Information on the system used during a build will be recorded in a new control file, a “buildinfo” file with suffix .buildinfo.

See also ReproducibleBuilds/BuildinfoInfrastructure for higher-level discussion about how these files are used to further the goal of reproducible builds.

Motivation

The .buildinfo file has several goals which are related to each other:

We want a debian user (or derivative) to be able to find and fetch all .buildinfo files that were known to produce a given binary package so that they can try to reproduce the package themselves.

In the future, there may be more uses for .buildinfo files (or for collections of .buildinfo files related to a single binary artifact). For example:

Specification

The current up-to-date specification of the .buildinfo file can be found in deb-buildinfo(5) and dpkg-genbuildinfo(1).

Semantics

A buildinfo file is a record of what a particular builder did to build some binary output.

It contains as much information about the build environment as is reasonable to distribute, and attempts to include all information needed to reproduce that build.

It does NOT imply that everything contained within "should" be necessary to reproduce the build. For example, we are working towards builds that are reproducible independently of the build-path, but we still include Build-Path: as a field. This helps us to detect which packages are reproducible independently of the build-path, versus which ones are not.

File name and encoding

Buildinfo files are UTF-8-encoded textfiles, usually clearsigned with OpenPGP (see below). They should be named ${SOURCE}_${DEBIAN_VERSION}_${STRING}.buildinfo, where:

Field descriptions

Format

Same as in `*.changes`.

Build-Architecture

The Debian machine architecture that was used to perform the build; see dpkg-architecture(1) for a more detailed definition. 1

Source

Same as in `*.changes`. If the source and binary versions differ (e.g. binNMUs), the source version is added between parenthesis.

Binary

Same as in `*.changes`.

Architecture

Same as in `*.changes` except source should not be specified: only concrete architectures, no wildcards or any.

Version

Same as in `*.changes`.

Binary-Only-Changes

Only present for binary only uploads: contains the full extra changelog entries.

Checksums-Sha256

Same format as other control files. Must list the *.dsc file and all files listed in `debian/files`.

Build-Path

(optional) Absolute path of the directory in which the package has been built. See ReproducibleBuilds/History#Giving_up_on_build_paths for a rationale.

Build-Environment

List of all packages forming the build environment, their architecture if different from build architecture, and their version. This includes Essential packages, build-essential, and Build-Depends and Build-Depends-Indep. For each packages, their dependencies should be recursively listed. The format is the same as Built-Using.

Signatures

A signed buildinfo file is an implicit claim by a builder (the signer) that they were the entity that executed the build as recorded in the file. Corollaries to this:

To sign the file, wrap the entire file in a cleartext OpenPGP signature.

Example

The following file could be named e.g. fweb_1.62-12+b2_brahms-20120530114812.buildinfo:

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA512

Format: 1.0
Build-Architecture: i386
Source: fweb (1.62-12)
Binary: fweb fweb-doc
Architecture: all i386
Version: 1.62-12+b2
Binary-Only-Changes:
 fweb (1.62-12+b2) sid; urgency=low, binary-only=yes
 .
   * Binary-only non-maintainer upload for amd64; no source changes.
   * Rebuild for multiarch sync
 .
  -- amd64 / i386 Build Daemon (brahms) <buildd_amd64-brahms@buildd.debian.org>  Wed, 30 May 2012 09:48:12 +0200 18:37:51 +0000
Checksums-Sha256:
 9921500c4c6159c0019d4b8b600d2d06eef6b1da056abd2f78e66a9f0c3843b9 879 fweb_1.62-12.dsc
 3a7492c2013fbeebff08bee0514481ec0f56d2c4d138188d1ef85156d08ded00 436982 fweb-doc_1.62-12_all.deb
 a916dbb1c63707eaf52a5cdd10769871d2f621848176dc8f7ab4f0dcd999af85 229990 fweb_1.62-12+b2_i386.deb
Build-Path: /usr/src/debian/fweb-1.62-12+b2
Build-Environment:
 acl (= 2.2.52-1),
 adduser (= 3.113+nmu3),
 base-files (= 7.5),
 base-passwd (= 3.5.33),
 bash (= 4.3-9),
 binutils (= 2.24.51.20140818-1),
 bsdmainutils (= 9.0.5),
 bsdutils (= 1:2.20.1-5.8),
 build-essential (= 11.7),
 bzip2 (= 1.0.6-7),
 coreutils (= 8.21-1.2),
 cpp (= 4:4.9.1-3),
 cpp-4.9 (= 4.9.1-9),
 dash (= 0.5.7-4),
 debconf (= 1.5.53),
 debhelper (= 9.20140817),
 debianutils (= 4.4),
 dh-buildinfo (= 0.11),
 diffutils (= 1:3.3-1),
 dmsetup (= 2:1.02.88-1),
 dpkg (= 1.17.13),
 dpkg-dev (= 1.17.13),
 e2fslibs (= 1.42.11-2),
 e2fsprogs (= 1.42.11-2),
 file (= 1:5.19-1),
 findutils (= 4.4.2-9),
 g++ (= 4:4.9.1-3),
 g++-4.9 (= 4.9.1-9),
 gcc (= 4:4.9.1-3),
 gcc-4.9 (= 4.9.1-9),
 gcc-4.9-base (= 4.9.1-9),
 gettext (= 0.19.2-1),
 gettext-base (= 0.19.2-1),
 grep (= 2.20-2),
 groff-base (= 1.22.2-6),
 gzip (= 1.6-3),
 hostname (= 3.15),
 init (= 1.21),
 initscripts (= 2.88dsf-53.4),
 insserv (= 1.14.0-5),
 intltool-debian (= 0.35.0+20060710.1),
 libacl1 (= 2.2.52-1),
 libasan1 (= 4.9.1-9),
 libasprintf0c2 (= 0.19.2-1),
 libatomic1 (= 4.9.1-9),
 libattr1 (= 1:2.4.47-1),
 libaudit1 (= 1:2.3.7-1),
 libaudit-common (= 1:2.3.7-1),
 libblkid1 (= 2.20.1-5.8),
 libbz2-1.0 (= 1.0.6-7),
 libc6 (= 2.19-10),
 libc6-dev (= 2.19-10),
 libcap2 (= 1:2.24-4),
 libcap2-bin (= 1:2.24-4),
 libc-bin (= 2.19-10),
 libc-dev-bin (= 2.19-10),
 libcilkrts5 (= 4.9.1-9),
 libcloog-isl4 (= 0.18.2-1),
 libcomerr2 (= 1.42.11-2),
 libcroco3 (= 0.6.8-3),
 libcryptsetup4 (= 2:1.6.6-1),
 libdb5.3 (= 5.3.28-6),
 libdbus-1-3 (= 1.8.6-2),
 libdebconfclient0 (= 0.191),
 libdevmapper1.02.1 (= 2:1.02.88-1),
 libdpkg-perl (= 1.17.13),
 libffi6 (= 3.1-2),
 libgcc1 (= 1:4.9.1-9),
 libgcc-4.9-dev (= 4.9.1-9),
 libgcrypt11 (= 1.5.4-2),
 libgcrypt20 (= 1.6.2-2),
 libgdbm3 (= 1.8.3-13),
 libglib2.0-0 (= 2.40.0-4),
 libgmp10 (= 2:6.0.0+dfsg-6),
 libgomp1 (= 4.9.1-9),
 libgpg-error0 (= 1.13-3),
 libintl-perl (= 1.23-1),
 libisl10 (= 0.12.2-2),
 libitm1 (= 4.9.1-9),
 libkmod2 (= 18-1),
 liblzma5 (= 5.1.1alpha+20120614-2),
 libmagic1 (= 1:5.19-1),
 libmount1 (= 2.20.1-5.8),
 libmpc3 (= 1.0.2-1),
 libmpfr4 (= 3.1.2-1),
 libncurses5 (= 5.9+20140712-2),
 libncurses5-dev (= 5.9+20140712-2),
 libncursesw5 (= 5.9+20140712-2),
 libpam0g (= 1.1.8-3.1),
 libpam-modules (= 1.1.8-3.1),
 libpam-modules-bin (= 1.1.8-3.1),
 libpam-runtime (= 1.1.8-3.1),
 libpcre3 (= 1:8.35-3),
 libpipeline1 (= 1.3.0-1),
 libprocps3 (= 1:3.3.9-7),
 libquadmath0 (= 4.9.1-9),
 libselinux1 (= 2.3-1),
 libsemanage1 (= 2.3-1),
 libsemanage-common (= 2.3-1),
 libsepol1 (= 2.3-1),
 libss2 (= 1.42.11-2),
 libstdc++-4.9-dev (= 4.9.1-9),
 libstdc++6 (= 4.9.1-9),
 libsystemd-journal0 (= 208-8),
 libsystemd-login0 (= 208-8),
 libtext-unidecode-perl (= 0.04-2),
 libtimedate-perl (= 2.3000-2),
 libtinfo5 (= 5.9+20140712-2),
 libtinfo-dev (= 5.9+20140712-2),
 libubsan0 (= 4.9.1-9),
 libudev1 (= 208-8),
 libunistring0 (= 0.9.3-5.2),
 libustr-1.0-1 (= 1.0.4-3),
 libuuid1 (= 2.20.1-5.8),
 libwrap0 (= 7.6.q-25),
 libxml2 (= 2.9.1+dfsg1-4),
 libxml-libxml-perl (= 2.0116+dfsg-1+b1),
 libxml-namespacesupport-perl (= 1.11-1),
 libxml-sax-base-perl (= 1.07-1),
 libxml-sax-perl (= 0.99+dfsg-2),
 linux-libc-dev (= 3.14.15-2),
 login (= 1:4.2-2+b1),
 lsb-base (= 4.1+Debian13),
 make (= 4.0-8),
 man-db (= 2.6.7.1-1),
 mawk (= 1.3.3-17),
 mount (= 2.20.1-5.8),
 ncurses-base (= 5.9+20140712-2),
 ncurses-bin (= 5.9+20140712-2),
 passwd (= 1:4.2-2+b1),
 patch (= 2.7.1-6),
 perl (= 5.20.0-4),
 perl-base (= 5.20.0-4),
 perl-modules (= 5.20.0-4),
 po-debconf (= 1.0.16+nmu3),
 procps (= 1:3.3.9-7),
 sed (= 4.2.2-4),
 sensible-utils (= 0.0.9),
 startpar (= 0.59-3),
 systemd (= 208-8),
 systemd-sysv (= 208-8),
 sysvinit-utils (= 2.88dsf-53.4),
 sysv-rc (= 2.88dsf-53.4),
 tar (= 1.27.1-2),
 texinfo (= 5.2.0.dfsg.1-4),
 tzdata (= 2014f-1),
 ucf (= 3.0030),
 udev (= 208-8),
 util-linux (= 2.20.1-5.8),
 xz-utils (= 5.1.1alpha+20120614-2),
 zlib1g (= 1:1.2.8.dfsg-2)
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE-----
Version: GnuPG v2

iQJ8BAEBCgBmBQJWYNoZXxSAAAAAAC4AKGlzc3Vlci1mcHJAbm90YXRpb25zLm9w
Dx1xK9OgUkDt+gwh9WK/QrvV7IOjAg/pl6j7px5u6MNKHWPW0tC9M5123Q2KmaGT
-----END PGP SIGNATURE-----

Possible future extensions

We are not currently including the following things, mostly because it is quite hard to do them right now. But it would be nice to, in the future:

Inclusion of *.buildinfo in the archive

See ReproducibleBuilds/BuildinfoInfrastructure

Previous ideas

.changes files looked like a good place to record the environment as they list the checksums of the build products and are signed by either the maintainer or the buildd operator.

But the meaning of *.changes files is pretty clear: they describe a transactional change operation on the archive. They are not saved directly in the archive: they are equivalent of a log entry. The name of *.changes file is also not specified and multiple operations can have the same name.

(See also 719854 for the first attempt which tried using XC- field in debian/control.)

We thought that .buildinfo files would be all the data required to do a rebuild, as opposed to a description of the state of the build system. However, it's likely that we don't know the actual requirements, and it's likely that the description will be more detailed than is necessary in some cases. This means that two different buildinfo files could attest to the same exact binary artifact.

We thought at some point that the .buildinfo could be referenced in the Packages index, but this does not seem necessary, and might be overkill, since only some users may actually have varied systems.

We do not need to specify the ordering of fields?

  1. In particular, in GNU terminology this is the build architecture. In Debian, the GNU target architecture for cross compilers is usually encoded in the package name and thus does not need to be encoded here; and the host architecture is the Debian binary package architecture in the Architecture field and file name. (1)

ReproducibleBuilds/BuildinfoFiles (last modified 2016-11-30 04:44:22)