Recently I had a conversation with @Ondrej_Prazak and several other developers regarding our package build process and what takes time, during which he mentioned that ARM builds take several hours to complete compared to minutes for x86 packages. I didn’t give it much thought at the time, until I read @Gwmngilfen’s Community Survey Analysis, which indicated that just about 3% of the community is actually using the ARM architecture. When we realized similar numbers were using Fedora about a year ago we stopped packaging for Fedora (Dropping Fedora 24 packages).
Given the amount of resources that goes into packaging for ARM, the delay it adds to our release pipelines, and the small number of users, I propose we change the way we handle ARM packages. There are, AFAICT, three ways we can go: drop ARM packages completely, therefor asking ARM users to use only source installations; Extract ARM packages from the regular pipeline and only build ARM packages separately after the main pipeline has finished (perhaps even only for stable releases and not nightlies); or keep it as is. If I’m missing some options, please feel free to add in the comments; Otherwise - please vote on your preferred path forward:
- Drop ARM packages completely
- Package ARM separately after main pipeline
- Continue building for ARM as part of the regular pipeline