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Revision as of 13:47, 7 December 2011 by Jankratochvil (talk | contribs) (Real world example when repoquery cannot be used)

Darkserver is a service written to help people finding details of build-id(s). People will be able query the service based on build-id(s) or rpm package names. The service will provide output in JSON format as it will be easier for other tools to parse the output.

The whole idea is based on a feature of BUILD-ID which was completed in Fedora 8 time, you can read about it here.

Source Code

Source code is under github and can be found here.

Why we need the service?

To enable developer tools to identify exact package builds from which process images (e.g. core dumps) come. This can enable their analysis, debugging profiling, by finding out where the rpm / elf / dwarf files may be found, so they can download them. (This is even better than abrt-action-install-debuginfo-to-abrt-cache because that apparently cannot query files no longer indexed by repodata.)

darkclient may look like the same what can be done with repoquery:

$ repoquery -q --enablerepo='*-debuginfo' -f /usr/lib/debug/.build-id/0d/aa18d6291a5d0d174556c8c46f1345eba61a65

Just with repoquery one has only available:

  • GA release from repository fedora
  • the very latest update from repository updates
  • possibly the very latest update from repository updates-testing

One does not have available:

  • any update which has been already obsoleted by a more recent update
  • any release from Koji not submitted to Bodhi

This is a real problem making bugreports investigations difficult or even lost in some cases:

It is more common but I have spent more time searching for it.

Also the repoquery -qf way is too slow as it has to download *-filelists.sqlite.bz2 files for all the repositories first.

Requests for this feature of build-id to NVRA queries implemented some other ways have been declined before:

Real world example when repoquery cannot be used

A common problem with longterm running servers is how to analyze their crashes.

  • Fedora is released (GA) with package server-1.1-5.fc16.x86_64.
  • Update server-1.1-6.fc16.x86_64 is released, client runs yum update.
  • Client machine reboots, server-1.1-6.fc16.x86_64 is started.
  • Update server-1.1-7.fc16.x86_64 is released, client YUM automatically updates to server-1.1-7.fc16.x86_64. server-1.1-6.fc16.x86_64 is still running, having its files unlinked on disk now.
  • server-1.1-6.fc16.x86_64 crashes generating a core file.

Now you have a core file which you want to backtrace/analyze. How do you find symbols for server-1.1-6.fc16.x86_64? Repository fedora contains server-1.1-5.fc16.x86_64 and repository updates contains server-1.1-7.fc16.x86_64.. The system where it crashed has files already with server-1.1-7.fc16.x86_64.

server-1.1-6.fc16.x86_64 is usually still present at the Koji server where it can be downloaded but there is no way how to find out it which file to download from Koji.

Another problem would be if the automatic Koji builds deletion gets in the way. But I cannot say if it can be a problem, we can find it out only after we can find which build at Koji it is. ABRT Retrace Server currently stores copies of all the released builds from the past to workaround both the Koji autodeletion and missing build-id databases.

Populating the database

The database needs to contain very every build that may be in use, to be useful at all. There are multiple possible sources of this info. Populating the database should be based on a push (not pull) technology, with some hook at Koji/Bodhi executed after a new build.

  • Bodhi - but people commonly download and use Koji build n fixing their submitted Bug while Bodhi gets only later build n+1 containing also other fix(es).
  • Koji real (non-scratch) builds - this is the recommended hook place.
  • Koji incl. the scratch builds - I do not think it is worth it, NVRA of such database would be no longer unique, scratch builds are AFAIK never distributed among more uses, URLs to Koji are special and after all the lifetime of scratch builds is very limited (two weeks).

Architecture of the project

View this image.


  • Django >= 1.2.5
  • MySQL server

The web service does not need any authentication. It will require read only access to the database, the users will only require to query the service.

The information on the database will be filled up by darkserver-import command, which will only execute through bodhi on every update pushed through.

How to setup?

Install the darkserver and darkserver-import rpms. Run the createtable.sql under /usr/share/darkserver to create table structure in the database.

$ mysql -u user -p -Ddatabasename < /usr/share/darkserver/createtable.sql

Edit the configuration file at /etc/darkserver/darkserverweb.conf as

host=MySQL host name
user=MySQL user (read only access)
database=database name

Remember that the webserver only requires read only access to MySQL.

To use the darkserver-import tool you will have to fill up /etc/darkserver/darkserver.conf in the same way.

host=MySQL host name
user=MySQL user (read/write access)
database=database name