jump to navigation

rakudo-pkg v2: Github Actions/CloudSmith, devbuilds, Alpine repos, nfpm 2021-02-11

Posted by claudio in Uncategorized.
Tags: , ,
add a comment

(In case you don’t know rakudo-pkg: it’s a project to provide native packages and relocatable builds of Rakudo for Linux distributions.)

The downward spiral of Travis since it was taken over by a Private Equity firm (there is a pattern here), triggered a long coming refactoring of the rakudo-pkg workflow.  Until now the packages were created on Travis because it supported running Linux containers so we could tailor the build for each distribution/release. Almost at the same time JFrog announced it was sunsetting Bintray and other services popular with FOSS projects. The deb and rpm repos needed a new home.

Oh well, Travis and Bintray will be missed and certainly deserve our thanks for their service during years. It was difficult to imagine a better time to implement a few ideas from the good old TODO list.

From Travis to Github Actions

Github Actions is way faster than the post-P.E. Travis. Builds that took a few hours (we build around 25 distro/version combinations) now are done between 10 and 20 minutes. Not surprisingly this not only meant learning a complete new tool, but also a complete rewrite of the rakudo-pkg workflow.

Running on Github also means that every Github user can fork the repo including the rakudo-pkg Github workflows. One of the advantages of a rewrite is implementing new functionalities, like the new feature of rakudo-pkg to allow everyone to test the upstream MoarVM/NQP/Rakudo and zef commits/releases:

devbuild workflow

From Bintray to CloudSmith with Alpine repositories

Cloudsmith has a huge advantage over Bintray: it supports Alpine Linux repositories, making it a great addition to the rpm and deb repositories we already offer. The packages in the old repositories were GPG signed by BinTray. From now onwards, rakudo-pkg will be signed with his own key on Cloudsmith. Check the project’s README for instructions how to change your configuration. So far the experience with CloudSmith has been stellar. Their support is impressively responsive and they solve issues immediately, sometime while we were chatting about it.

From fpm to nfpm

rakudo-pkg created packages with the venerable fpm, written in Ruby. While the tool is extremely capable, I spent most of the time of a release getting fpm to build on new versions of distributions. The Ruby Gems ecosystem looks like a moving target. Enter nfpm, inspired with fpm but with the promise of a single binary. Written it Go, it’s more accessible to me to understand how it works and send fixes upstream if needed. The devs are also very responsive and fixed one issue I encountered extremely fast.


Feel free to open issues of send PRs if I missed something or if you have ideas to improve rakudo-pkg

rakudo-pkg: Create OS packages for Rakudo Perl 6 using Docker 2016-09-05

Posted by claudio in Uncategorized.
Tags: , , , , ,
1 comment so far


There was an interesting discussion on #perl6 (irc.freenode.net) about the use of rakudobrew as a way for end-users to install Rakudo Perl 6 (see how-to-get-rakudo).

rakudobrew, inspired by perlbrew, is a way to manage (and compile) different versions of rakudo. nine argued that it’s primarily meant as a tool for rakudo developers. Because of the increased complexity (e.g. when dealing with modules) it’s not targeted at end-users. While being a big fan of rakudobrew, I agree with nine.

The problem is that there are no Linux binaries on the download page (there are for MacOS and Windows), so users are stuck with building from source (it can be fun, but after a while it isn’t).

rakudo-pkg is a github project to help system administrators (and hopefully Rakudo release managers) to easily provide native Linux packages for end users. So far, I added support for creating Ubuntu 16.04 LTS amd64 and i386 packages and Centos 7 amd64. These are the systems I use the most. Feel free to add support for more distributions.

rakudo-pkg uses Docker. The use of containers means that there is no longer need for chasing dependencies and no risks of installing files all over your system. It also means that as long the building machine is a Linux 64-bit OS, you can build packages for *all* supported distributions.

Within the containers, rakudo-pkg uses fpm. The created packages are minimalistic by design: they don’t run any pre/post scripts and all the files are installed in /opt/rakudo. You’ll have to add /opt/rakudo/bin to your PATH. I also added two additional scripts to install Perl 6 module managers (both have similar functionalities):


If you just want to create native packages, just go to the bin directory and execute the run_pkgrakudo.pl command. In this case there is no need to locally build the Docker images: you’ll automatically retrieve the image from the rakudo namespace on Docker Hub. Of course, if you want to create the container images locally, you can use the supplied dockerfiles in the docker directory. Have a look at the README.md for more information.

You can find examples of packages created with rakudo-pkg here (they need to be moved to a more definitive URL).

Have fun.