New procedure for performing syncs

Iain Lane laney at
Thu Jan 12 16:19:46 UTC 2012

Dear Developers,

For a long time, the process for requesting syncs from Debian has
involved manual action on the part of the archive adminstrators. This
was an inevitable source of delays and replacing this with a
self-service process has been a wishlist item for some time now. Thanks
to work by one of the Launchpad development squads (led by Julian
Edwards) on the "derived distributions" project, we're happy to announce
that the time has come to transition to just such a system for
performing syncs.

Syncing is now driven by the `syncpackage' script in ubuntu-dev-tools
(from Oneiric onwards). It works by asking Launchpad to copy a source
package publication from another distribution already imported into
Launchpad (Debian is imported a few times a day). The earlier
direct-upload mode supported by this tool is still available using the
`--no-lp' option, but is generally deprecated except for some corner
cases and is no longer the default. In the Oneiric version, there is one
significant bug around blacklisting (LP: #841372). If you have trouble
with this, you should upgrade to a newer ubuntu-dev-tools (from the
daily PPA or
precise) with this bug worked around.

To sync a package for yourself, invoke syncpackage as follows (full
usage instructions in syncpackage(1)):

  syncpackage [-d debian_series] [--force] packagename

--force is required to override Ubuntu changes.

syncpackage may also be used to sponsor syncs. This feature was only
added to Launchpad and syncpackage very recently, and so requires
ubuntu-dev-tools from the PPA or precise. Pass -s <LP id of sponsoree>
to syncpackage to record the sponsoree as the author of the sync. You
should also pass -b <bugnumber> to close the bug which the sponsoree
opened to request the sync (the process has not changed from the point
of view of those being sponsored). sponsor-patch knows how to do this.

The old archive-admin process is now deprecated: developers should be
using syncpackage from now on.

Regards, on behalf of the release and archive administration teams,

Iain Lane
Stefano Rivera
Colin Watson

Iain Lane                                  [ iain at ]
Debian Developer                                   [ laney at ]
Ubuntu Developer                                   [ laney at ]
PhD student                                       [ ial at ]
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