Simplifying hardware management during Linux development


on 6 December 2019

Every few months we release a Snapcraft update, with improvements to both Linux development, and snap user experience. Last week, we released Snapcraft 3.9, and this blog post will focus on the remote build feature that is now a fully accessible preview.

Let’s dig deeper into why you need to try remote build, and how you can use it today.

Manage less, develop more

Remote build decreases the number of hardware toolchains you have to manage as part of Linux development, by allowing access to Ubuntu’s infrastructure when building a snap. Instead of cross-building, emulating an architecture you do not own, or running a Raspberry Pi ragged, now you can use our infrastructure that is designed to be a build-farm and fully supported by our IS team.

Don’t try this at home, use our servers instead

Still need a reason to try this out? Consider the local compute freed up, as your build runs remotely. Imagine all the time freed up, building on multiple architectures in parallel. We’re looking forward to the next snap you make, given all the extra time you’ll have on your hands.

Simplifying Linux development

With support for arm64 and armhf, all the way to i386 and ppc64el, there’s a variety of architectures that can be built on and tested. Check out the remote build documentation to see a list of all architectures covered. 

To get started, you can either add the build architecture in the snapcraft.yaml file and execute:

$ snapcraft remote-build

Or it can be done in a single line with:

$ snapcraft remote-build --build-on=<desired_  architecture_here>

When you execute remote build, your local project will be transferred to a remote build server and become publicly available. Also, if you do not define a build architecture in snapcraft.yaml or at the command line, amd64 will be used as the default. 

Finally, to check the status of the build, execute:

$  snapcraft remote-build --status

Expect a series of tutorials on our YouTube page soon.

How else did Linux development get better in Snapcraft 3.9?

For users who want the latest Qt5 and KDE Framework libraries, and snap desktop applications that use them, the KDE Neon extension is now available in the stable release of Snapcraft. If you want to develop a snap for KDE Neon, this extension makes it easier than ever. It comes off the back of the work we did on the Gnome 3.28 extension in recent months.

Error messages have also been improved and now provide information on what went wrong, why it went wrong and how to fix. While we don’t recommend triggering an error just to check this out, the next time it happens, we hope you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Check out the full release notes for detailed information on all of the above, and more.

What to do next? Jump right into Snapcraft, check out our latest featured apps, or this blog post to get to know what we are excited about.

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