Discoverability of alternate server packages

Registered by Thierry Carrez

Some server application stacks (especially Java ones) are delivered in parallel repositories (PPAs, multiverse) while still being the only way of installing them in Ubuntu. What tools could we provide to guide the user ? A server-oriented version of Software Center ?

Blueprint information

Robbie Williamson
Clint Byrum
Needs approval
Clint Byrum
Series goal:
Not started
Milestone target:
Completed by
Robbie Williamson

Related branches



11-18-2010: Seems like a text-based software-center front-end would solve this problem.

Work Items:
Contact ubuntu-docs and ubuntu-server about whether to use a tag inside ubuntu-docs or a separate launchpad project: TODO
Draft language explaining nature of alternative archive list: TODO
Draft initial list of known archives for inclusion in first edition of server guide archive list: TODO
Submit initial list to ubuntu-server list for review: TODO
Publish archive list in natty server guide: TODO
Submit archive list for inclusion in maverick and lucid server guide: TODO

Notes from UDS Session:

* Getting out of upstreams way when we add no value
* Ensure that message is clear under what terms this is provided under
 * i.e. where is the trust

Discussion Topics:

* Discoverability of upstream provided software for Ubuntu

* Clear messaging on the heritage of the packaging and where trust should be placed

* PPA approach
 * Associated team
  * Core Devs potentially builds trust.

* Use Cases:
 * Upstream packaging and distribution
  * Is the location of the apt repository important?
 * Distro packaging of packages unsuitable for main archive

* Not discoverability of packages, discoverability of repositories.
 * Ensure that classification of repository is included:
  * Upstream Packaged (Upstream Controlled)
  * Distro Packaged (Ubuntu Controlled)
  * Upstream Backports (Upstream Controlled)
  * Distro Backports (Ubuntu Controlled)

Package In Archive Not in Archive
Upstream e.g Zmanda PPA or apt archive
  No discovery Archive must be signed
  Detail in Server Guide to be discoverable
  on how to raise bugs for drizzle, hadoop
  Entry in archive is appropriate
  for production use.

Ubuntu Devs PPA (-backports proposed) PPA
  -> -backports Discoverable
  Discoverable cassandra
  clamav Blessed: python2.6 for Hardy

Feature in Launchpad to classify PPA's automatically?
 * Visual feature on PPA front screen.
 * Ability to list upstream apt archives outside of launchpad

Review of PPA's/upstream at UDS to validate current list.


* Process to update server guide to enable discoverability.
 * Description of classifications
 * Process to add to archive list
* Feature request for Launchpad if required.
 * Server guide can support < 6 month iterations
 * Review at next UDS to determine if required.


Work Items

Dependency tree

* Blueprints in grey have been implemented.

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