[Buildbot-devel] Has anyone looked at changing buildbot to use ssh to connect to the slaves?

Douglas Philips dgou at mac.com
Wed Mar 26 11:27:06 UTC 2008

Chad Reese inquired about having the option of using ssh to execute  
commands on the buildslave instead of having BuildSlave server  
running there.

Daniel Svensson replied that passing around ssh keys isn't very  
burdensome and it would be a lot easier than installing buildbot 
+twisted, and would centralize the buildbot-upgrade to just the  
buildmaster machine.

Axel Hecht replied that the existing system allows one to easily  
replace one slave machine for another, and questions the viability of  
ssh access to a windows box.

While those points are all technical, there are social/political  
issues underlying them.
Many F/OSS projects using buildbot have a way for people to volunteer  
machines to be part of a "build farm".
Personally I would not contribute an idle machine if I had to give  
out ssh access. How would I really control what that is being used  
for? Sure, I could find out -all- the commands that the buildmaster  
currently needs to execute, set up a chroot "jail" and configure ssh  
to permit only those commands du jour, but that is far too much  
hassle. How would I take my build-slave off-line during the days  
while I use it and bring back on-line at night? I'd have to turn off  
ssh access, or maybe disable the account, or play other games. Urgh.

All that said, for a closed/trusted environment, or a team build  
environment (corporate perhaps), it would be very nice to install  
<fav linux distro> with <build tools> on <random hardware du jour>,  
set up the ssh account, and have the client be ready to go. There  
probably is some way to get a windows ssh server (cygwin maybe), but  
I haven't personally tried it or investigated it even.

The really interesting question here is whether or not I can write  
the build steps without having to know if they'll be executed by a  
BuildSlave or via ssh. That would be very cool.


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