What is Deb-o-Matic?

Deb-o-Matic is an easy to use utility to build Debian source packages, meant to help developers to automate the building of their packages with a tool that requires limited user interaction and a simple configuration.

It provides some useful features such as automatic chroot creation, rebuild of source packages, post-build checks, and much more. It is also extendible with modules that are loaded and executed during the build phases.

Why Deb-o-Matic?

When the author started to contribute to the Debian and Ubuntu development, he was running a 10-year-old PC and had a poor network connectivity. Downloading lots of packages had always been a nightmare, Canonical’s PPAs were always busy compiling other packages because of the limited resources invested at the time, and wanna-build was (and still is) too complex to set up for relatively simple workflows.

A brand new software was created to help building source packages to avoid the burden of the compilation, without wasting too much time configuring complex software to work. Deb-o-Matic was born! A group of Debian and Ubuntu developers started to use it as their primary build machine to avoid playing with sbuild and long builds. Some of them still use Deb-o-Matic to build their packages.

Over time, Deb-o-Matic has been used by some FLOSS projects too. For example, Scilab Enterprises uses Deb-o-Matic to build Scilab in a transparent and automatic way. Every 5 minutes, a cronjob checks if any new commit happened and start a built process through Deb-o-Matic.