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.
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.