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Personal Package Archives Frequently Asked Questions

Non-Technical Questions

Can anybody have a PPA?

Yes, this service is available to any developer who wants to publish packages of their free software code. You need a Launchpad account, you will also need a GPG key to sign your source code uploads and you will need to accept the Terms of Service which include the Ubuntu Code of Conduct.

Can I publish any software in a PPA?

This is a free service for free software developers and licensing is limited to those which are specified in the PPA Terms of Use. We may make this service available to commercial software developers too, and would be happy to hear from you if you think that would be useful for you.

What other limitations apply to the PPA service?

Other than the expectation that packages in your PPA are free software, we do ask that you not abuse the build system with unnecessary builds or automated uploads of large numbers of packages. We will monitor the total amount of build time per user and ask folks to be reasonable in their use of the shared resources in the PPA pool. Developers and teams each start with 1 gigabyte of storage space freely available in their PPA's for source and binary packages. We will not accept uploads of packages that are unmodified from their original source in Ubuntu or Debian, only packages that include your own changes. We ask that people include useful changelogs for each package so that users and other developers can understand what new features they are exploring in their work. Read the PPA Terms of Use for more information.

How long are packages published?

Packages will remain published until either you remove them yourself, or you supersede them with newer versions, or the underlying release of Ubuntu against which they were built becomes obsolete and unmaintained. Note: You cannot remove packages from your PPA at the moment. We will add this functionality to Launchpad soon.

What formats of packages are supported?

At this stage only .deb packages are supported. If you are interested in building RPM or other package formats, please contact us on the Launchpad users mailing list to discuss that in more detail!

How many users can download packages from my PPA?'''

There are no limits on the number of users you can point at your PPA. We would encourage you to build communities of users and testers around your PPA, and there are no bandwidth restrictions on downloads from any PPA.

How many PPAs can I have?

Each user and team in Launchpad can have a single public PPA. If you want to have different versions of the same package, testing different features or focused on different use cases, then we would encourage you to create a new team and use the PPA for that team. That way, for example, you can have a team of people interested in "server" issues that has one version of the Apache package, and another interested in "workstation" issues that has a different version of the same package, each in a different PPA. Please don't abuse this capability!

Why are only x86 and amd64 architectures supported?

We use the Xen virtualisation system for security during the build process, ensuring that each build has a clean build environment and different developers cannot impact on one another's builds accidentally. This technology is only available on x86 and amd64.

My PPA has reached the 1GB limit. What can I do?

If your PPA has reached the 1GB limit, there are a few things you can do.

The easiest option is to remove packages from it. While obvious, it isn't always obvious that packages may not have been automatically superseded in the archive; this happens, for instance, when the package name varies. Pay particular attention to packages that have .orig.tar.gz files that are used by multiple versions; those packages will only be superseded when all packages that use that .orig file have also been superseded.

If you believe you have good reason to request additional disk space, file a question with a written justification at https://answers.launchpad.net/soyuz and it will be considered. A Launchpad admin will consider your request and either defer it or provide you with alternative advice.

Why do I get a warning about unauthenticated packages?

At present the PPA system does not sign the archive, and Ubuntu's apt will issue a warning when fetching from such archives. This is bug 125103, and should be fixed by about March of 2008.

Technical Questions

Why do builds fail?

A build can failed for lot of reasons, obviously it will fail if the source or the package metadata is broken it it will be indicated in Launchpad as failed-to-build, the only alternative available for such failures is to check the buildlog and fix the code accordingly. Another possible cause of failures is unsatisfied dependencies, indicated by the dep-wait, it means that one or more dependencies required by the source package could not be reached during the build. The uploader has to investigate if it is a transient failure, when the dependencies will be available in the near future, and in this case Launchpad will retry the package automatically when all dependencies get satisfied. On the other hand, it might be possible that you've got the dependencies wrong and them you have upload a fix for it. System failures, like chroot-wait or builder-failure are very rare and should be informed to the Launchpad developers if they happen. failed-to-upload in basic terms means that despite of built without errors the produced binaries do not fit the current PPA state, it usually means that the source have produced broken or duplicated binaries that can't be published, it usually required a new upload. Either way, Launchpad will inform the source uploader about any of the described failures via email.

I get an error about a orig.tar.gz mismatch

Your uploaded source package may refer to an orig.tar.gz file in the primary Ubuntu archive (which saves upload time and bandwidth). If the checksum or file size provided in the .dsc file of the source package does not match those of the file already known to Launchpad, your upload will be rejected.

I get an error about versions

When you upload a package, its version must exceed that of any existing package of the same name in the same Ubuntu distribution in your PPA. For more information, see the Debian Policy Manual on versioning. You can also use dpkg --compare-version to check version numbers before uploading your package.

Why can't I upload the same version for multiple releases?

The PPA disk topology (debian pool) groups all files, sources and binaries, in a name-based location, allowing multiple indexes (dists) to refer to the same source/binaries indicating they are published in multiple releases. It implies that the user only have to upload a source version once to a PPA/distribution and it is possible handle publication copies across all releases. The ability to copy publications across releases is already available by requests (ask a question at https://answers.launchpad.net/soyuz) and will be soon provided for PPA owner, see bug 189233

I'm trying to upload a binary. Why does it get rejected?

PPA only supports uploading source packages. PPA will build binary packages for you from the uploaded source.

I get an error about no orig.tar.gz in archive

All source packages must contain an orig.tar.gz file, or refer to an existing one in the Ubuntu archive or your PPA.

My build is in DEPWAIT. What does that mean? What do I do?

Your source package requires another package to be able to build successfully, which does not exist yet. This can be caused by your source package having incorrect dependencies, or can be caused because a dependent source package has not been uploaded and built yet. In the latter case, your package will be automatically re-built (as of Launchpad 1.1.12) as soon as the dependencies are available.

Does my stuff get automatically copied over to the Ubuntu archive? Why not?

Your PPA is totally separate to the Ubuntu archive and is for your personal use only, where you are free to upload any package you like. In contrast, the Ubuntu archive is very carefully maintained for security and updates, and each uploaded package there is approved by the archive administrators.

Why does my package not have an orig.tar.gz?

If a package does not have an orig.tar.gz file it's because it's not the first version of the package. When uploading newer versions of a package, we can refer to the existing orig.tar.gz because it never changes.

Does PPA only do Hardy? How do I make it do another release?

PPA supports all active Ubuntu releases. To upload to another release, you need to specify this in the Distribution field of your source package's debian/changelog file.

What's this dput.cf stuff? What do I have to modify? I can't seem to follow the quickstart guide correctly.

dput.cf configures the dput tool, as suggested in the PPAQuickStart you have to modify the given template to match your Launchpad details (user-name). Be sure that you refer to the specific target you've edited when uploading your source (dput my-ppa <source>.changes) and also don't forget to sign it with a key already referenced in Launchpad as yours.

How does this stuff differ from the Ubuntu archive? and REVU?

PPA infrastructure is identical to the Ubuntu Primary archive, but it's a separate setup. It ie meant to provide a flat-learning-curve for users already used to the ubuntu/debian development tools. All the tools, procedures and features tend to be the same and shared between PPAs and ubuntu Primary archive. Our goal is to provide the shortest path between developers able to get things fixed or to add innovation to ubuntu context and the ubuntu users. REVU is a parallel system currently maintained and used by MOTU members to have structured and transparent procedures for "producing and reviewing new packages". PPAs will be soon provide similar features.

PPAQuickStart/FAQ (last edited 2008-12-29 23:38:33 by vperetokin)