Managing the Bazaar PPA

See also: Bazaar Developer Document Catalog.


We build Ubuntu .deb packages for Bazaar as an important part of the release process. These packages are hosted in a few Personal Package Archives (PPA) on Launchpad.

As of June 2008, there are two PPAs:

Final released versions.
Releases and release candidates.

We build packages for every supported Ubuntu release <>. Packages need no longer be updated when the release passes end-of-life because all users should have upgraded by then. (As of May 2008, Edgy Eft is no longer supported.)

We build a distinct package for each distrorelease that has different packaging requirements. As of bzr 1.5, Dapper uses python-support and later distributions use python-central, so we build one version for dapper and one version for everything else. If you upload a release-specific version, you should add a suffix to the package version, e.g. bzr.1.3-1~bazaar1~dapper1.

Every package is first uploaded into one distroversion of the beta ppa. It can then be copied to other compatible distroversions. For final release versions it is also copied to the main PPA.

The debian/ directory containing the packaging information is kept in branches on Launchpad, named like <>.


Packaging Bazaar

  1. You will need a working directory for each supported release, such as ~/bzr/Packaging/hardy

  2. Download the official tarball of the release to e.g. ~/bzr/Releases if you don't already have it.

  3. Decide on the final version number. It should be of this form:


    There are three hyphen-separated parts: the package name, the upstream version, and the packaging version.

    Caution: Upstream betas or release candidates must insert a tilde to make them sort before the final release, like this: bzr-1.4~rc2-1~bazaar1.

  4. Copy or hardlink the original tarball into your per-disto directory, under an appropriate name ending in .orig.tar.gz. Untar it. The extracted source directory and .orig file must match the version number you calculated above. For example:

    cp -l ~/bzr/Releases/bzr-1.6b3.tar.gz bzr_1.6~beta3.orig.tar.gz
    tar xfvz bzr_1.6~beta3.orig.tar.gz
    mv bzr-1.6b3 bzr-1.6~beta3
  5. Change into that directory and check out the packaging branch:

    cd bzr-1.6~beta3
    bzr checkout \
      bzr+ssh:// \
  6. For Bazaar plugins, change the debian/control file to express a dependency on the correct version of bzr.

    For bzrtools this is typically:

    Build-Depends-Indep: bzr (>= 1.3~), rsync
    Depends: ${python:Depends}, bzr (>= 1.3~), bzr (<< 1.4~), patch
  7. Make a new debian/changelog entry for the new release, either by using dch or just editing the file:

    dch -v '1.3-1~bazaar1' -D hardy

    dch will default to the distro you're working in and this isn't checked against the version number (which is just our conversion), so make sure to specify it.

    Make sure you have the correct email address for yourself, version number, and distribution. It should look something like this:

    bzr (1.3-1~bazaar1) hardy; urgency=low
     * New upstream release.
    -- John Sample <>  Mon, 31 Mar 2008 12:36:27 +1100

    If you need to upload the package again to fix a problem, normally you should increment the last number in the version number, following the distro name. Make sure not to omit the initial -1, and make sure that the distro name in the version is consistent with the target name outside the parenthesis.

  8. Commit these changes into the packaging branch:

    bzr ci -m '1.3-1~bazaar1: New upstream release.' debian
  9. Build a source package:

    debuild -S -sa -i -D

    This will create a .changes file in the per-distro directory, and should invoke gpg to sign it with your key. Check that file is reasonable: it should be uploading to the intended distribution, have a .orig file included, and the right version number.

  10. Upload into the beta PPA:

    dput bzr-beta-ppa ../bzr__1.3-1\~bazaar1\_source.changes
  11. Copy the uploaded package over to other Ubuntu releases, taking advantage of Launchpad's Copy Package feature <>

  12. For final release versions, also copy it into the ~bzr PPA.

  13. You should soon get an "upload accepted" mail from Launchpad, which means that your package is waiting to be built. You can then track its progress in <> and <>.

Monitoring the contents of PPAs

If you add all the bzr PPAs to your sources.list then you can see a summary of current package versions with:

apt-cache madison bzr