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Fedora 26 Boost 1.63 upgrade


This change brings Boost 1.63.0 to Fedora 26. This will mean F26 ships with a recent upstream Boost release.


Current status

Detailed Description

The aim is to synchronize Fedora with the most recent Boost release. Because ABI stability is one of explicit Boost non-goals, this entails rebuilding of all dependent packages. This has also always entailed yours truly assisting maintainers of client packages in decoding cryptic boost-ese seen in output from g++. Such care is to be expected this time around as well.

Boost 1.63 is scheduled for release on Dec 14th, 2016. It's possible that 1.64.0 will be released early enough in the F26 schedule to rebase on that instead, with beta releases available for testing in advance.

The equivalent changes for previous releases were Fedora 22 Change and Fedora 23 Change and Fedora 24 Change.

Benefit to Fedora

Fedora 25 did not get a Boost upgrade so uses Boost 1.60.0, the same version as F24. The latest upstream release is 1.62.0, the 1.63.0 release is scheduled for mid-December 2016, and by the time of the F26 release there is likely to be at least one more Boost release. This change will mean F26 doesn't ship with the same outdated version as F24 and F25.

Fedora will stay relevant, as far as Boost clients are concerned. Boost 1.61 brings four new libraries:

  • Boost.Compute: Parallel/GPU-computing library
  • Boost.DLL: A library for comfortable work with DLLs and DSOs.
  • Boost.Hana: A modern C++ metaprogramming library.
  • Boost.Metaparse: A library for generating compile-time parsers for embedded DSL code.

Boost 1.62.0 brings two new libraries:

  • Boost.Fiber: Framework for userland-threads/fibers
  • Boost.QVM: a generic library for working with quaternions, vectors and matrices of static size

At the time of writing, Boost 1.63.0 is not planned to contain any new libraries.


  • Proposal owners:
    • Build will be done with Boost.Build v2 (which is the upstream-sanctioned way of building Boost)
    • Request a "f25-boost" build system tag (discussion):
    • Build boost into that tag (take a look at the build #606493 for inspiration)
    • Post a request for rebuilds to fedora-devel
    • Work on rebuilding dependent packages in the tag.
    • When most is done, re-tag all the packages to rawhide
    • Watch fedora-devel and assist in rebuilding broken Boost clients (by fixing the client, or Boost).
  • Other developers:
    • Those who depend on Boost DSOs will have to rebuild their packages. Feature owners will alleviate some of this work as indicated above, and will assist those whose packages fail to build in debugging them.
  • Release engineering:
    • Side tag creation.
  • Policies and guidelines:
    • Apart from scope, this is business as usual, so no policies, no guidelines.
  • Trademark approval: N/A (not needed for this Change)

Upgrade/compatibility impact

  • No impact on system upgrade.
  • No manual configuration or data migration needed.
  • Some impact on other packages. Historically this hasn't been too big of a problem and could always be resolved before deadline.

How To Test

  • No special hardware is needed.
  • Integration testing simply consists of installing Boost packages (dnf install boost) on Fedora and checking that it does not break other packages (see below for a way to obtain a list of boost clients).

User Experience

  • Expected to remain largely the same.
  • Developers building third-party software on Fedora may need to rebuild against the new Boost packages, and may need to adjust their code if the new Boost release is not source-compatible.


Packages that must be rebuilt: $ repoquery -s --releasever=rawhide --whatrequires libboost\* --disablerepo=* --enablerepo=fedora | sort -u

All clients: $ repoquery --releasever=rawhide --archlist=src --whatrequires boost-devel --disablerepo='*' --enablerepo=fedora-source

Contingency Plan

  • Contingency mechanism: Worst case scenario is to abandon the update and simply ship F26 with Boost 1.60, which is already in rawhide. If 1.63 (or 1.64) causes too many problems for clients being rebuilt then it might be possible to use 1.62 or 1.61 instead, which would still be an improvement over F24 and F25.
  • Contingency deadline: We will know whether the change can be made once the rebuilds in the side tag are done, which is likely to be some time in January 2017.
  • Blocks release? No
  • Blocks product? None


Release Notes

Boost has been upgraded to version 1.63. Apart from a number of bugfixes and improvements to existing libraries, this brings six new libraries compared to Fedora 25, Boost.Compute, Boost.DLL, Boost.Hana, Boost.Metaparse, Boost.Fiber and Boost.QVM.