apt-listbugs usage in Kubuntu

Harald Sitter sitter at kde.org
Wed Mar 4 09:23:58 UTC 2015

On Wed, Mar 4, 2015 at 4:50 AM, Scott Kitterman <ubuntu at kitterman.com> wrote:
> On Tuesday, March 03, 2015 08:25:09 PM Aleix Pol wrote:
>> Hi,
>> I was looking into some functionality and just realized kubuntu
>> doesn't provide an apt-listbugs executable, that was introduced for
>> better integration with Debian.
>> Anybody here knows what's the status on it?
>> I'll change some code so it's still possible to use without
>> apt-listbugs for now, but I wonder if it should become a dependency on
>> Kubuntu as well.
>> Aleix
> It was removed in 2008:
>  Removal requested on 2008-10-14.
> Debian specific, never worked for Ubuntu, #271314
> https://launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/apt-listbugs/+publishinghistory

I did not even know that was a thing.

tldr: I don't think this sort of feature makes any sense in a Kubuntu
or Ubuntu context because we have automatic QA and testing
requirements and policies to not run into this sort of problem to

apt-listbugs is a tool which retrieves bug reports from the Debian Bug
Tracking System and lists them. Especially, it is intended to be
invoked before each installation/upgrade by APT in order to check
whether the installation/upgrade is safe.

This is particularly to help unstable users not blow up their system.

Now then. One could probably write a launchpad based replacement for
that (alas, right now I don't think one can query specifically for
bugs in one source package). BUT I do wonder whether this would make
any sense for us considering we have automatism and QA measures in
place behind the scenes that Debian unstable does not have. If we
wanted to compare one of our archive with Debian unstable it would be
more or less $devseries-proposed which really only has the
requirements of being able to build and being free software having
made it past the archive admins. And $devseries-proposed is very much
not supported anyway. The main $devseries archive meanwhile already
has quite a bit of additional QA applied onto it (autopkgtest,
britney, possibly something else I don't know about) ruling out the
majority of showstopper problems (mind you, kubuntu ci even reduces
the risk of file conflicts ;)). Other than that $devseries is mostly
only breaking on migrational stuff which I don't think are handled in
critical severity bug reports (thus wouldn't show up in a apt-listbugs

So, I find it doubtable to have use for it in $devseries.

For $stableseries it becomes even less relevant because of the >=1
week proposed testing, automatic crash reporting, update phasing and
so on and so forth. Granted, if something breaks so horribly that a
critical bug gets created for it we'd likely want to halt upgrades.
The chances of that happening for something that is truly critical are
incredibly slim however. And should it happen all the same I think
there's archive trickery one could pull off (e.g. set update phasing
to 0 to prevent the GUI updaters from actually seeing the package).

Not really worth putting engineering force behind. In particular since
I really can't find launchpad api to conveniently query bugs with a
suitably restrictive filter to not have it take 300 hours.


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