The openSUSE team announced today the open sourcing of our openSUSE Build Service (OBS). We believe that it is not only important to release an excellent Open Source distribution but also create it in an open way with Open Source tools together with the openSUSE community. Releasing the build service as Open Source makes the complete project build on Open Source.
The openSUSE Build Service allows individual developers and teams of developers to build binary packages for the distribution of their choice. It especially allows building for several distributions and releases of distributions from the same source package. As an example just recently the Scribus team blogged how OBS helped them to release binary RPMs of scribus 184.108.40.206. Note that OBS itself is still beta software.
Currently packages can be build for the latest Novell distributions, including SUSE Linux 9.3, 10.0 and 10.1, the openSUSE 10.2 release and the SUSE Linux Enterprise 10 line, and also for other current distributions like Debian Etch, Fedora Core 5 and 6, Mandriva 2006, Ubuntu 6.06. The binary package formats currently supported are RPM
The Build Service helps also end users since it gives them access to binary packages for their system and allows them to update just those packages that they need when they get released - instead of self-compiling them or waiting for the next release of their distribution.
To access the build service a web frontend for developers exists but I guess that most developers will use the command line tool called "osc" since it allows easy access and usage in scripts. Graphical frontends are getting developed as well.
With open sourcing the build service, we hope that others will help in the development of the service itself - and use a version of it on their own machines. If you like to use the Build Service, please discuss it on the email@example.com mailing list.
In the future we like to build the complete distribution openSUSE distribution in the build service. This includes mastering of ISOs in the Build Service - and even enabling everybody to build their own distribution.
You can read more about the Build Service at http://en.opensuse.org/Build_Service. Developers with a login can reach the buildservice via http://build.opensuse.org - and users can download software via one of the repositories following http://software.opensuse.org/
I've been surprised to see yesterday's Linspire announcement. It confirms my belief that sharing binary packages is important. CNR promises a lot of new features that we've been
discussing and working on as well. The build service offers a platform for developers where they can build and distribute packages of their choice instead of beeing dependend on another team. The packages available from the Build Service can be installed with the native packaging tools of the distribution, there's no need to install any extra software for using packages from the openSUSE Build Service. Unlike CNR, the Build Service will offer only Open Source packages - and offer them for free to everybody. The Build Service itself is now available as Open Source software - available for everybody to enhance!