Fails to build from source, Fails to install

This page describes the policy for packages that no longer build or install and need developer attention.

The schedule for most releases of Fedora includes a mass rebuild (e.g. Fedora 27 Mass Rebuild, Fedora 28 Mass Rebuild) to update the packages with new features of the compiler, packaging, build flags, etc. This serves as a convenient opportunity to detect all packages which no longer build properly.

Glossary

FTBFS

Fails To Build From Sources

FTI

Fails To Install (usually due to broken dependencies)

Package removal for long-standing FTBFS and FTI bugs

Packages which fail to build or fail to install will be orphaned and/or retired after a period of time.

  1. If a package fails to build from sources or fails to install, any concerned party can file a bug in Bugzilla blocking a FTBFS/FTI tracker, providing information about the failure.

    • A bug about build failure needs to block the FTBFS tracker for the appropriate release, eg. F30FTBFS for Fedora 30, see list below.

    • A bug about installation failure needs to block the FTI tracker for the appropriate release, eg. F30FailsToInstall for Fedora 30, see list below.

    • One bug can block multiple trackers if convenient. Reporters are encouraged to search for duplicates first.

  2. Maintainers should either fix and close the bug or acknowledge that they are working on a solution by setting the state to ASSIGNED.

  3. If an FTBFS or FTI bug remains in the NEW state for at least 1 week, any concerned party can set a NEEDINFO asking the maintainer to respond.

  4. If the bug remains in NEW state for at least another 3 weeks after the NEEDINFO (= at least for 4 weeks in total), any concerned party can send another comment asking the maintainer to respond.

  5. If the bug remains in NEW state for at least another 4 weeks after the second comment (= at least 8 weeks in total), the package will be orphaned. Orphaning can be requested via a releng issue.

  6. The normal Orphaned package that needs new maintainers procedure will be followed for the packages orphaned in this way, leading to their retirement if nobody adopts them.

  7. Cca six weeks before the Fedora N mass branching, packages that weren’t successfully rebuilt at least in Fedora N-2 are collected and weekly reminders are sent to affected maintainers and the Fedora devel mailing list.

  8. Cca a week before the Fedora N mass branching, packages that weren’t successfully rebuilt at least in Fedora N-2 will be retired assuming there have been at least 5 warnings on the devel mailing list. The bug status has no effect on this retirement. This can be requested via a releng issue.

  9. A week before the scheduled beta freeze, any packages which have open FTI bugs in the NEW state for at least 8 weeks with at least 2 reminder comments will be retired from the relevant release and rawhide (in addition to being orphaned). (Releng ticket for this needs to be opened at least a week before the freeze, but can be opened sooner.)

  10. The previous point repeats for the final freeze.

    Example FTBFS retirement

    Soon before Fedora 31 branches, packages that were last successfully rebuilt on Fedora 28 (or even sooner) will be retired. In the time of Fedora 31 GA, all packages were rebuilt on a currently supported Fedora (at least Fedora 29).

(Effectively, packages that fail to build will be retired after 14 weeks or sooner if there is no maintainer response and the package is orphaned, or after 13 months if the maintainer responds but the package is not fixed.)

When releng performs the mass rebuild, releng opens FTBFS bugs for any packages which fail to build. Anyone can send the weekly reminders and request packages to be orphaned/retired – in other words, the procedure can be applied manually. At any point, releng can automate any steps mentioned above, but this is not required.

Anytime a releng ticket is open, please cross reference it from the bug report.

What to do if you get a FTBFS bug?

  • Read the logs. Each FTBFS bug should have the build logs attached.

  • If the build of your package fails due to a bug in your package:

    1. Fix the problems uncovered and commit the changes.

    2. Build the package. The fixed package will land in rawhide, generally the next day. If branching has already occurred, also fix the build in branched.

    3. If the build succeeds, close the bug as CLOSED: RAWHIDE, and include the package version number in the Fixed In Version field. Here is a command line template for powerusers: bugzilla modify --close RAWHIDE <bug-number> --comment 'Built successfully in rawhide' -F <package-nevr>

    4. If branching already occurred, but bodhi hasn’t been activated yet, also build the package in branched.

    5. If bodhi has already been activated for branched, also make an update. An update should be made even if branched has already been released.

  • If the build of your package fails due to a bug in another package (such as a compiler bug or missing dependency):

    1. Find an existing bug for that package describing the problem. Set your bug to "Depends on" that other bug. Do not change the component of your bug to the other package, or you will get more FTBFS bugs created against you.

    2. When that other bug is closed, you’ll get an email from bugzilla as usual. Rebuild your package using a koji scratch build, to verify it builds cleanly again. Proceed according to points 2-5 above.

  • If the package is no longer useful to the Fedora project, it should be retired. See How to remove a package at end of life.

In all cases, if you close an FTBFS bug as a duplicate of another bug, please make the other bug to block the right FTBFS tracking bugs. This way the bug left open will appear in the FTBFS reports properly.