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---
GLEP: 65
Title: Post-install QA checks
Author: Michał Górny <mgorny@gentoo.org>
Type: Standards Track
Status: Accepted
Version: 2
Created: 2014-10-26
Last-Modified: 2017-11-13
Post-History: 2014-10-30, 2017-10-17
Content-Type: text/x-rst
---

Status
======

This GLEP has been accepted on the 2017-11-12 Council meeting. However,
full tree signing needs to be deployed before it is implemented.


Abstract
========

This GLEP provides two kinds of QA check: checks run on the installation image
once ``src_install`` returns, and checks run on the live system once
``pkg_postinst`` returns. The checks can be provided by the Package Manager,
repositories, packages (installed system-wide) and the system administrator.
The QA checks can inspect the installation image or live system, output
and store both user- and machine-oriented QA warning logs, manipulate files
and abort the install.


Motivation
==========

The current Portage versions have two main QA check mechanisms: repoman
and post-install QA checks. While repoman is usually considered more
important, it has severe limitations. In particular, it is run on repository
without executing the ebuild, therefore it is incapable of inspecting
the installed files. This is where post-install QA checks become useful.

Over time, many different QA checks have been added to Portage. That includes
checks corresponding to generic Gentoo rules (like filesystem hierarchy,
security requirements), checks enforcing Gentoo team policies, and checks
enforcing correct eclass usage. Some of the checks depend on external tools
being present.

Keeping those checks directly in Portage sources has two major disadvantages:

1. The checks can not be properly updated without Portage upgrade.
   In particular, a change in a QA check becomes fully effective when
   the relevant Portage version becomes stable and the user upgrades.
   There is no easy way to keep QA checks in sync with eclasses.

2. Gentoo-specific checks are enforced for all repositories and derived
   distributions. Modifying the QA check list requires forking Portage.


Specification
=============

QA check types
--------------

There are two kinds of QA checks defined in this specification:

1. Post-install QA checks (``install-qa-check.d``),

2. Post-merge QA checks (``postinst-qa-check.d``).

The post-install QA checks are are executed after the ``src_install`` ebuild
phase finishes but before the binary package is built or the ``pkg_preinst``
phase is executed. They can use the same commands as are permitted
in ``src_install``, and access the installation image ``${D}``
and the temporary directory ``${T}``.

In case of severe QA issues, the checks are allowed to alter the contents of
the installation image in order to sanitize them, or call the ``die`` function
to abort the build.

The post-merge QA checks are executed after the ``pkg_postinst`` ebuild phase
finishes. They can use the same commands as are permitted in ``pkg_postinst``,
and access the installed system location ``${ROOT}`` and the temporary
directory ``${T}``.

The checks are allowed to alter the contents of the filesystem to the same
degree as ``pkg_postinst`` phase is. They must not call ``die``.

QA check file format & locations
--------------------------------

QA checks are stored as bash scripts. The checks are identified and ordered
by file name. If files with same names are present in multiple locations,
the file in location with the highest priority is used.

The specification defines four sources of QA checks, listed in the order
of increasing priority:

1. internal checks included in the Package Manager,
2. repository-specific QA checks,
3. package-installed QA checks,
4. sysadmin-defined QA checks.

The internal checks are stored in Package Manager-specific location and should
be installed along with the Package Manager. It is recommended that only
generic checks are included in the Package Manager and not checks specific to
Gentoo policies, packages or eclasses included in Gentoo.

Repository-specific QA checks are included in ``metadata/install-qa-check.d``
and ``metadata/postinst-qa-check.d`` directories of a repository.
For an ebuild in question, the repository containing it and its masters are
traversed for QA checks, with priority decreasing with each inheritance level.

The package-installed QA checks are located in ``/usr/lib/install-qa-check.d``
and ``/usr/lib/postinst-qa-check.d``, and are intended to be installed
by packages. The sysadmin-defined QA checks are located
in ``/usr/local/lib/install-qa-check.d``
and ``/usr/local/lib/postinst-qa-check.d``.

QA check script format
----------------------

QA checks are sourced as bash scripts by the Package Manager. QA scripts are
run in an isolated subshell, and therefore can safely alter the environment
and change the working directory. QA scripts must always end with a command
terminating with a successful exit code.

Aside from the standard PMS functions, two additional commands are provided:

1. ``eqawarn`` to output QA warnings to user,
2. ``eqatag`` to store machine-readable information about QA issues.

Repository-defined QA checks are allowed to ``inherit`` eclasses from
the repository providing the check or any of its masters. The same
inheritance rules apply as to ebuilds in the particular repository. Sourced
eclasses do not affect the final ebuild metadata or phase functions.

Function specification
----------------------

eqawarn
~~~~~~~
Synopsis
  ``eqawarn <message>...``

Output the specified message to the user as a QA warning, if the QA warning
output is enabled. The message can contain escape sequences, and they will be
interpreted according to the rules for ``echo -e`` bash built-in.

The mechanism for enabling QA warning output and the specific output
facilities are defined by the Package Manager.

eqatag
~~~~~~
Synopsis
  ``eqatag [-v] <tag> [<key>=<value>...] [<file>...]``

Tag the package with specific QA issues. The *tag* parameter is
a well-defined name identifying specific QA issue. The tag can be additionally
associated with some data in key-value form and/or one or more *files*.
The file paths are relative to the installation root (``${D}`` in post-install
checks or ``${ROOT}`` in post-merge), and need to start with a leading slash.

If ``-v`` (verbose) parameter is passed, the function will also output
newline-delimited list of files using ``eqawarn``. This is intended
as a short-hand for both storing machine-readable and outputting user-readable
QA warnings.

The mechanism used to store tags is defined by the Package Manager. The tag
names are defined by the specific QA checks. However, it is recommended that
tags are named hierarchically, with words being concatenated using a dot
``.``, and that the first word matches QA check filename. For example,
the tags used by ``60bash-completion`` check would be named
``bash-completion.missing-alias`` and ``bash-completion.deprecated-have``.


Rationale
=========

QA check types
--------------

The two types of QA checks were created to account for different kinds
of common mistakes in ebuilds.

Post-install QA checks can be used to verify the installation image before
it is merged to a live system or published as a binary package. They can
account for various problems caused by the ebuild code up to and including
``src_install``, the upstream code executed as part of any of those phases
and the supplied files.

Post-merge QA checks can be used to verify the state of system after
the package is merged and its ``pkg_postinst`` phase is executed. They mostly
aim to detect missing postinst actions but can do other live system integrity
checks.

QA check file format & locations
--------------------------------

The multiple locations for QA checks aim to get the best coverage for various
requirements.

The checks installed along with the Package Manager are meant to cover
the generic cases and other checks that rely on Package Manager internals.
Unlike other categories of QA checks, those checks apply to a single Package
Manager only and can therefore use internal API. However, it is recommended
that this category is used scarcely.

Storing checks in the repository allows developers to strictly bind them to
a specific version of the distribution and update them along with the relevant
policies and/or eclasses. In particular, rules enforced by Gentoo policies
and eclasses don't have to apply to other distributions using Portage.

The QA checks are applied to sub-repositories (via ``masters`` attribute)
likewise eclasses. This makes sure that the majority of repositories don't
lose QA checks. The QA checks related to eclasses are inherited the same way
as eclasses are. Similarly to eclasses, sub-repositories can override
(or disable) QA checks.

System-wide QA checks present the opportunity of installing QA checks along
with packages. In the past, some QA checks were run only conditionally
depending on existence of external checker software. Instead, the software
packages can install their own QA checks directly.

The administrative override via ``/usr/local`` is a natural extension
of system-wide QA checks. Additionally, it can be used by the sysadmin
to override or disable practically any other QA check, either internal Portage
or repository-wide.

Sharing the QA checks has the additional advantage of having unified QA tools
for all Package Managers.

QA check script format
----------------------

Use of bash is aimed to match the ebuild format.  The choice of functions aims
at portability between Package Managers.

The scripts are run in isolated subshell to simplify the checks and reduce
the risk of accidental cross-script issues.

The script need to end with a successful command as a result of bash
limitation::

    source foo || die "source failed"

The ``source`` call either returns the exit code of last command in the script
or unsuccessful exit code in case of sourcing error. In order to distinguish
between the two, we need to guarantee that the script always returns
successfully.

The extra ``eqawarn`` log function aims to provide the user with distinction
between important user-directed warnings and developer-oriented QA issues.
The ``eqatag`` function aims to store check results in a machine-readable
format for further processing.

Inheriting eclasses makes it possible to reuse code and improve
maintainability. The possibility is mostly intended for eclass-specific checks
that may want to e.g. obtain search paths from the eclass.

Inheriting is allowed only in repository-specific since it is the only
location where availability of eclasses can be assumed. For system-wide
checks, we can't assume that the source repository will be available when
ebuild in question is processed.

Function specification
----------------------
eqawarn
~~~~~~~

This function is already considered well-defined at the time of writing. It is
supported by Portage and stubbed in ``eutils.eclass``. Therefore,
the specification aims to be a best match between the current implementation
and the PMS definition of ``ewarn`` function. The latter specifically involves
making the output and output control mechanisms PM-defined.

eqatag
~~~~~~

This functions is defined in order to allow external tools to parse results
of QA checks easily, tinderbox in particular. The name ``eqatag`` alludes
to the process of 'tagging' files with QA labels.

The original proposal has used the name ``eqalog`` but it was rejected because
of potential confusion with user-oriented ``elog`` function.

The tags can be associated both with files and abstract data to accommodate
the widest range of checks. The additional data is provided in key-value form
to allow extending or changing the format easily. The file path format is
meant to match the canonical ``/usr/bin/foo`` paths.

The requirement of leading slash allows the function to safely distinguish
between key-value data (assuming the key name must not start with a slash)
and files.

The ``-v`` argument works as a short-hand for an expected-to-be-common
practice of::

    eqawarn "The following files are frobnicated incorrectly:"
    eqawarn
    eqatag -v frobnicate "${files[@]}"
    eqawarn
    eqawarn "Please consult http://example.com/frobnicate for more details."

which would be output as::

     * The following files are frobnicated incorrectly:
     *
     *   /usr/bin/frobnicatee
     *   /usr/bin/other-frobnicatee
     *
     * Please consult http://example.com/frobnicate for more details.

The mechanism for storing the results is left implementation-defined because
both the method of running builds and their location varies through Package
Managers. The original proposal used a well-defined format in ``${T}/qa.log``.


Backwards Compatibility
=======================

Past versions of the Package Managers will only use their own built-in checks,
and will not be affected by the specification.

Compliant versions of the Package Manager will split the built-in checks into
multiple files. When particular checks are moved into the repository, the name
will be retained so that the repository copy will override the built-in check
and no duplicate checking will happen.

The transferred checks will be removed in the future versions of the Package
Manager. However, since they will support this GLEP, the relevant checks will
be used from the repository anyway.


Reference implementation
========================

The reference implementation of ``install-qa-check.d`` is available in Portage
starting with version 2.2.15 (released 2014-12-04). The support
for ``postinst-qa-check.d`` was added in 2.3.9 (released 2017-09-19).


Copyright
=========

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0
Unported License.  To view a copy of this license, visit
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/.