Natty: Where did my changelogs go?

Martin Pitt martin.pitt at
Tue Nov 9 17:55:05 GMT 2010

Hello fellow developers,

since last Tuesday, packages built in natty don't come with a Debian
changelog included any more.  Due to the continuous demand for
downsizing both our installation media, as well as the install
footprint, we looked for packages which we should eliminate (duplicate
libraries, unnecessary runtimes like our current effort to eliminate
perl (-modules, not -base), but also for stuff that users generally
don't need and won't miss. IMO package changelogs very much fall into
the latter category, so they were very high on the "first against the
wall" list.

Changelogs are of course a valuable developer tool, but for those it
is usually less important to have them available locally, as long as
there is a convenient method to access them. For that I wrote a helper
tool "apt-changelog" which retrieves it from


  apt-changelog gnome-panel

now replaces

  zless /usr/share/doc/gnome-panel/changelog.Debian.gz

apt-changelog is now shipped in apt-utils in Natty.

So far this was discussed pre-UDS on ubuntu-devel [1] and at UDS in a
session [2] and various hallway conversations.

However, there were some concerns [3], so we got a new compromise to
just ship the top 10 changelog records, and add a comment about
apt-changelog at the bottom. That way, the most interesting entries
are still shipped, and developers and users will get used to
"apt-changelog"; this will provide a smoother transition, but still
get rid of about 90% of the changelog size. This is implemented by
pkgbinarymangler version 81 (just uploaded).

We can re-evaluate this after the next LTS, and eventually drop them

I'll make sure that by the end of the release all packages that got
built between last Tuesday and now will be rebuilt at least once and
thus get their changelogs back.




Martin Pitt                        |
Ubuntu Developer (  | Debian Developer  (
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