Qubes builder plugin for github-issues notification
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This is Qubes builder plugin which reports to github issues when package containing a fix is uploaded to the repository. Reporting is done using a comment and additionally a label, so it is easy to check if the issue was uploaded somewhere (including backports!).

The plugin will report only when uploading to standard repositories, using update-repo-* targets, and when LINUX_REPO_BASEDIR setting points at specific Qubes release (not current-release symlink). Only current and current-testing repositories are taken into account, others (for example unstable or security-testing) are ignored.

Optionally additional repository may be configured to have dedicated issues created for the sole purpose of tracking uploaded updates (regardless of comments in issues mentioned in git log). One issue will be used for multiple target templates (Debian, Fedora etc).


To use this plugin you need to enable it in builder.conf by appending it to BUILDER_PLUGINS variable. It is important to have it after distribution-specific plugin (like builder-fedora or builder-debian).

Then you need to add some additional settings:

  • GITHUB_API_KEY - GitHub API key
  • GITHUB_STATE_DIR - directory for plugin state


  • GITHUB_BUILD_REPORT_REPO - repository in which every uploaded package should have issue created (regardless of commenting issues mentioned in git log).

RPC services configuration

RPC services are configured differently, because are not running from within qubes-builder, so don't know where to look for builder.conf. Instead, it look into ~/.config/qubes-builder-github/builders.list. The file have a simple key=value syntax, where key is Qubes release (like r3.2) and value is a full path to qubes-builder directory.

Example configuration:


In addition to this, ~/.config/qubes-builder-github/trusted-keys-for-commands.gpg contains a GPG keyring with public keys allowed to sign repository action commands (see below).

Commands in github issues comments

qubesbuilder.ProcessGithubCommand rpc service can respond to GPG-signed commands, for example sent as a comment on (some) github issue. Each such command needs to be properly inline GPG signed, with a key included in ~/.config/qubes-builder-github/trusted-keys-for-commands.gpg. The service does not try to validate where such comment is placed, it trusts only signed content of the comment (this is conscious design decision). Additionally, set ALLOWED_DISTS_fingerprint option in builder.conf (replace fingerprint with actual full key fingerprint) to list what distribution can be controlled with a given key. Include dom0 word to grant access also to dom0 packages. You can set it to $(DISTS_VM) dom0, to allow everything, regardless of actual DISTS_VM value.

Upload command

Issues created in repository pointed by GITHUB_BUILD_REPORT_REPO have one more purpose. Can be used to control when packages should be moved from testing (current-testing) to stable (current) repository. This can be achieved by adding GPG-signed comments there. A command consists of one line in form:

"Upload" component_name commit_sha release_name "current" dists "repo"

(words in quotes should be used verbatim - without quotes, others are parameters)


  • component_name - name of component to handle
  • commit_sha - commit SHA of that component; the command is considered only if packages recently uploaded (or precisely: local git repository state) matches this commit; this is mainly to prevent replay attacks
  • release_name - name of release, like r3.2; must match name used in builders.list configuration and name used in updates repositories (apt/yum/...)
  • dists - optional list of distributions to which upload should be limited; this should be a (space separated) list of pairs dom0/vm and distribution codename (like fc25), separated with -; for example dom0-fc23 or vm-jessie.

Command needs to be signed with key for which public part is in ~/.config/qubes-builder-github/trusted-keys-for-commands.gpg keyring.

Build-template command

One can use Build-template command to start a template build. A command consists of one line in form:

"Build-template" release_name dist timestamp

(words in quotes should be used verbatim - without quotes, others are parameters)


  • release_name - name of release, like r3.2; must match name used in builders.list configuration and name used in updates repositories (apt/yum/...)
  • dist - template code name, as defined in builder.conf, DISTS_VM option; only values listed in DISTS_VM (for particular builder instance) are allowed
  • timestamp - timestamp part of template version, in form %Y%m%d%H%M, UTC (for example 201806281345); must be not older than 1h and not greater than 5 minutes into the future

Command needs to be signed with key for which public part is in ~/.config/qubes-builder-github/trusted-keys-for-commands.gpg keyring.

Comments text

Comment messages can be configured in message-* files. Available files:

  • message-stable-dom0, message-testing-dom0 - when the package is uploaded to dom0 repository
  • message-stable-vm, message-testing-vm - when the package is uploaded to VM repository
  • message-stable-vm-DIST, message-testing-vm-DIST (where DIST is code name of target distribution) - if exists, it is used instead of corresponding message-stable-vm or message-testing-vm
  • message-build-report - template for issue description (if GITHUB_BUILD_REPORT_REPO set)

Each file is actually message template, which can contain following placeholders:

  • @DIST@ - code name of the target distribution
  • @PACKAGE_SET@ - either dom0 or vm
  • @PACKAGE_NAME@ - primary package name, including the version being uploaded; in case of multiple packages being build from the same component, only the first one is listed
  • @COMPONENT@ - Qubes component name (as listed in COMPONENTS setting of builder.conf)
  • @REPOSITORY@ - either testing or stable
  • @RELEASE_NAME@ - name of target Qubes release (r2, r3.0 etc)
  • @GIT_LOG@ - git log --pretty=oneline previous_commit..current_commit with github-like commits refrences
  • @GIT_LOG_URL@ - Github URL to commits between previous version and the current one. "compare" github feature.
  • @COMMIT_SHA@ - Commit SHA used to build the package.

Ideally the message should include instrution how to install the update.


  1. Adjust builder.conf, see 'Configuration' chapter above for details:

     COMPONENTS += builder-github
     BUILDER_PLUGINS += builder-github
     # can be any directory
     GITHUB_STATE_DIR = $(HOME)/github-notify-state
     # put actual API key here, should have write access to qubes-issues
     # repository (to assign labels and create issues)
     GITHUB_API_KEY = ...
     # optional, if configured the above API key should have write access to
     # this one too
     GITHUB_BUILD_REPORT_REPO = QubesOS/updates-status
  2. (optional) Place rpc services in /usr/local/etc/qubes-rpc directory of build VM. Also, copy (or symlink) lib directory to /usr/local/lib/qubes-builder-github. There are two services:

  • qubesbuilder.TriggerBuild: Trigger a build for a given component. The service will check if configured branch (according to builder.conf) have new version tag at the top (and if it's properly signed) and only then will build the component and upload package(s) to current-testing repository. Service accept only component name on its standard input. See the next step for actual integration with Github. See also 'RPC services configuration' chapter.
  • qubesbuilder.ProcessGithubCommand: Process command issued as GPG inline signed comment on some github issue. See 'Commands in github issues comments' chapter for details. Service accept the comment body on its stdin. See also 'RPC services configuration' chapter.
  1. (optional) Install github webhooks (see github-webhooks directory) somewhere reachable from github.com - this probably means sys-net in default Qubes OS installation. You need to configure a web server there to launch them as CGI scripts. Then add the hook(s) to repository/organization configuration on github.com. Then fill ~/.config/qubes-builder-github/build-vms.list with a list to which information should be delivered (one per line). And setup qrexec policy for services mentioned in point 2 to actually allow such calls.