Author Archive

Re-booting the Packaging Training Sessions

February 22, 2010

Last month saw another successful Ubuntu Developer Week, but our community has a lot more useful knowledge to share than can fit into one week. With that in mind we’re re-launching the weekly Packaging Training Sessions.  These one-hour sessions in #ubuntu-classroom are held every Thursday on a rotating schedule.

  • 1st Thursday of the month, 6:00 UTC
  • 2nd Thursday of the month, 12:00 UTC
  • 3rd Thursday of the month, 18:00 UTC
  • 4th Thursday of the month, 0:00 UTC

The sessions consist of short demonstrations and offer plenty of time to ask questions. We’ve gotten a great response to this initiative in the past. It’s both a great door way into Ubuntu development and a way for old hands to stay up-to-date with new techniques. Previous sessions have included such topics as:

In order to make this happen, we’re looking for folks willing to lead sessions. If you’re interested, whether you have a specific topic you think other developers should know about or you just want to pitch in, contact the Packaging Training Coordinators. Short presentations are absolutely OK. A 15 minute demo is exactly what we’re aiming for to allow enough time for questions afterward.

Of course, we’re also always looking for new ideas for session topics. If there’s something you’d like to learn, let us know in the comments or on the wiki.

Stay tuned here for announcements of up-coming sessions…


What happened to my rules file?

July 8, 2009

If you’re anything like me, you might have read something about the plans for debhelper 7 when they were still in the works. The idea of having a debian/rules file as simple as the following sounded pretty darn cool.

#!/usr/bin/make -f
dh $@

Then Debian Sid was unfrozen and Ubuntu Karmic opened for development, and you found a packaging bug you wanted to fix or a package you work on was ready to be merged. Say you needed to run some code manually after a particular debhelper command is run, but the rules file was converted to use some of the new features in debhelper 7. You probably found your self wondering what happened to my rules file!

Well, in this week’s Packaging Training Session James Westby (james_w) will be answering just that question in his session, Debhelper v7: what happened to my rules file? Come to #ubuntu-classroom on at 09th July, 12:00 UTC to get the answer and learn how to take advantage of all the cool new stuff in dh 7.

Packaging KDE4 Apps/Plasmoids

June 17, 2009

Our next Packaging Training Session is going to show Kubuntu a little love. This Thursday (June 18) at 18:00 UTC, MOTU Jonathan Thomas (JontheEchidna) will be leading a session on packaging KDE4 Apps and Plasmoids. Find out what it takes to pitch in and join the Kubuntu community. Learn the ways of the Kubuntu Ninjas!

Join us, as always, in #ubuntu-classroom on

If KDE isn’t your thing, remember all the past Packaging Training Session logs are on the wiki. We’re also planning for next month. Is there a techinque or tool you want to share with your fellow K/Ubuntu contributors? Is there something that you’ve been hoping someone would lead a session on? Let us know. The commentsa are open!

Reviewing new packages

May 20, 2009

The next installment of our on-going, regularly scheduled, always informative, weekly Package Training Sessions will be tomorrow (Thursday) @ 18:00 UTC (did I mention that they’re always on Thursdays?). Morten Kjeldgaard (mok0) will be presenting on “Reviewing new packages.”

New packages for Ubuntu go through a review process on the aptly named site REVU. If you want to pitch in and help look at new packages, or if you’re just interested in knowing what it takes to get a package in Ubuntu, you should drop on by #ubuntu-classroom on

What’s that you say? You’re not interested in new packages at all? You want to patch packages already in the archive? Well you should have been at last week’s session!

Luckily the logs are up on the wiki. Alexander Sack (asac) showed us how to use some of the patch systems for Debian packages, quilt and simple-patchsys for CDBS.

Getting Started with Ubuntu Development

April 29, 2009

There’s a lot of exciting stuff going on this week in Ubuntu-land! Ubuntu Open Week is in full swing. You should really it check out if you want to learn more about the Ubuntu community.

For people interested in taking the next step and diving into Ubuntu development, this week’s regularly scheduled Packaging Training Session is for you. Daniel Holbach will be hosting Getting Started with Ubuntu Development. It is scheduled for 30th April, 06:00 UTC, and as always it will take place in #ubuntu-classroom on

If you attended Daniel’s Doing Ubuntu Development session during Open Week on Monday, this should be a good continuation. He’ll use some hands-on examples to take you through setting up a development environment. With Jaunty just out the door, and Karmic Koala now open for development, it’s a great time to get involved and help shape the next Ubuntu release.

This session will also round out the first month of our weekly Packaging Training Sessions. Next month is already looking like it will be great, but if you missed any of the previous sessions, you can still go back and check out the logs:

The training doesn’t stop for a release party

April 23, 2009

Even on the eve of Jaunty’s release, we’re already working towards training more potential developers for the next release. In our most recent Packaging Training Session, Daniel T Chen led a great discussion on Package testing: piuparts and VMs. He led us through an example of how to use piuparts in order to test the installation, upgrade, and removal of packages. Piuparts is an under-used, but important QA tool for packagers. Proper QA will both save you time in the long run and help make Ubuntu better. You can find the logs on the wiki, if you missed it.

To kick off the Karmic cycle, the one and only Daniel Holbach will be back with our next Packaging Training Session: Getting Started with Ubuntu Development. It is scheduled for 30th April, 06:00 UTC, and as always it will take place in #ubuntu-classroom on It should be a great starting point for MOTU hopefuls.

Don’t party too hard at your local Jaunty Release Party!