Certification of software production tools by Airbus

The Goal 

Facilitate the maintenance of a distribution derived from Debian over a period of 10 to 15 years.

The context

SiT, a subsidiary of the Zodiac Aérospace group, notably produces IFE software (“Embedded Video Distraction”) based on a system base based on the Debian Linux distribution.

The need

These civil aviation equipment must be maintained and reproduced identically for about ten years.

For this, SiT had set up a build infrastructure, from existing open source bricks, adapted, modified to meet the specificities of the project.

The disadvantages of their solution

  • The growing difficulty of easily adding a build node to cope with an overload (permanent or temporary)
  • Only one hardware architecture (x86) taken into account
  • Additional and specialized maintenance of the infrastructure to be provided (internally)

SiT used hupstream’s expertise in managing Linux distributions to provide answers to these issues.


Facilitate the maintenance of a distribution derived from Debian for 10 to 15 years.

The solution

All the tools put in place have contributed to the certification of the software by Airbus.

After a thorough study, the SiT build infrastructure has been migrated to a system that includes a Debian build system. This has reduced specific development and associated maintenance by up to 90% – while taking into account existing infrastructure, developer tools and practices.

What we put in place:

  • a scheduler to manage multi-node and multi-architecture aspects,
    the ability to add new architectures,
  • taking into account new nodes (dedicated or not) to increase the build capacity,
  • a partial overhaul of the package depots to facilitate the maintenance of the whole,
  • packet submission verification tools.

This new infrastructure is managed by Puppet. Benefits that consolidate the proposed solution:

  • centralized administration for all servers in the infrastructure,
  • history of configuration changes,
  • Simplified restoration when needed.


december 2011 – april 2012



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