Fetching source code in Ubuntu: apt source, pull-lp-source, and git-ubuntu

Simon Quigley simon at tsimonq2.net
Wed Oct 4 19:08:00 UTC 2023


Yesterday, I worked on a patch for ubuntu-dev-tools[1] to display the same 
message that apt source does when fetching a package tracked in a VCS. Here's an 
example of that message:

$ apt source lxqt-about
Reading package lists... Done
NOTICE: 'lxqt-about' packaging is maintained in the 'Git' version control system 


Please use: 

git clone https://git.lubuntu.me/Lubuntu/lxqt-about-packaging.git
to retrieve the latest (possibly unreleased) updates to the package.

This message is quite useful as a reminder to fetch the code the "right way." 
I've uploaded this to unstable.

I would like to bring git-ubuntu into this message, somehow. If a package does 
not have a Vcs-Git line, a message such as this should be displayed:

Alternatively, you may use:
git ubuntu clone lxqt-about
to get the latest updates.

While this seems great at first, there's quite a few edge cases to consider. 
After talking with Julian and Robie on IRC[2], an approach of automatically 
adding a "Vcs-Clone" field via Launchpad was brought up. I would like to further 
this discussion here, and ask a few specific questions:
  - Is there an easy way for determining whether a given source package is 
imported via git-ubuntu?
  - Would it be appropriate to consolidate those messages, only giving the 
"Vcs-Clone" field?
  - Is there a better approach to this, one that's more sustainable long-term?
  - Is git-ubuntu ready for this kind of exposure, and if it isn't, how can we 
bring it to that point?

Thank you for your time; I hope this email helps move the needle forward for our 

[2] https://irclogs.ubuntu.com/2023/10/04/%23ubuntu-devel.html#t18:39

Simon Quigley
simon at tsimonq2.net
tsimonq2 on LiberaChat and OFTC
@tsimonq2:linuxdelta.com on Matrix
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