There are a number of SIL projects which would benefit from an organized way of being packaged for multiple Linux distributions. In addition to supporting several distributions, we would like to support the current and previous distribution releases as well as both 32- and 64-bit architectures.
The way we have chosen to do this is to host each kind of system as a vserver guest all on one physical machine. VServer is more like an advanced chroot than a virtual machine, and is faster and closer to the hardware than other kinds of virtualization. A script could build packages for each platform by invoking each guest’s package-building process.
Developers could also log in to experience and test their software on any of the supported platforms without having to set up such a machine themselves.
Hydra, our multi-headed monster, named for its many guests on one base machine, is being set up to host these guests.
For more information, see the wiki page for Packaging and testing.