CI & automation: Multi-architecture build of software with Jenkins and Docker

Multi-arch software building and distribution is a complex and time-consuming maintenance task in which maintainer/developer need to compile somehow their software for all supported architectures, often, on a single machine. Automation solution such as Jenkins allows to automatize this task and facilitating continuous integration and continuous delivery. Multi-arch software building on a single machine involves the use of different techniques:

  • Cross-build: using a cross-toochain to build the software for each target system. This solution is simple but with the cost of polluting the host system with many toolchains which maybe incompatible one to another. Maintenance and update of these toolchains are complicated to manage.
  • Virtualization solutions such as docker address these problem by using a sandboxed/containerized image with all tools necessary to build the software for each target architecture. Docker facilitate the setup, maintenance and update of different building environments using images.

This post introduces the basic steps of setting up an automation server that allows to build and distribute multi-arch software using Jenkins and docker.

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