Packaging for Debian & Ubuntu

Dave Hall dave.hall at
Mon Mar 8 11:00:37 GMT 2010

Hi Paul,

On Mon, 2010-03-08 at 20:44 +1000, Paul Gear wrote:
> Hi folks,
> I thought i'd ask a technical question here to give us a bit of relief
> from the leadership structure and all that.  :-)
> I have previously maintained my own software repository for my Debian
> systems, but it fell into disuse.  When i came back to re-visit the
> question, i found that the ballgame had changed, and my scripts to
> maintain my site (they used dpkg-scanpackages and dpkg-scansources)
> don't work any more.  I found this page which talks about tools to
> create my own repository:
> <>.  That page
> doesn't seem to nominate a clear winner, and lots of the products seem
> to be poorly documented or abandoned.
> Here are the factors in my repository creation equation:
>      1. I need to support Debian & Ubuntu, both i386 & amd64 (but
>         preferably all architectures) with one repository and one
>         build process.
>      2. Most of my packages are small and architecture-independent
>         (perl scripts, Java programs, and the like), but i don't want
>         to be limited to this.
>      3. I want to run the repository on my own LAN to provide maximum
>         speed and availability to my servers - this rules out using
>         PPA.
>      4. I want to use a product that is under active development
>         and/or use by Debian and/or Ubuntu developers - this means it
>         should be available in main or universe.
>      5. I'd prefer to maintain as few repository management files as
>         possible.  The archive will not get big and complex, so it's
>         OK to maintain some by hand, but i'd rather not.
>      6. I want to keep all older versions of my packages online.  (My
>         old scripts used to complain every time i uploaded a new
>         version because there were already 27 existing versions in the
>         repository.)
>      7. I'd prefer to find something that is reasonably
>         well-documented, because asking Debian developers for help is
>         like extracting blood from a stone (just try #debian on IRC
>         sometime if you don't believe me), and Ubuntu folks tend to
>         look at you all weird-like when you don't want to do
>         everything through launchpad & PPA.
> Is this a reasonable list?  Is there a product that fits the bill?  

I can't help with the build side of things, all my package building
isn't automated.  For the serving of packages I use reprepro and nginx,
for info check out the blog post I prepared earlier

I think it ticks all the boxes except #6 out of the box, but a quick
shell script should help with the archiving bit.  I keep all of my
packaging stuff in version control so I don't need to keep old versions
kicking around.



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