New ArcheOS Release

This page describes all steps necessary to release a new ArcheOS version.


In this page I use the following convention: theodoric is the old distribution, newdistribution is the new distribution, wheezy is the old Debian version theodoric was based on while jessie is the new one. Obviously replace these terms while you follow the instructions.

0. Prerequisites

  • A codename for the new release
  • An updated build toolchain installed onto a Debian distribution the same version the target ArcheOS release will be (eg. jessie) (see below)
  • Some artwork to include into the release (for GRUB/Syslinux/XFCE)

1. Create new reprepro distribution

2. Update build toolchain

Your configuration files for git-buildpackage and pbuilder should have the old Debian version (eg. wheezy). You have to change it to the new one (eg. Jessie) and regenerate the cowbuilder/pbuilder archives.

Refer to the ArcheOS developers toolchain page for more information on this topic.

Some examples:

  • ~/.gbp.conf:
export-dir = ../build-area/
tarball-dir = ../tarballs/
builder = /usr/bin/git-pbuilder -sa
# use 'DIST=jessie git-pbuilder create' to create the archive
# upgrade periodically with DIST=jessie git-pbuilder update
dist = jessie
pbuilder = True
upstream-tree = master
  • Create the new base images used to build packages: DIST=jessie git-pbuilder create

3. Re-packaging tasks

This is the most long and challenging task. Roughly the workflow is:

  • Clone the archeos-meta, archeos-keyring, archeos-manual and archeos-menu repositories
  • Create a branch newdistribution on each repository and change the version number to the new one (eg. from 5 to 6). Change the codename too.
  • Repackage all these metapackages using the new build toolchain and upload them to newdistribution on reprepro
  • Install a plain Debian, the version must be the same of the new ArcheOS version (jessie). You can use Vagrant for this task.
  • Setup the new ArcheOS repository (newdistribution) into /etc/apt/sources.list.d/archeos.list (echo 'deb newdistribution main contrib non-free' > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/archeos.list)
  • Try to install the archeos-system metapackage and check which packages have broken dependencies
  • If a metapackage cannot be installed you have to find which package is broken inside the metapackage, then you have some choices:
    • Re-package the broken package to use correct library version (if the package cannot be installed due to library dependency problem). You should also check if the upstream code for that software is updated against our version and in case update it. Import then into newdistribution
    • Migrate the package on reprepro from the old distribution to the new one. This is useful for metapackages that fails to install due to the lack of some package in the new repository and there is no new version for that software. In this case you can copy package from one distribution to another with the following commands:
      • reprepro -v -b /srv/reprepro copy newdistribution theodoric package-name
      • reprepro -v -b /srv/reprepro copysrc newdistribution theodoric package-name
    • Remove the missing dependency from the archeos-meta metapackage. This is the case when the ArcheOS community decides the software is not needed anymore. In this case you can safely remove the dependency from the archeos-meta control file, re-package it and upload it again in the newdistribution distribution.
    • Decide that the package is needed but at the moment it cannot be repackaged for variuos reasons (such as no developers to work at). This is an useful option if you want to test the new distribution temporary without this package. In this case you can remove the dependency from the archeos-meta control file and re-package and upload it to the new distribution. Keep track of the missing package some way, like an issue on the GitHub repository for archeos-meta or some wiki page.

4. Try to build the ISO

When all required packages are assuming to work in the new distribution is time to try to build an ISO with live-build and see what happens.

  • Clone the ArcheOS repository
  • Create a new branch to perform all tests without impacting master branch git checkout -B newdistribution
  • Change all the occurrencies for theodoric or wheezy, specifically:
    • The debian/live/auto/config file
    • The debian-live/config/package-lists/archeos-core.list.chroot
    • The files into debian-live/config/archives/ folder

5. Merge all changes into master

Once you have tested that all works with the new distribution you can decide the release day and merge all chages you’ve done in packages and live-build configuration into the respective master branches. This way the repository will tracks by default the updated version.

For each of the packages you’ve created the newdistribution branch:

  • git checkout master
  • git checkout -B theodoric (we create a new branch from the old master to keep track of the old version of this package)
  • git checkout master
  • git merge newdistribution this will merge all our new changes to the master branch
  • Check all is fine with the package (try to build it)
  • Upload the package to reprepro newdistribution
  • git branch -d newdistribution (we remove the newdistribution branch now that is merged into master)
  • git push

The ArcheOS repository too needs to be merged into the master branch using the same procedure.

6. Point the reprepro’s stable distribution to the new one

7. Other minor tasks

  • Change the ArcheOS version on the website (ArcheOS Website package) to the new one
  • Inform the ArcheOS community about the release (Mailing List, Social networks, Website)
  • Change milestones into the ArcheOS main repository on Github to reflect the newdistribution
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