How does channel update?

Anyone with commit access can push changes to either master or one of the release-XX.XX branches.

Each channel has an associated jobset on Hydra (Nix CI) that is a collection of individual jobs. A job roughly corresponds to building a particular package, which itself may depend on other packages built by other jobs.

Before a channel can update, its associated jobset must be finished building, though the building of some jobs may fail.

As long as certain special jobs -- unstable for nixpkgs, and tested for nixos -- build successfully, the channel can update. The role of these special jobs is to ensure that essential functionality is present on each channel update.

There are two major differences between those jobsets:

  • nixpkgs-unstable
    • builds all packages for supported platforms (Linux, Darwin)
    • unstable job that consists of most commonly used packages
  • nixos-*
    • builds all packages and NixOS machinery only for Linux
    • tested job that consists of mostly NixOS tests firing up qemu instances with different kinds of configurations

For a channel to be updated two conditions need to be satisfied:

  • Particular jobset evaluation needs to be completely built ie. no more queued jobs, even if some jobs may fail
  • Particular jobset evaluation's tested/unstable job needs to be built succesfully

The nixos.org server has a cronjob for which nixos-channel-scripts are executed and poll for the newest jobset that satisfies the above two conditions and trigger a channel update.

Once triggered, release files such as ISOs are copied. For the NixOS channel command-not-found index is generated, which can take some time since it has to fetch all packages.

nixpkgs is quickly updated since none of the above needs to happen once a channel update is triggered.

Channel Last updated Commit Hydra job for tests
nixpkgs-unstable 1 day ago c64639b54ca nixpkgs/trunk/unstable
nixpkgs-17.09-darwin 10 hours ago 7e0345b839c nixpkgs/nixpkgs-17.09-darwin/darwin-tested
nixos-unstable-small 5 hours ago 040fb6c1a07 nixos/unstable-small/tested
nixos-unstable 9 hours ago 9b25b9347d9 nixos/trunk-combined/tested
nixos-17.09-small 3 hours ago d09e425aea3 nixos/release-17.09-small/tested
nixos-17.09 2 days ago c882c4dd55e nixos/release-17.09/tested
nixos-17.03-small 22 days ago 78e9665b48f nixos/release-17.03-small/tested
nixos-17.03 84 days ago d77e0969a78 nixos/release-17.03/tested
nixos-16.09-small 273 days ago 25f4906da6 nixos/release-16.09-small/tested
nixos-16.09 273 days ago 25f4906da6 nixos/release-16.09/tested
nixos-16.03-small 326 days ago dda40aa8d1 nixos/release-16.03-small/tested
nixos-16.03 326 days ago dda40aa8d1 nixos/release-16.03/tested
nixos-15.09-small 437 days ago 3727911 nixos/release-15.09-small/tested
nixos-15.09 437 days ago 3727911 nixos/release-15.09/tested
nixos-14.12-small 714 days ago c191689 nixos/release-14.12-small/tested
nixos-14.12 874 days ago b373bf9 nixos/release-14.12/tested
nixos-14.04-small 908 days ago 8a3eea0 nixos/release-14.04-small/tested
nixos-14.04 908 days ago 8a3eea0 nixos/release-14.04/tested
nixos-13.10 1244 days ago 91e952a nixos/release-13.10/tested

API | Made by Georges Dubus, code is on github