GetDeb Project

João Pinto lamego.pinto at
Sun Oct 14 12:46:59 BST 2007

I am the GetDeb project founder and manager, I would like to present GetDeb,
current status and planned goals.

The GetDeb idea born about 1 year ago, the motivation came from forums
participation, where it was very common to find end users struggling to
build  some software on their systems, or just asking for help on broken
systems after trying to use incompatible repositories.
I did some research on the processes to get a software updated or introduced
into Ubuntu at that time, they were complex, developers (not users) oriented
and with requirements that could not be covered by a significant part of the
software packaging requests.

Policy and Methodology
We provide packages only for the "current" Ubuntu distribution release, our
updates are upstream based, the opposite of the Ubuntu Stable Update Release
policy, we take the latest upstream update as the most stable and apply the
packaging and/or Debian/Ubuntu integration specific patches, when available
we use Debian/Ubuntu or 3rd parties merging work.
Package updates which depend on library updates that may interfere with
other main/universe packages are NOT provided.

Current Status
After 1 year of existence the project turned from a 1 person spare time
package building, web development and, the most important task, users
feedback handling to a small team work project with occasional but very
important third party contributers.
On a daily basis we provide an average of >5K .deb packages, 100 GBs
distributed over about 10 mirrors.
We have > 7K registered users (the only features available on registration
is the ability to comment releases and get site news).
One of our important accessibility factors is internationalization, 99% of
the site template is translatable and already translated into more than 20
languages. The applications description is also translatable, however that
is still a young and not very polished feature, at this moment we have about
1K application descriptions translated to random languages.
Despite of our short existence we are listed on the first page of google
searches for Ubuntu software, which we observe as a good popularity

Our work is volunteer mostly free time work, we have no business financial
goals, we do accept financial support, mostly for material acquisition.  Our
automated build system server is about to become paid (500 Euros) from
paypal donations. The web site hosting costs are covered with the google
adsense income. The download traffic is covered by the entities which are
supporting us with mirrors.

Future Plans
Move to APT based software distribution
- Most people ask why aren't we using APT yet, the answer is simple, there
is no APT based implementation for a project with our distribution model,
there are some limitations that we still need to address
Internationalization improvement
- One of the current problems is the mix between english contents and local
contents and contacts (this can be seen on the comments section)

I have no specific mention to collaboration with the Ubuntu/Debian universe,
backports, developers, packaging teams, that is our philosophy and practice,
we belong to the same community.

I will appreciate any questions/comments/suggestions.

The Site:
Download stats:
Building Process:
Launchpad Project:

Best regards,

João Pinto
IRC: Lamego @
Jabber ID: lamego.pinto at
GetDeb Project Manager -
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