Packages from Debian missing in Ubuntu

Thomas Ward teward at
Fri Mar 16 19:32:28 UTC 2018

I can give you somewhat authoritative answers for Bitcoin and Electrum
(see below sections).

Regarding `phatch`, it was available up through Artful but was removed
for Bionic (18.04) because of its dependencies on python-imaging, and
details on all this are available in the Launchpad bug for the request
of its removal. [1]   (`phatch` was probably not the only one removed in
this, though)



First up: `bitcoin-*` (including bitcoin-qt).

The Bitcoin client, both its backend and its frontend in Qt, undergo
rapid development and changes regularly, including protocol changes
which require you to be on the latest version of the Bitcoin clients. 
Because of the introduction of hard forks and incompatibilities with
older packages, this was blacklisted in Ubuntu from autosyncing and was
removed.  It has been blacklisted since 2013.  [2]

And at the same time of blacklisting, a `bitcoin` dummy package was put
in its place instead. [3]  This said, there's a Bitcoin PPA that at the
time was kept updated, and it was determined that users should use that
instead.  (I do not know if it's still updated)

Because of the constant changes, and continued introduction of
incompatibilities as the Bitcoin network and protocol continue to
undergo changes, it was requested to have it removed.  And that request
was granted.




Secondly, let's look at Electrum.

There was consideration for the removal of Electrum back in August of
2015.  Further, Debian upstream had identified issues with Electrum
versions of 2.0 and later during compiling (this is detailed in the
Debian bug on this [4]), which included reasons such as:

  * Incompatibilities with Electrum 2.0+ versions in Debian and Ubuntu
    (see the Debian bug [4]), including:
      o A dependency on the packages `tlslite` which was removed from
        Debian, and
      o Poor handling of certificate verification which includes an MITM
        attack vector in Upstream code (Security flaw).
  * Additional changes in Electrum 2.0+ which break reverse compatibility:
      o A bitcoin blockchain soft-fork which only newer electrum knew about
      o Significant client-to-server improvements, which only exist in
        2.0+ code, and
      o Wallet seed codes from newer versions not working with older

There was a discussion between me and Ian Lane of the MOTU team at the
time, and they forwarded me to the Security team.  A discussion between
myself, Steve Beattie, and Seth Arnold came to a conclusion that, for
the aforementioned reasons and due to changes in the Bitcoin protocol
and such breaking prior versions (and it being known that there are such
soft and hard forks which introduce unmaintainable incompatibilities,
and that there would be those in the future) that may be introduced
which will affect Electrum as well, that all these reasons warranted
removing Electrum from Ubuntu Wily (15.10) during the development cycle
while also blacklisting it from autosync.

(All the information about the incompatibilities, etc. are listed in the
Ubuntu bug report requesting removal of the package. [5])



So, for Bitcoin and Electrum, that's the details for why those are not
in Ubuntu anymore.


Consider also that there is a list of blacklisted packages which never
sync anymore from Debian to Ubuntu during autosyncs.  Bitcoin and
Electrum are not the only ones on this blacklist of packages to not
autosync from Debian anymore, but they are worthy of the list for all
the aforementioned reasons.

LP: ~teward

On 03/15/2018 12:28 PM, Михаил Новоселов, Думалогия wrote:
> Hello Ubuntu developers,
> Why are some packages, which are available in allDebian releases,
> including Debian Sid, are not included in Ubuntu 18.04? Examples of
> packages: phatch (was available in all previous Ubuntu releases),
> electrum, bitcoin-qt

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