idle builders... why?

Asked by Brian J. Murrell on 2012-03-13

Just having taken a first look at the build farm, I wonder why builders can be idle when jobs are waiting to build. For example, at this moment:

 amd64 build of nux 2.6.0+bzr596ubuntu0+323 in ubuntu precise RELEASE
Build started 32 minutes ago and finished 24 minutes ago taking 8 minutes — see the log

So this builder has been idle for 24 minutes now and at the same time the mythtv PPA (https://launchpad.net/~mythbuntu/+archive/0.25) has been waiting to build for 49 minutes.

At the same time "crested" has been idle for 33 minutes:

 amd64 build of nux 2.6.0+bzr595ubuntu0+323 in ubuntu precise RELEASE
Build started 1 hour ago and finished 33 minutes ago taking 29 minutes — see the log

So why all the idleness when jobs are in the queue?

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2012-03-13
Last reply:
2012-03-13
William Grant (wgrant) said : #1

The builders at the top of https://launchpad.net/builders (with the distribution icon, made up of three circles) are for official distributions (ie. Ubuntu) and trusted PPAs. They're running on bare metal, so it's not safe for them to be used for untrusted builds. The builders you mention fall into this category.

Most PPA packages build on the lower set of builders, with the PPA icon next to them. They're Xen virtual machines, so it's safe to run untrusted code.

On 12-03-12 09:25 PM, William Grant wrote:
> The builders at the top of https://launchpad.net/builders (with the
> distribution icon, made up of three circles) are for official
> distributions (ie. Ubuntu) and trusted PPAs. They're running on bare
> metal, so it's not safe for them to be used for untrusted builds. The
> builders you mention fall into this category.
>
> Most PPA packages build on the lower set of builders, with the PPA icon
> next to them. They're Xen virtual machines, so it's safe to run
> untrusted code.

Very good answer, thanks. It's too bad the distribution of hardware is
not more even. Of course, understood that the distribution might need
to change over the course of a release cycle, but it's too bad that
bare-metal builders could not be re-deployed as Xen builders while needs
are slack.

Anyway, thanks much for the answer.

William Grant (wgrant) said : #3

PPAs have far more hardware then official distributions, ignoring ARM (which isn't widely available). There are normally around 40 x86 PPA builders, compared to the 8 that official distributions have.

On 12-03-12 09:45 PM, William Grant wrote:
>
> PPAs have far more hardware then official distributions, ignoring ARM
> (which isn't widely available). There are normally around 40 x86 PPA
> builders, compared to the 8 that official distributions have.

My apologies if I was taken as implying that the ratio of machines was
imbalanced. I don't in fact think there should be any prescribed ratio
and just that available, idle hardware ought to be utilized when there
is work to be done.

Of course, I would fully expect that any "loans" (in an automated,
scheduled sense) of official distribution hardware only be on the basis
that there is no official distribution work to be done.

Ultimately, it just seems a waste to have an idle resource when it could
be used to do work. Maybe they are not idle. Maybe they are minting
bitcoin when not building official distributions. :-D J/K of course.

Laura Czajkowski (czajkowski) said : #6

think william has already answered this question

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