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Re: [PATCH 1/3] gitlab: always build container images

From: Philippe Mathieu-Daudé
Subject: Re: [PATCH 1/3] gitlab: always build container images
Date: Tue, 16 Feb 2021 14:02:31 +0100
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:78.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/78.7.0

On 2/16/21 1:43 PM, Daniel P. Berrangé wrote:
> On Wed, Feb 10, 2021 at 11:17:00AM +0000, Daniel P. Berrangé wrote:
>> On Tue, Feb 09, 2021 at 09:58:29AM +0000, Daniel P. Berrangé wrote:
>>> On Tue, Feb 09, 2021 at 07:37:51AM +0100, Thomas Huth wrote:
>>>> On 08/02/2021 17.33, Daniel P. Berrangé wrote:
>>>> [...]
>>>>> For example, consider pushing 5 commits, one of which contains a
>>>>> dockerfile change. This will trigger a CI pipeline for the
>>>>> containers. Now consider you do some more work on the branch and push 3
>>>>> further commits, so you now have a branch of 8 commits. For the second
>>>>> push GitLab will only look at the 3 most recent commits, the other 5
>>>>> were already present. Thus GitLab will not realize that the branch has
>>>>> dockerfile changes that need to trigger the container build.
>>>>> This can cause real world problems:
>>>>>   - Push 5 commits to branch "foo", including a dockerfile change
>>>>>      => rebuilds the container images with content from "foo"
>>>>>      => build jobs runs against containers from "foo"
>>>>>   - Refresh your master branch with latest upstream master
>>>>>      => rebuilds the container images with content from "master"
>>>>>      => build jobs runs against containers from "master"
>>>>>   - Push 3 more commits to branch "foo", with no dockerfile change
>>>>>      => no container rebuild triggers
>>>>>      => build jobs runs against containers from "master"
>>>>> The "changes" conditional in gitlab is OK, *provided* your build
>>>>> jobs are not relying on any external state from previous builds.
>>>>> This is NOT the case in QEMU, because we are building container
>>>>> images and these are cached. This is a scenario in which the
>>>>> "changes" conditional is not usuable.
>>>>> The only other way to avoid this problem would be to use the git
>>>>> branch name as the container image tag, instead of always using
>>>>> "latest".
>>>> I'm basically fine with your patch, but let me ask one more thing: Won't we
>>>> still have the problem if the user pushes to different branches
>>>> simultaneously? E.g. the user pushes to "foo" with changes to dockerfiles,
>>>> containers start to get rebuild, then pushes to master without waiting for
>>>> the previous CI to finish, then the containers get rebuild from the 
>>>> "master"
>>>> job without the local changes to the dockerfiles. Then in the "foo" CI
>>>> pipelines the following jobs might run with the containers that have been
>>>> built by the "master" job...
>>> Yes,  this is the issue I describe in the cover letter.
>>>> So if we really want to get it bulletproof, do we have to use the git 
>>>> branch
>>>> name as the container image tag?
>>> That is possible, but I'm somewhat loathe to do that, as it means the
>>> container registry in developers forks will accumulate a growing list
>>> of image tags. I know gitlab will force expire once it gets beyond a
>>> certain number of tags, but it still felt pretty wasteful of space
>>> to create so many tags.
>>> Having said that, maybe this is not actually wasteful if we always
>>> use the "master" as a cache for docker, then the "new" images we
>>> build on each branch will just re-use existing docker layers and
>>> thus not add to disk usage. We'd only see extra usage if the branch
>>> contained changes to dockerfiles.
>> The challenge here is that I need the docker tag name to be in an env
>> variable in the gitlab-ci.yml file.
>> I can directly use $CI_COMMIT_REF_NAME  to get the branch name but
>> the list of valid characters for a git branch is way more permissive
>> than valid characters for a docker tag.
>> So we need to filter the git branch name to form a valid docker tag,
>> and AFAICT, there's no way todo that when setting a global env variable
>> in the gitlab-ci.yml.  I can only do filtering once in the before_script:
>> stage, and that's too late to use it in the image name for the job.
> I've thought of a solution here.
> We can tag the images with $CI_COMMIT_SHORT_SHA , and the build jobs
> can reference them with 
> In the continer build script, we then *also* tag them with a sanitized
> version of $CI_COMMIT_REF_NAME, and also use this as the cache to pull
> from when building the image.
> The main downside here is that we'll end up creating alot of tags, but
> most will have the same content so shouldn't be too bad.

This could be automated (for forks):


Not yet to the qemu-project registry because:

  Cleanup policies can be run on all projects, with these exceptions:

    For GitLab.com, the project must have been created after 2020-02-22.



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