git workflows for general Ubuntu development

Robie Basak robie.basak at
Mon Nov 14 12:51:58 UTC 2016

On the server team, we've been working on a process that uses git to do
our "Ubuntu merges". As a consequence, we now have a mechanism that can
import package histories into git on Launchpad. We think that this work
opens up a bunch of new possibilities, such as for drive-by contributors
submitting merge proposals entirely through git.

We'll be talking about our work tomorrow, as part of the Ubuntu Online
Summit. The session page is at
and is currently scheduled for 2016-11-15 18:00 UTC. Times may change,
so be sure to check the schedule tomorrow.

I originally wrote about this in August 2014
We've come on a long way since then. Our automated git imports preserve
histories. Where relevant, Ubuntu packages are correctly parented from
their Debian origins. We hope to start running this live soon, which
will import package uploads into our git trees as they happen rather
than on-demand. Once this is live, anyone will be able to easily clone
from the "current" Ubuntu packaging git trees, which we think is useful
in itself.

If you're interested, we'd love your feedback. What are your use cases?
What sort of workflows would you like to see? You can see some further
notes of ours as they form in the pad on the session page linked above.
What have we missed?

Note that developer time, as always, is limited. We've developed what we
have so far to speed up our own work. Our use cases are probably quite
different from non-core contributors. Possibly enabling the drive-by
contribution use case is a happy consequence. Volunteers able to work on
additional things are welcome to join us. However I am specifically
looking for things we can tweak without much effort that will help
others. I regret that we don't have the time to take on a big project
that doesn't benefit our own use cases. So please understand that if you
make a proposal that involves significant developer work, it is unlikely
to happen unless you also find developers to volunteer their time to
work on it.

At the UOS session we'll be able to discuss this in real-time on Google
Hangouts and concurrently on IRC. But our time in the session is limited
to one hour, so replying to this thread to first distill any
conversation would be helpful if possible.

Robie Basak
Ubuntu Server Team
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