Understanding the Ubuntu package repositories

During a thread about daylight savings confusion here in Sydney, Martin Barry asked the SLUG list why updates to Ubuntu packages go into a separate “updates” repository. John Ferlito suggested that I blog my answer…

I’ve never understood the ${ubuntu_release}-updates thing.

A separate repositry for security I understand due to the need to bypass mirror lag.

But anything worthy of going into ${ubuntu_release}-updates is surely worth putting straight into ${ubuntu_release} ? Or is it just me?

Post-release, that archive is never touched. It means that users get to choose how much damage they’re willing to accept:

  • $release: Don’t touch it, I like consistency, even with my bugs.
  • $release-security: I’ll accept patches to existing versions (and very rare version upgrades if absolutely necessary) in the process of keeping my system secure.
  • $release-updates: Okay, some bugs are worth fixing, and I trust you this much (holds up two fingers like Maxwell Smart).
  • $release-backports: I have something akin to technology ADHD, needing the latest of everything I can possibly get, but I’m a sooky little wuss-fart because I can’t handle running the development branch.
  • $devel: I can take it. Seriously. If you break my X, I shall become more powerful than you could possibly imagine. I’ll file and maybe even fix the bugs and I’ll do it even if power management is not so much ‘managed’ as vomited all over the wall. Come get some.
  • Debian: We do the work so you don’t have to.

Amazingly, a number of followups suggest that this summary should form some kind of official description on the Ubuntu Wiki or similar. I’m sure someone in Ubuntu land will be keen to… revise some of my verbiage… should they choose to use it. 🙂

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *