Introducing the XDANDROID Eclair rootfs Build Service

With many devices to support and a frantic development pace, the XDANDROID port is very lively these days. As a consequence, we now need to keep development as centralized as possible. In an effort to help alleviate some of the confusion in image building, I’ve created a repository for the rootfs image. This gives us a nice home to work out of with the rootfs itself and ultimately allows testers or more adventurous end-users to work with the latest changes, without requiring all new release bundles. If you wish, you can skip this blog post and go straight to the build service.

The rootfs is, as of now, the only portion of the system release bundle that can be kept in a repository. Much of the rest of the system (and indeed, a lot of rootfs) is comprised of binaries, which do not lend themselves well to repository storage. With the rootfs being small and, in terms of binaries, relatively constant, we can keep a git repository of it. The ability of testers and users to view up-to-the-minute development status was the main concern I had when creating this repository. Next to that, though, I was hoping we could get recent rootfs builds out to those users in between bundle releases. This allows more thorough testing of the various configuration issues the rootfs is designed to solve.

However, not all users have the expertise or environment needed to build these images themselves. This is where the build service is essential. The GlemSom autobuild system was built for the same purpose: getting fresh kernels out to testers. Like the GlemSom autobuild kernels, the rootfs images are built from a volatile, live development environment and may not work sometimes. That these two pieces of the system work reliably (as well as the system.img) is of utmost importance, so providing live builds is essential for testing. In the end, it also helps expose our development processes and practices, which helps other developers join the community.

If you have experience with these devices, Android porting, or Linux in general, you may be able to help. Check the forum thread for the port and the build services (linked above) to see what everyone is up to. Also hop by the #xdandroid channel on freenode, where most of the developers work on this stuff in real time. There is a TON of very informative discussion in the channel every day.

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