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Install mapnik 3.0.20 on Stretch
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Many maps stack dependency upgrades are blocked on being able to upgrade to the recent 3.7.x versions of node-mapnik. Version 3.7.2, the latest in the 3.7.x series, depends on mapnik 3.0.20, the release packaged for Debian Buster. It fails to build against mapnik 3.0.12, which is packaged for Stretch. There doesn't appear to be a publicly available backport of 3.0.20.


  1. Have mapnik 3.0.20 backported
  2. Build it from source
  3. Wait until we upgrade to Buster in production

(1) is what was done for current version in Jessie for node 6 compatibility (see T150354 and subtasks T152131 and T150722). It's probably what should be done here.
(2) is also possible according to @MSantos's testing in Docker, but building from source seems uncommon in production. Is it possible in this instance?
(3) probably won't be possible in practice. The dependency versions we're forced to rely on are aging, and npm install is already throwing many warnings. Some of these will convert to errors as soon as we upgrade npm (see T195316), and in the meantime we are very poorly situated in the event an upgrade is urgently needed, for example because of a node security issue.

Event Timeline

Mholloway triaged this task as Medium priority.
Mholloway created this task.
Mholloway removed a project: Maps-Sprint.

The Dockerfile tested can be accessed at the Docker Compose prototype project.

As a proof of concept I did a backport of mapnik-3.0.20+ds-1 from Buster according to the instructions at It worked and node-mapnik 3.7.2 built against it fine. I can upload the debs if anyone wants to test them out.

@Gehel Can "simple" backports like this be uploaded to the Wikimedia apt repos, or do we need to be more formal?

@Mholloway Yes, we follow a similar approach. Anyway, I 've rebuilt mapnik from buster for stretch and have it temporarily in if you want to run any tests with it. Let me know and I 'll upload it to

@akosiaris I tested the packages and they worked successfully.

I tested using the following Kartotherian Dockerfile:

Thank you for testing, @MSantos! Yes, @akosiaris, please upload to

Mentioned in SAL (#wikimedia-operations) [2018-08-01T15:43:14Z] <akosiaris> upload mapnik_3.0.20+ds-1 to T200284