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Re: Skipping tests during install/build

From: Ludovic Courtès
Subject: Re: Skipping tests during install/build
Date: Sun, 12 Feb 2017 14:30:01 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/25.1 (gnu/linux)

Hi Mike,

Mike Gerwitz <address@hidden> skribis:

> Is there a way (without screwing anything up) to skip tests during a
> build?  I understand that this is generally unwise---I don't want to
> debate those merits.

The short answer is “no”.  The Boolean that determines whether tests are
run is an “input” of the build process, and thus it contributes to that
/gnu/store hash.  Changing it leads to a different hash.

I think it’s a feature, though.  :-)

> My immediate problem is that I'm on a dinky little ARM C201 Chromebook
> and any sort of building is quite time-consuming, and often
> prohibitively so: I can deal with the compilation times, but the tests
> are simply too much; I don't have time to wait potentially hours for
> software to build if they aren't available from hydra.  GnuTLS is one
> particularly intense dependency test-wise, for example.  And then if a
> test fails for whatever reason, I'm completely out of luck.  I'd rather
> install and then run tests later at my leisure, accepting the risks.
> But I don't know if any test output is taken into account in any Guix
> hashes.
> There are a few situations where I've had no choice but to fall back to
> installing the respective Debian package(s).  But I've been very
> impressed with how many ARM packages _are_ available from hydra---many
> more than I had expected!

The intent is to have as much as possible available as substitutes.
However, while this works well for x86_64, the other platforms are not
in as good a state.

Part of it is due to the fact that they have fewer build machines¹ so
they tend to lag behind.  The second problem is that they have fewer
users; developers don’t always notice when something breaks there and
cannot fix issues easily if they don’t have access to the hardware.

So I think it’s a chicken-and-egg problem.  Reporting the problems that
you have on ARM (test suite failures, build failures, etc.) can help
raise awareness and get people to fix things more quickly.


¹ See the list at <>.

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