Guidelines for reviewing new packages.

Emmet Hikory persia at
Sun Nov 11 22:34:11 GMT 2007

Reviewers and Packagers,

    At the recent MOTU Meeting, a set of guidelines for new package
review was reviewed.  This list is meant to supplement reviewers base
opinions when reviewing packages, and provide for a relatively stable
set of criteria when packagers are deciding if their packages should
be uploaded to REVU.  Please keep these guidelines in mind when either
packaging new software or reviewing candidates for upload.  The
guidelines are broken into three separated goal-oriented sections, as

Packaging review
    1.  Package must meet Ubuntu versioning & Maintainer requirements
    2.  Package must match current Ubuntu (and Debian) packaging policies
    3.  Package should be linda & lintian clean
    4.  Contents of debian/ should be sane
    5.  Package must build, install, run, remove, and purge cleanly
    6.  Changelog should close a "needs-packaging" bug
    7.  Package should follow [WWW]

Maintenance review
    1.  Package must contain a watch file or get-orig-source rule
        (If upstream is no more, the packager should consider adopting
the upstream package somewhere)
        (Packagers who implement get-orig-source for packages with
watch files get extra points)
    2.  Packaging scripts should be readable and readily comprehensible
    3.  Upstream should be responsive, and maintain a bug tracker
    4.  Packaged version should be latest upstream
    5.  Packaged version must not have any known security or critical bugs
    6.  Package should not be native without an approved spec

Suitability review
    1.  Package should work on a standard Ubuntu/Kubuntu/Xubuntu/etc. system
    2.  Package must meet copyright / licensing requirements
    3.  Package should provide hints to system services
(app-install-data, menus, etc.) to ease installation and use
    4.  Package should provide Ubuntu-specific documentation for
variances in behaviour from upstream
    5.  Package should provide a Homepage: header in debian/control
    6.  Non-native packages must have verifiable cryptographic path to
upstream source
    7.  Package must be advocated by at least two members of
ubuntu-dev (the packager may count as one)

"must", as used above, indicates that a package not meeting that test
is not appropriate for inclusion in the archive.
"should", as used above, indicates that the reviewer should explicitly
agree to the variance from the condition prior to advocating the
package for inclusion in the archive.

    These guidelines are subject to change, as Ubuntu packaging
practices develop.  The current set of recommended guidelines is
available from


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