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devrandom 5e77059137 Using backing image instead of copy for qemu image. From lukejr. 9 years ago
bin First pass lxc support 9 years ago
doc check if kvm is available and warn if not 9 years ago
etc First pass lxc support 9 years ago
libexec Using backing image instead of copy for qemu image. From lukejr. 9 years ago
share Add "optionals" array to descriptor/assertion YAML files - allow them to be missing on verify 9 years ago
target-bin First pass lxc support 9 years ago
.gitignore implement bin/gsign 10 years ago First pass lxc support 9 years ago


Read about the project goals at the “project home page”: .

This package can do a deterministic build of a package inside a VM.

Deterministic build inside a VM

This performs a build inside a VM, with deterministic inputs and outputs. If the build script takes care of all sources of non-determinism (mostly caused by timestamps), the result will always be the same. This allows multiple independent verifiers to sign a binary with the assurance that it really came from the source they reviewed.


Install prereqs:

sudo apt-get install apt-cacher
sudo service apt-cacher start

If you want to use kvm:

sudo apt-get install python-vm-builder qemu-kvm

or alternatively, lxc (no need for hardware support):

sudo apt-get install debootstrap lxc

Create the base VM for use in further builds (requires sudo, please review the script):

bin/make-base-vm --arch i386

or for lxc:

bin/make-base-vm --lxc
bin/make-base-vm --lxc --arch i386

Copy any additional build inputs into a directory named inputs.

Then execute the build using a YAML description file (can be run as non-root):

export USE_LXC=1 # LXC only
bin/gbuild <package>.yml

or if you need to specify a commit for one of the git remotes:

bin/gbuild --commit <dir>=<hash> <package>.yml

The resulting report will appear in result/<package>-res.yml

To sign the result, perform:

bin/gsign --signer <signer> --release <release-name> <package>.yml

Where is your signing PGP key ID and is the name for the current release. This will put the result and signature in the sigs//. The sigs/ directory can be managed through git to coordinate multiple signers.

After you’ve merged everybody’s signatures, verify them:

bin/gverify --release <release-name> <package>.yml

Poking around

  • Log files are captured to the var directory
  • You can run the utilities in libexec by running PATH="libexec:$PATH"
  • To start the target VM run start-target 32 lucid-i386 or start-target 64 lucid-amd64
  • To ssh into the target run on-target or on-target -u root
  • On the target, the build directory contains the code as it is compiled and install contains intermediate libraries
  • By convention, the script in <package>.yml starts with any environment setup you would need to manually compile things on the target


  • disable sudo in target, just in case of a hypervisor exploit
  • tar and other archive timestamp setter