AppStream and gnome-software are coming to a Xenial near you: time to fix packages!

Iain Lane laney at
Wed Feb 17 16:59:56 UTC 2016

Dear developers,

[ tl;dr: We're switching from Ubuntu Software Center to GNOME software,
  and many packages need fixing in order to show up there. ]

As you might now, we will be moving to GNOME Software for our default software
management application from the 16.04 release.

GNOME software uses AppStream metadata generated from the Ubuntu package
archive to determine the available applications to show to users. You
can think of this as a modern replacement for the current
app-install-data system that Software Center uses.

In order to make software show up in the new software center and to fix
quirks in the displayed applications, it may be required to make
packaging adjustments.

We need developers to help out with this. Currently, there are many
packages with errors which cause the AppStream generator to not include
them. We want to get as many packages as possible fixed before 16.04
releases, in order to provide a quality experience.

To see the current packages with errors, visit which is updated hourly. You can see the
data in action by using GNOME Software, which is available now in Xenial
by installing the `gnome-software' package - and soon will be installed
by default.

The most common issues relate to icons. We are more strict about the
icons that packages have to ship to be included, requiring at least a
64x64 icon and forbidding XPM icons.

You can find more information about the do's and don'ts at the Debian
wiki on - including an FAQ
item telilng you what the minimal amount of work you need to do is. :)

If you want to enhance the provided metadata, you should try to convince
upstream projects to ship your improvements. This is a cross distro
effort, so other distributions will benefit if fixes are shared.

Please submit fixes to Ubuntu packages on Launchpad following the
regular sponsorship process of filing a bug and subscribing
"ubuntu-sponsors". Please also add the tag "appstream", so that we can
make sure to review all proposed metadata fixes. Include a link so we
can see that you have shared your fix with upstream and don't have to

The Ubuntu desktop team is leading this work, and we can be found in
#ubuntu-desktop on Freenode if you have questions.

Lots of love from Brussels,

Matthias Klumpp
Iain Lane
Lars Uebernickel

Iain Lane                                  [ iain at ]
Debian Developer                                   [ laney at ]
Ubuntu Developer                                   [ laney at ]
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