
>> incorrectly (e.g., by breaking binary compatibility without realizing
>> it). If we found that this was a regular problem, we would probably
>> want to go back to just rebuilding all dependencies whenever a package
>> changes.
> Bad packaging metadata we can't really do much about realistically,
> beyond threaten to wedige the packaging dev- that said a DT_NEEDED
> validation QA check to ensure the targets are within stated rdeps
> might be useful.
> Doesn't do anything for dlopen or static, but it was one of the more
> useful features of the old EBD/saviour branch of portage- iirc I named
> that feature 'verify-linkage'.  Implementation was ldd based (ick),
> but it was a start.

A notable advantage of giving the resolver the metadata (ABI slots)
to account for rebuilds in advance is that it allows for more
informed decisions with respect to aggressive --jobs
parallelization. Considering --fast chromium-os builds, this seems
like an area of interest.

>>> Aside from that, I'd be very interested if there is an ML, irc
>>> channel, or any area people are doing discussions of this sort- I'm
>>> the author of pkgcore, long term hacker of portage
>>> (refactoring/cleanup- trying to combat the mess rather than creating
>>> it), and have been working on issues similar to what y'all have been
>>> rolling out.  What's been a bit problematic is that there isn't
>>> exactly a lot of people doing the level of binpkg work y'all are- thus
>>> finding stakeholders to bug for info has been pretty sparse.
>> Personally, I'd be quite interested in this problem. The
>> chromium-os-dev list is fine for this type of discussion, but if you
>> have another mailing list that would be better, I'd be happy to join.
> Unfortunately I'm not particularly aware of any.  Typically I track
> down people in irc and pick their brains directly; that said from an
> irc standpoint #gentoo-portage on freenode is probably the best spot
> to catch the appropriate people (zac medico/zmedico, sebastian
> luther/zac, solar, myself) who would have interest/comments.

The list seems applicable.

>> Here are a few other suggestions about things to address in regular emerge:
>>  1. To address package rebuilds completely correctly, we'll also need
>> to differentiate between host and target build dependencies. There's a
>> patch for this, but it looks like it got closed as a duplicate:
> This was proposed as "bdepends" at one point- build time depends,
> specifically what is executed during building the package (bash and
> sed for example).
> The problem w/ a new dependency type is mainly getting developer buy
> in- building tools to help developers track/validate these
> dependencies.  At least in the past, this sort of proposal died out
> since their wasn't a sufficient carrot (nor was it easy to modify
> portage for such a capability).

Nowadays, it would be pretty trivial to add a BDEPEND variable or
something like that. Adding a new *DEPEND variable like this would
be a lot less invasive that trying to jump to a DEPENDENCIES
variable that unifies *DEPEND.

>>  2. Strangely, Portage often favors the dependencies (and masking) of
>> built packages over the ebuilds you have in your package dir. I would
>> rather that Portage look at the ebuilds, because developers often
>> change the ebuilds and want their new ebuild to be prioritized over
>> the one that was already built. In parallel_emerge, we work around
>> this by setting --usepkg=n for dependency calculation and then convert
>> the source package to a binary package at a later stage.
> Essentially you want binpkgs to be utilized strictly as a cache,
> right?  I suspect this isn't a particularly hard mod to implement for
> the folk who know the innards of _emerge.* reasonably well.

I think maybe he's talking about updating the *DEPEND metadata of
the binary packages, so that they match the ebuilds. I have an old
script that does it:

You could update the metadata of all binary packages with this command: --transfer --pkgtype=binary

>>  3. Does Portage have public APIs for calculating dependencies and
>> merging packages? Right now, parallel_emerge uses private APIs but I
>> would like to convert it to public APIs if they exist.
> CC'ing the folk who could best answer this one- at this point, there
> isn't perse a public api for the most part.  I know they're currently
> trying to derive one for packagekit/porthole/SoC, but I'm not aware of
> it's status.

Brian Dolbeck (porthole developer) has been working on this, but I'm
unsure of progress. I've CC'd him in case he wants to chime in.

>>  4. Portage is a bit aggressive about locking directories, so this
>> makes parallel merging slow. Whenever a package is being merged,
>> Portage locks the entire package directory. This means essentially
>> that package merges do not occur in parallel at all. Is it possible to
>> reduce the scope of the locking so that it does not have such a
>> significant effect on performance?
> Heh.  This is a contentious issue.  Roughly, everything after
> pkg_setup when it comes to merging is expected to be the only thing
> modifying the FS during this- the reasoning is purely due to
> pkg_preinst/pkg_postinst being essentially uncontrolled access to the
> livefs.  That critical locking unfortunately does need to exist if
> those phases are defined.  I'd expect in addition that the treewalk
> bits (the merger) wouldn't particularly like having a run in with
> another active merge at the same time.
> That said, the scope of the locking definitely should be reducable,
> and parallelization increased w/in the atomic locked merge.  Locking
> of the binpkgs repository in particular seems unneeded since
> effectively it's an untarring to ${D}, and unpacking the xpak (that
> annoying trailing data after EOS on tbzs) to ${T} w/in the pkgs build
> env.  After that that point, there shouldn't need to be any further
> locking on binpkgs- further creating a new binpkg doesn't require a
> write lock until you actually try to make it live w/in the binpkg repo
> (the final atomic rename), so at least the compression steps should be
> able to be done in parallel.

Of course it can be done. Again, additional metadata for ABI slots
will be quite helpful for aggressive --jobs parallelization like this.

>>  5. Some packages will make global system changes in their postinstall
>> scripts, but these scripts are not parallel-safe. Can we make these
>> scripts parallel-safe? Currently, this is not a big problem for emerge
>> because it just locks for the entire merge, including postinstall (see
>> #4), but once we get rid of that lock it becomes a problem.
> I'm definitely open to suggestions of how to make them safe, but by
> pkg_(pre|post)(inst|rm)'s nature, they're free form root level
> execution.  From a format standpoint, for better or worse they
> technically can do whatever the hell they want, bounded only by QA
> standards of that particularly repository.
> I could see adding a PROPERTIES hint of some sort indicating that the
> locking isn't needed for that pkg offhand, although that's a bit of a
> hack.

A PROPERTIES or RESTRICT flag sounds pretty reasonable to me. This
leads to the question of whether it should be opt-in or opt-out. We
could conceivably make the opt-in/opt-out behavior conditional on
EAPI, but maybe that won't be necessary.

We could also add helpers for locking/unlocking resources. This
could be implemented in an eclass, but it might be nicer to had the
helpers on the package manager side (in a new EAPI).

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