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OpenSUSE rolls out auto-build service
Jul. 09, 2008

The OpenSUSE Project has launched an automated build system aimed at helping developers build and package their applications. The "OpenSUSE Build Service" can package source code for several popular distributions, and cross-compile it for a variety of architectures, according to the Project.

The OpenSUSE Project has apparently been working on its Build Service software for some time. However, it announced today that an initial 1.0 release of the tools would be used to power a service that in turn would be used to create the next release of OpenSUSE, targeting x86, x86_64, and PPC architectures.

The Build Service tools are hosted by Novell. They appear to comprise build scripts aimed at building and packaging software in "clean and safe" chrooted build environments. In addition to RPMs for OpenSUSE, the tools can package software for:
  • SUSE Linux and Linux Enterprise
  • Debian (Etch)
  • Red Hat/Fedora/CentOS
  • Mandriva
  • Ubuntu
The Build Service tools support a variety of user interfaces:
  • A python-based commandline tool called osc, or "OpenSUSE Commander"
  • A browser-based front-end implemented as a Ruby-on-RAILS application backed up by a MySQL database
  • A "rich client" application
Additional software includes:
  • A logfile analyzer (based on Qt)
  • Upload/download scripts
Juergen Geck, CTO of Open-Xchange, stated, "The openSUSE Build Service enables independent software vendors to [build and package] applications for any distribution. We can configure a package once, reproduce it and test automatically."

More information about the Build Service tools can be found here. The OpenSUSE project's implementation can be found here.

-- Henry Kingman

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