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BuildFS

BuildFS is a dynamic approach for detecting faults in parallel and incremental builds. Our method is based on a model (BuildFS) that treats a build execution stemming from an arbitrary build system as a sequence of tasks, where each task receives a set of input files, performs a number of file system operations, and finally produces a number of output files. BuildFS stakes into account (1) the specification (as declared in build scripts) and (2) the definition (as observed during a build through file accesses) of each build task. By combining the two elements, we formally define three different types of faults related to incremental and parallel builds that arise when a file access violates the specification of build. Our testing approach operates as follows. First, it monitors the execution of an instrumented build script, and models this execution in BuildFS. Our method then verifies the correctness of the build execution by ensuring that there is no file access that leads to any fault concerning incrementality or parallelism. Note that to uncover faults, our method only requires a single full build.

Building

Fetch the repo by running

git clone --recursive https://github.com/theosotr/buildfs

Build Docker Images

To build a Docker image that contains an environment for executing and analyzing build executions through BuildFS, run

docker build -t buildfs --build-arg IMAGE_NAME=<base-image> --build-arg GRADLE=yes .

where <base-image> is the base Docker used to set up the environment. We have tested our Docker script on ubuntu:18.04 and debian:stable base images.

Building from source

To build BuildFS from source, you have to install some necessary packages first

apt install opam m4

Then, install OCaml compiler 4.07 by running

opam init -y
eval $(opam env)
opam switch create 4.07.0

Next, install some opam packages used by BuildFS

eval $(opam env)
opam install -y ppx_jane core yojson dune fd-send-recv fpath

Finally, build BuildFS by running

make
sudo make install

This will (1) build and install the buildfs executable inside your local ~/.opam/4.07.0/bin directory, and (2) install the scripts for instrumenting Make and Gradle builds into your /usr/local/bin path.

Use BuildFS as standalone tool

Here, we describe how you can use BuildFS as a standalone tool (without employing a Docker image). Currently, BuildFS has support for two well-established and popular build systems (namely, GNU Make and Gradle).

Make Builds

You have analyze and test your Make builds by simply running the following command from the directory where your Makefile is located.

buildfs make-build -mode online

The command above executes your build, and analyzes its execution. It reports any missing inputs or ordering violations, if your Make script is incorrect.

Gradle Builds

For Gradle builds, first you need to put the following three lines of code inside your main build.grade file.

plugins {
  id "org.buildfs.gradle.buildfs-plugin" version "1.0" 
}

The code above applies our org.buildfs.gradle.buildfs-plugin to your Gradle script in order to enable our instrumentation. The buildfs tool exploits this instrumentation during the execution of the build, to extract the specification of each Gradle task (as written by the developers).

After modifying your Gradle script, analyze and test your Gradle script by simply running the following command from the directory where your gradlew file is stored.

buildfs gradle-build -mode online -build-task build

Usage

❯ buildfs help
Detecting Faults in Parallel and Incremental Builds.

  buildfs SUBCOMMAND

=== subcommands ===

  gradle-build  This is the sub-command for analyzing and detecting faults in
                Gradle scripts
  make-build    This is the sub-command for analyzing and detecting faults in
                Make scripts
  version       print version information
  help          explain a given subcommand (perhaps recursively)

For analyzing Gradle builds

❯ buildfs gradle-build -help
This is the sub-command for analyzing and detecting faults in Gradle scripts

  buildfs gradle-build

=== flags ===

  -build-dir Build        directory
  -mode Analysis          mode; either online or offline
  [-build-task Build]     task to execute
  [-dump-tool-out File]   to store output from Gradle execution (for debugging
                          only)
  [-graph-file File]      to store the task graph inferred by BuildFS.
  [-graph-format Format]  for storing the task graph of the BuildFS program.
  [-print-stats]          Print stats about execution and analysis
  [-trace-file Path]      to trace file produced by the 'strace' tool.
  [-help]                 print this help text and exit
                          (alias: -?)

For analyzing Make builds

❯ buildfs make-build -help
This is the sub-command for analyzing and detecting faults in Make scripts

  buildfs make-build

=== flags ===

  -build-dir Build        directory
  -mode Analysis          mode; either online or offline
  [-build-db Path]        to Make database
  [-dump-tool-out File]   to store output from Make execution (for debugging
                          only)
  [-graph-file File]      to store the task graph inferred by BuildFS.
  [-graph-format Format]  for storing the task graph of the BuildFS program.
  [-print-stats]          Print stats about execution and analysis
  [-trace-file Path]      to trace file produced by the 'strace' tool.
  [-help]                 print this help text and exit
                          (alias: -?)

Getting Started with Docker Image

After seeing how we can use BuildFS as a standalone tool, it's time to see how we run and analyze real-world builds through our Docker image. Recall that this image contains all necessary dependencies for running the builds and scripts for producing multiple report files. The image contains an entrypoint script that expects the following options:

  • -p: A URL pointing to the git repository of the project that we want to run and analyze.
  • -v: A commit hash, a tag, or a branch that indicates the version of the project that we want to analyze (default latest).
  • -t: The type of the project (gradle or make).
  • -b: This option expects a path (relative to the directory of the project) where the build is performed.
  • -k: Number of builds to perform (default 1).
  • -s: A flag that indicates that the build is ran through BuildFS. If this is flag is not provided, we run the build without BuildFS.
  • -o: A flag that beyond online analysis through BuildFS, it also performs an offline analysis on the trace stemming from the execution of the build. This option was used in our experiments to estimate the amount of time spent on the analysis of BuildFS programs.

Example1: Make Build

To analyze an example Make build, run the following command:

docker run --rm -ti --privileged \
  -v $(pwd)/out:/home/buildfs/data buildfs \
  -p "https://github.com/dspinellis/cqmetrics.git" \
  -v "5e5495499863921ba3133a66957f98b192004507" \
  -s -t make \
  -b src

Some explanations:

The Docker option --privileged is used to enable tracing inside the Docker container. The option -v is used to mount a local volume inside the Docker container. This is used to store all the files produced from the analysis of the build script into the given volume $(pwd)/out. Specifically, for Make builds, BuildFS produces the following files inside this directory.

  • cqmetrics/build-buildfs.times: This file contains the time for building the project using BuildFS. This file is generated if we run the container with the option -s.
  • cqmetrics/base-build.times: This file contains the time spent for building the project without BuildFS. This file is generated if the option -s is not provided.
  • cqmetrics/cqmetrics.times: This file is a CSV that includes the time spent on the analysis of BuildFS programs and fault detection. This file is generated if the option -o (offline analysis) is provided.
  • cqmetrics/cqmetrics.faults: This file is the report that contains the faults detected by BuildFS. This file is generated if we run the container with the option -s.
  • cqmetrics/cqmetrics.makedb: This file is the database of the Make build produced by running make -pn. This is used for an offline analysis of a Make project. This file is generated if we run the container with the option -s.
  • cqmetrics/cqmetrics.path: This file contains the path where we performed the build. This file is generated if we run the container with the option -s.
  • cqmetrics/cqmetrics.strace: a system call trace corresponding to the build execution. This file is generated if we run the container with the option -s.

If we inspect the contains of the resulting out/cqmetrics/cqmetrics.faults file, we will see something that is similar to the following:

❯ cat out/cqmetrics/cqmetrics.faults
Info: Start tracing command: fsmake-make ...
Statistics
----------
Trace entries: 19759
Tasks: 8
Files: 342
Conflicts: 4
DFS traversals: 41
Analysis time: 2.81151819229
Bug detection time: 0.0152561664581
------------------------------------------------------------
Number of Missing Inputs (MIN): 3

Detailed Bug Report:
  ==> [Task: /home/buildfs/cqmetrics/src:header.tab]

    Fault Type: MIN
      - /home/buildfs/cqmetrics/src/QualityMetrics.h: Consumed by /home/buildfs/cqmetrics/src:header.tab ( openat at line 21068 )

  ==> [Task: /home/buildfs/cqmetrics/src:header.txt]

    Fault Type: MIN
      - /home/buildfs/cqmetrics/src/QualityMetrics.h: Consumed by /home/buildfs/cqmetrics/src:header.txt ( openat at line 22386 )

  ==> [Task: /home/buildfs/cqmetrics/src:qmcalc.o]

    Fault Type: MIN
      - /home/buildfs/cqmetrics/src/BolState.h: Consumed by /home/buildfs/cqmetrics/src:qmcalc.o ( openat at line 18631 )
      - /home/buildfs/cqmetrics/src/CKeyword.h: Consumed by /home/buildfs/cqmetrics/src:qmcalc.o ( openat at line 18633 )
      - /home/buildfs/cqmetrics/src/CMetricsCalculator.h: Consumed by /home/buildfs/cqmetrics/src:qmcalc.o ( openat at line 18563 )
      - /home/buildfs/cqmetrics/src/CharSource.h: Consumed by /home/buildfs/cqmetrics/src:qmcalc.o ( openat at line 18565 )
      - /home/buildfs/cqmetrics/src/Cyclomatic.h: Consumed by /home/buildfs/cqmetrics/src:qmcalc.o ( openat at line 18767 )
      - /home/buildfs/cqmetrics/src/Descriptive.h: Consumed by /home/buildfs/cqmetrics/src:qmcalc.o ( openat at line 18769 )
      - /home/buildfs/cqmetrics/src/Halstead.h: Consumed by /home/buildfs/cqmetrics/src:qmcalc.o ( openat at line 19361 )
      - /home/buildfs/cqmetrics/src/NestingLevel.h: Consumed by /home/buildfs/cqmetrics/src:qmcalc.o ( openat at line 19365 )
      - /home/buildfs/cqmetrics/src/QualityMetrics.h: Consumed by /home/buildfs/cqmetrics/src:qmcalc.o ( openat at line 18711 )

Specifically, BuildFS detected three missing inputs (MIN) related to three build tasks of the project. For example, the following fragment shows that the task /home/buildfs/cqmetrics/src:header.txt has a missing input on one file (i.e., /home/buildfs/cqmetrics/src/QualityMetrics.h). This means that whenever the latter is updated, Make does not re-trigger the execution of the task leading to stale targets.

==> [Task: /home/buildfs/cqmetrics/src:header.txt]

  Fault Type: MIN
    - /home/buildfs/cqmetrics/src/QualityMetrics.h: Consumed by /home/buildfs/cqmetrics/src:header.txt ( openat at line 22386 )

Example2: Gradle Build

For running and analyzing a Gradle project using our Docker image, run the following:

docker run --rm -ti --privileged \
  -v $(pwd)/out:/home/buildfs/data buildfs \
  -p "https://github.com/seqeralabs/nf-tower.git" \
  -v "997985c2f7e603342189effdfea122bab53a6bae" \
  -s \
  -t gradle

This will fetch and instrument the specified repository. For Gradle builds, BuildFS will generate the same file inside the out except for the *.makedb as it is only relevant for Make builds.

If you inspect the produced out/nf-tower/nf-tower.faults file you will see the following report:

❯ cat out/nf-tower/nf-tower.faults
Info: Start tracing command: ./gradlew build --no-parallel ...
Statistics
----------
Trace entries: 897251
Tasks: 18
Files: 2877
Conflicts: 2614
DFS traversals: 10
Analysis time: 214.29347682
Bug detection time: 0.146173000336
------------------------------------------------------------
Number of Ordering Violations (OV): 3

Detailed Bug Report:
  ==> [Task: tower-backend:shadowJar] | [Task: tower-backend:distTar]

    Fault Type: OV
      - /home/buildfs/nf-tower/tower-backend/build/libs/tower-backend-19.08.0.jar: Produced by tower-backend:shadowJar ( openat at line 280041 ) and Consumed by tower-backend:distTar ( lstat at line 151875 )

  ==> [Task: tower-backend:shadowJar] | [Task: tower-backend:distZip]

    Fault Type: OV
      - /home/buildfs/nf-tower/tower-backend/build/libs/tower-backend-19.08.0.jar: Produced by tower-backend:shadowJar ( openat at line 280041 ) and Consumed by tower-backend:distZip ( lstat at line 161551 )

  ==> [Task: tower-backend:shadowJar] | [Task: tower-backend:jar]

    Fault Type: OV
      - /home/buildfs/nf-tower/tower-backend/build/libs/tower-backend-19.08.0.jar: Produced by tower-backend:shadowJar ( openat at line 280041 ) and Produced by tower-backend:jar ( openat at line 139411 )
      - /home/buildfs/nf-tower/tower-backend/build/libs/tower-backend-19.08.0.jar: Produced by tower-backend:shadowJar ( openat at line 280041 ) and Produced by tower-backend:jar ( openat at line 139411 )

BuildFS detected three ordering violations (OV). For example, there is an ordering violations between the tasks tower-backend:shadowJar, tower-backend:jar. These tasks conflict on two files (e.g., /home/buildfs/nf-tower/tower-backend/build/libs/tower-backend-19.08.0.jar), and no dependency has been specified between these tasks.

NOTE: In general, Gradle builds take longer as they involve the download of JAR dependencies and the setup of the Gradle Daemon.

Publications

The tool is described in detail in the following paper.

The research artifact associated with this tool can be found at https://github.com/theosotr/buildfs-eval.

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A dynamic method for detecting faults in incremental and parallel builds.

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