Q: I want to get a patch / an updated package into Ubuntu – what do I need to bear in mind?
A: Make use of our Sponsorship Process. What does that mean? Basically you either file a bug report or follow up on an existing one, attach your patch (or the new source package – you can link to it too), subscribe ubuntu-universe-sponsors or ubuntu-main-sponsors and our team of reviewers will check it out and give you feedback – once it’s all good, they’ll upload it for you. Things to speed up the process:

  • Forward your patch to Debian and Upstream – if you have buy-in from Upstream, sponsors will be more likely to accept it. Also if it goes into Debian, we can sync it in the future.
  • Keep the patch minimal – don’t do all kinds of changes just because you can – this makes the patch harder to read and understand, also we will have to manually merge the changes everytime the package changes in Debian
  • A good example for keeping the patch minimal: don’t bump the Standards-Version if you don’t maintain the package. The Standards-Version points out which version of the Debian Policy your package complies with. Leave this to the maintainer – the change is of NO USE to our users and we have to merge it everytime the package changes in Debian.
  • Use (LP: #123456) in debian/changelog to close the bug automatically, so the sponsors don’t have to do it.
  • Properly explain what you are doing, be elaborate in debian/changelog, explain all the changes that you are doing.
  • Provide information about where your patch is from and if it was accepted upstream already.
  • Test-build your package / sync-request.
  • Make sure you tried on the current development release.

The list could go on and on and on and your sponsors will probably always find teach you something new – which is a good thing, don’t be shy. The items above are just a bunch of very basic steps you can use to make things easier and avoid bug mail ping-pong with our busy sponsors.


My 5 today: #46447 (grabcd), #246822 (prism), #86889 (gnochm), #156208 (uns), #309399 (devhelp)
Do 5 a day – every day!